2010-11-28 Why Do We Need More Wikileaks and Cryptome
Why Do We Need More WikiLeaks and Cryptome ?
In the past months, there were many articles in favor (Foreign Policy (2010-10-25), Salon (2010-03-17)) or against (Washington Post (2010-08-02), Jimmy Wales "WikiLeaks Was Irresponsible" (2010-09-28) or Wikileaks Unlike Cryptome) or neutral (New Yorker (2010-06-07)) concerning WikiLeaks. Following public or private discussions about information leaking website like WikiLeaks? or even about the vintage Cryptome website, I personally think that the point is not about supporting or not a specific leaking website but more supporting their diversity.
Usually the term "truth" mentioned at different places when talking about "leaking website" but they just play a role to provide materials to build your own "truth". And that's the main reason why we need more "leaking website", you need to have measurable and observable results just like for a scientific experiment. Diversity is an important factor, not only in biology, but also when you want to build some "truth" based on leaked information. Even if the leaked information seems to be the same raw stream of bytes, the way to disclose it is already a method on interpretation (e.g. is it better to distribute to the journalists 4 weeks before? or is it better to provide a way for everyone to comment and analyze at the same time all the leaked information?). As there is no simple answer, the only way to improve is to try many techniques or approaches to find you by yourself what's the most appropriate.
What should we expect for next generation "leaking website"?
I don't really know but here is some thoughts based on reading from HN or some additional gathered from my physical and electronic readings.
- Collaborative annotation of the leaked information (e.g. relying on the excellent free software Annotator from Open Knowledge Foundation)
- Collaborative voting of leaked information, when you have a list of contributors annotating regularly, you may derive a list of voters for the information to leak or not information. This could be useful when there are doubts about sources for example.
- Collaborative distribution. A lot of the existing site are based on a centralized platform sensible to easy shutdown. (an interesting HN discussion about distributed content for WikiLeaks where another free software like Git could play a role too.)
We are just at the beginning of a new age of information leakage that could be beneficial for our societies. But the only way to ensure the benefit, we have to promote a diversity and not a scarcity of those platforms.