Wikileaks makes me uncomfortable!!

Exposing corruption is good! But, what wikileaks has done is something beyond exposing corruption.

For example, most statements in the recently exposed US embassy cables were already known but now we know them in writing. This exposure may have exposed some amount of corruption but it has exposed lots of details that has nothing to do with corruption. For example, opinions of US diplomats about foreign leaders. Exposure of such opinion can only cause difficulty in international relations and a great distraction form real corruption.

There are many aspects why this kind of exposure may cause more harm than good. I can think of following objections:

1) Potential backlash: US govt now has a genuine claim of attack on it. Now they can move in the direction of clamping down on internet, passing tougher espionage laws, and having no sympathy for whistleblowers. And, Govt. may gather lots of support from people for taking such steps. We may end up loosing the freedoms, we already have.

2) Lost focus on real corruption: Information of personal opinions of diplomats amuse people a lot. There were headlines about opinion of American ambassador about french president Sarkozy. While, news ignored involvement of Americans in many serious criminal actions. Now! Julian Assange’s safety is international concern. He is only a messenger and anyone can take his place.

3) Invasion of privacy People say things in private that has no factual substance. Just opening up all the US embassy cables is a huge invasion of privacy. It will harm many people’s reputation and future conduct of international relations. This is a harm caused by this leak. The question is how much value one should assign to this harmful effect of leak.

4) May be improvement in some cases but no change in process of corruption: Corruption is most often not just a particular act but a process. Officials get used to it. They do it as matter of daily business. Exposing corruption here and there is always good but it can not change this mindset of corruption. If one wants to root out corruption in some aspect of government then one needs to fight a long sustained political battle that may last generations. Many times there is no other option for politics.

I hope I am wrong! May wikileaks bring sea of change! Amen!


2 thoughts on “Wikileaks makes me uncomfortable!!

  1. Although I partly agree with all your points (especially the second point), my first take has been different — the leaks have not merely been enabled by whistle-blowers, but as much by “technology”. Seemingly extreme at present, these may be signs of time to come, and by pushing the limits, Wikileaks is also pushing towards a time of much more transparency than we can think of in present.
    But then, “transparency” alone does not kill corruption (which btw, may well be *consequence* of the system, not *in spite* of it), a lot more political action will be needed in the mix (which is just what you say in the fourth point I guess).

  2. Wikileaks itself is not whistleblower.. it is the US solider who leaked the documents. As you said, wikileaks is “just” a technology that makes it much easier.

    You are right about my 4th point and you said it in better words.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s