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<nettime-ann> The Future of WikiLeaks with Evgeny Morozov, 20th Jan 2011
Geert Lovink on Fri, 31 Dec 2010 20:27:49 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime-ann> The Future of WikiLeaks with Evgeny Morozov, 20th Jan 2011 13:00 RSA London

The Future of WikiLeaks 20th Jan 2011 13:00 RSA London

The recent leaks of diplomatic cables have prompted fierce US criticism of the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. But, argues, internet commentator Evgeny Morozov, the US could take a different view.

In the future, WikiLeaks-style organisations could be useful allies of the West as it seeks to husband democracy and support human rights. And, argues Morozov, the state that will benefit most from this course of action, is America itself.

The White House is currently engaged in a fresh move to promote open government around the globe. Chastising a group that aims to "keep governments open" threatens to stall progress in these areas.

Morozov believes that WikiLeaks currently stands at a crossroads: one route ahead would see a radical global network systematically challenging those in power – governments and companies alike – just for the sake of undermining “the system". The current quest for transparency could soon become an exercise in anger, one leak at a time.

Alternatively, WikiLeaks could continue moving in the more sensible direction that, in some ways, it is already on: collaborating with traditional media, redacting sensitive files, and offering those in a position to know about potential victims of releases the chance to vet the data.

It is a choice between WikiLeaks becoming a new Red Brigade, or a new Transparency International. And, argues Morozov, forcing Mr Assange to go down the former route would have far more disastrous implications for American interests than anything revealed by "cable-gate".

Speaker: Evgeny Morozov, visiting scholar at Stanford University, and author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom (Allen Lane, January 2011)

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