Daniel Halliday
Dec 21 · Last update 7 mo. ago.

Are Julian Assange and WikiLeaks having a positive or negative impact?

Julian Assange is a cyber activist and the creator of WikiLeaks, a website for whistle-blowers and the leaking of secret information and news. In August 2012 Julian Assange was granted asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and has been confined there ever since, fearing for his safety if he leaves due to an expected extradition to the United States. As it looks like the Ecuadorian government have been recently considering a change of tact in harbouring Assange, let’s consider: Is Julian Assange promoting transparency and challenging corruption through WikiLeaks or threatening the security of individuals, governments, companies and entire nations?
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Wikileaks’ impact has been mixed
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Positive impact in the fight against corruption
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Negative impact
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Wikileaks’ impact has been mixed

Wikileaks is any important service, but they may have gone too far with certain content that is published; they have published, on average, a million documents a year, and it is just too much content to be properly moderated. As a result there have been a number of occasions when certain individual’s personal information have been published on the site, with no clear news or scandal connection. This is something that has seen Wikileaks attract widespread criticism, even from the likes of Edward Snowden.

Furthermore there are issues in the way Wikileaks has been managed and clear biases and authenticity concerns that need addressing. Wikileaks started an important movement, but has some failings as a service. The site needs reviewing or reforming, and there are other similar services, whistleblowers and personalities covering similar news content on other sites that may adequately bridge this gap. However the value of the information leaked in the fight against corruption far outweighs the services shortcomings, Wikileaks should strive for address these issues but continue their efforts, as the rest of the world continues to address the colossal amount of widespread systemic corruption.

phys.org/news/2016-08-private-exposed-wikileaks-secrets.html abc.net.au/news/2010-12-07/war_on_wikileaks_reveals_need_for_law_reform/41874

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Daniel Halliday
Apr 29
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DH edited this paragraph
Wikileaks is any important service, but they may have gone too far with certain content that is published; they have published, on average, a million documents a year, and it is just too much content to be properly moderated. As a result there have been a number of occasions when certain individual’s personal information have been published on the site, with no clear news or scandal connection. This is something that has seen Wikileaks attract widespread criticism, even from the likes of Edward Snowden.

Positive impact in the fight against corruption

Wikileaks remains one of the few valuable tools in the fight against corruption throughout the world, giving whistle-blowers not only a place to distribute data where all can see, but most importantly the protection of anonymity when doing so. This provides the world with important international news that usually doesn’t make it into the mainstream corporate news media, or stories they do not have the inside knowledge to report on. The charges against Assange and the media’s coverage of him amount to little more than a smear campaign, and a ploy to get him extradited to the United States for espionage charges that are likely to be exceedingly harsh.

In establishing a new form of journalism, in which journalists and whistleblowers can utilise an online anonymous submission mechanism to help bring important news and information to the public sphere, Wikileaks has turned the worlds of journalism, politics and even espionage up-side-down. The very real impact this has had on the public sphere and the fight for reforming corruption around the world has led to Wikileaks and Julian Assange both receive various awards and praise from media and intelligence-related organisations. By providing this service Wikileaks is empowering citizens globally, enabling them to inform the world of evidence that is in the public interest while remaining anonymous and not having to fear government or private retaliation. This has already revolutionised whistleblowing, the news media and helped to uncover numerous cases of deep corruption, an indispensable public service.

dw.com/en/wikileaks-website-offers-promising-outlet-for-fighting-corruption/a-4930880

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Daniel Halliday
Apr 29
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
In establishing a new form of journalism, in which journalists and whistleblowers can utilise an online anonymous submission mechanism to help bring important news and information to the public sphere, Wikileaks has turned the worlds of journalism, politics and even espionage up-side-down. The very real impact this has had on the public sphere and the fight for reforming corruption around the world has led to Wikileaks and Julian Assange both receive various awards and praise from media and intelligence-related organisations. By providing this service Wikileaks is empowering citizens globally, enabling them to inform the world of evidence that is in the public interest while remaining anonymous and not having to fear government or private retaliation. This has already revolutionised whistleblowing, the news media and helped to uncover numerous cases of deep corruption, an indispensable public service.

Negative impact

Wikileaks is a disaster, releasing state secrets that jeopardise safety, security and arm terrorists with information. The release of leaked files that contain the personal details of ordinary citizens and prominent public figures is also inexcusable, and includes personal data of mental health patients, sick children, and hundreds of cases of personal documents, passports and credit card information. The site, how it's run and Julian Assange’s online attacks are dangerous, have led to multiple employees leaving the organisation, and needs to be reformed or closed down and brought to justice.

The most vital mistake of Wikileaks as an organisation has been the leaking of information that carries a significant risk of reprisal to journalists, soldiers and even the people around them such as family or friends. An example of this is the 2010 claim by a Taliban spokesperson that the Taliban are studying the 92,000 leaked documents, from the Chelsea Manning leaked documents concerning the War in Afghanistan, for information on Afghan informants or those cooperating with the United States. The Taliban is known to execute informants, and have often killed local officials in a campaign of intimidation against those that cooperate with NATO forces.

usnews.com/opinion/articles/2010/12/09/the-real-wikileaks-threat-is-julian-assange-just-a-guy-with-a-laptop-or-a-cyber-terrorist newsweek.com/taliban-says-it-will-target-names-exposed-wikileaks-74257

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Latest conversation
Daniel Halliday
Apr 29
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
The most vital mistake of Wikileaks as an organisation has been the leaking of information that carries a significant risk of reprisal to journalists, soldiers and even the people around them such as family or friends. An example of this is the 2010 claim by a Taliban spokesperson that the Taliban are studying the 92,000 leaked documents, from the Chelsea Manning leaked documents concerning the War in Afghanistan, for information on Afghan informants or those cooperating with the United States. The Taliban is known to execute informants, and have often killed local officials in a campaign of intimidation against those that cooperate with NATO forces.
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