Sunday, December 26, 2010

The notoriety of Wikileaks completely baffles me. The huge collection of US State Department cables it recently published is interesting enough in places, but the reality is that Wikileaks' involvement in the cables' publication is entirely incidental. There are literally thousands of sites that happily accept and distribute anonymously uploaded material, any one of which could have been used by the cables' leaker. (The famous climategate emails, for example, were uploaded to a server in Russia, and their location then revealed on multiple blogs, allowing many readers of those blogs to download the entire archive within hours.)

It's shocking, to be sure, that such a large volume of State Department correspondence should be so easy for a single low-level official to copy and leak. But once the materials were in the hands of the leaker, widely disseminating them would have been utter child's play--with or without Wikileaks. The fact that Wikileaks has any place at all, let alone a central one, in the public debate over this story, says far more about the apparently extraordinary self-promotion skills of its founder than about his organization's global (in)significance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wikileaks has Julian Assange, an evil mastermind / hacker hero straight from central casting. The news likes to focus on personalities, and Assange is much more interesting than Bradley Manning. Hence all of the coverage for Assange and Wikileaks.