Tuesday, November 30, 2010

good for the goose?

Quick thought: In the post-Facebook post-Google information age, modern individuals are basically being "asked" to get by with a much more limited expectation of privacy. Anybody with internet access can look you up and easily find surprising amounts of information about you. It only takes a few keystrokes to find things that, in a previous era, would have taken a private detective or a dedicated stalker hours or even days of legwork to find out. This is actually not why I'm posting... this is just a (sad and depressing) feature of modern life on the grid which I've blogged about before.

The new thought which occurs to me is that given all of the above, the current Wikileaks controversy should not be exaggerated. The governments of the world should learn to operate with greater transparency and greater public scrutiny analogously to how individuals "have to" live with less privacy today. Now, if there is a clear case of Wikileaks' actions leading to people being in actual danger for their lives then the organization should definitely be prosecuted as appropriate, but most of the revelations which have been reported on seem merely embarrassing at worst. In fact, I suspect that in the long run Wikileaks' actions will tend to be a valuable and illuminating counter-weight to government corruption and dishonesty.

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