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Something Wiki this way comes

The fallout from the WikiLeaks Cablegate debacle continues -- and the residents of Cringeville have a lot to say about it

Robert X. Cringely | December 10th, 2010

It's been All WikiLeaks, All the Time here in Cringeville lately. And why not? As I noted last time out, this is the biggest thing to hit the WebberNets since Tim Berners Lee dreamed it up 20 years ago. We're still unraveling the implications and probably will continue to do so for months if not years.

But I've done enough bloviating on the topic. Now it's your turn. My readers had a lot to say on all sides of the issue.

[ Check out a few samples of Cringely's long history covering WikiLeaks: The Web will eat itself over WikiLeaks. | WikiLeaks: A terrorist's best friend?. | WikiLeaks launches Web War III | For a humorous take on the tech industry's shenanigans, subscribe to Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]

Let's start with T. S., who took umbrage when I said my opinion of WikiLeaks had changed after it posted a list of sites vulnerable to terrorist attacks:

So it took this to change your mind? Not the fact that he and his organization are the recipients of STOLEN property belonging to government and corporate entities?...I don't get the attitudes of people like you (who just apparently "found religion") who think that because it is some government, or corporation, that you have "the right" to view what is clearly STOLEN PROPERTY.

On the other hand, Cringester W. J. has this to say on the matter:

Your article "WikiLeaks: A Terrorist's Best Friend?" would be quite amusing if it wasn't so ill-informed. The publication of such a list does nothing to increase the chances of these installations becoming a target. But it does demonstrate contrary to US claims that their embassies engage in intelligence gathering. Seriously, do you really think terrorist organisations haven't already made their own lists of these strategic installations? The information to identify and locate these facilities is and has been available in the public domain for a very very long time.

My response: The Pentagon Papers were also STOL--er, stolen property. It took a landmark Supreme Court decision to determine that the public's right to know trumped the government's desire for secrecy. I just don't think the public good was served by WikiLeaks publishing a list of vital facilities, no matter who may have already known about them.

Not everyone was ticked off about my presumed about-face on WikiLeaks. Reader V. L. writes:

It's nice to see some reporting on the turn for the worse this has taken instead of the blind support for what this organization once stood for.

Read more on Page 2


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