NEWS FROM UNDERGROUND

MARK CRISPIN MILLER

General

In defense of WikiLeaks (Simon Jenkins of The Guardian)

The job of the media is not to protect power from embarrassment
Simon Jenkins

It is for governments – not journalists – to guard public secrets, and there is no national jeopardy in WikiLeaks’ revelations

Is it justified? Should a newspaper disclose virtually all a nation’s secret diplomatic communication, illegally downloaded by one of its citizens? The reporting in the Guardian of the first of a selection of 250,000 US state department cables marks a recasting of modern diplomacy. Clearly, there is no longer such a thing as a safe electronic archive, whatever computing’s snake-oil salesmen claim. No organisation can treat digitised communication as confidential. An electronic secret is a contradiction in terms.

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