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Wikileaks and the Pope's Hat

Just about sums up the popular response to the latest Wikileaks revelations. Diplomats and politicians are liars? Tell us something we didn't know - which is missing the point by a mile, whether from deliberate stupidity or just the usual kind.
 The main point of Wikileaks is that it ensures anonymity for the source. It reduces the risk to any whistleblower and therefore breaches an entire level of state and corporate secrecy. All of a sudden they have no trousers. The revelations of past actions and attitudes by those who run our lives are significant enough, but the it's the way they behave from now on which will show the real significance of being able to monitor their machine from the inside. It's an extension of the phenomenon of 'counter-veillance' which shed light on the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests.
In effect, Wikileaks has lifted the burkha of mystery from the comely maiden of diplomacy to reveal the gurning Anne Wiiddicombe beneath. Of course the parents and the potential in-laws are going to be annoyed. The question now is how much states will feed misinformation into the archive, and how much more paranoid and secretive and insular and removed from reality they become. But in that case, Wikileaks is calling their bluff. It offers them the choice of genuine openness and democracy, or of abandoning all pretence and retreating behind Russian (or even Chinese) curtains of secrecy and paranoia. But they have to remember that the bride in the Burkha is still more marriagable than one in a suit of armour.

Wikileaks also reveals the hypocrisy of all the media corporations which refuse to publish it, and which try to smear this new freedom as old fashioned Treason. These are largely the same corporations which killed to publish the MP's Expenses information, and will eventually publish the choice titbits of Wikileaks. And which, incidentally, are also in favour of turning a blind eye to FIFA corruption as long as England's bid wins, and they get to make vast amounts of money.
The other ridiculous accusation is that Wikileaks are not a 'democratic' organisation. Wikileaks is just as 'democratic' as nay other form of journalism. In fact, since it does not rely on advertising revenue, it is approximately 27.63 times more democratic than NewsCorp, which would suppress this information and Wikileaks and the entire internet if it could. Just as it has suppressed every piece of politically inconvenient information it has ever known. By its opposition to Wikileaks, it is in fact admitting that it would have suppressed the revelations which led to the MP's Expenses Scandal.
The BBC is doing its job by giving these revelations the space they deserve, as it is in publishing the truth about FIFA. If journalism has a future, it is through working with the consequences of the internet, not by trying to deny or vilify them.

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