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Where does whistle blowing stop and deep harm begin?

 
 
dlowan
 
Reply Thu 10 Nov, 2016 05:33 pm
This is part of a NYT op ed piece.

I keep wanting to be pro-Assange, despite thinking he's a **** personally, because I approve of whistle blowing. This piece nicely sums up my concerns re Wikileaks.

Interested in other's thoughts, especially in relation to the US election and the impact the leaks may have had....especially with the vague threats that there was much more and much worse to come.

Legitimate leaks or chilling misuse of knowledge?


"I once asked Daniel Ellsberg — who in 1971 leaked the secret history of the Vietnam War known as the Pentagon Papers — if he had any regrets. He told me, as he told many others, that he regretted only that he had not leaked them earlier, when they might have had more impact and perhaps shortened the war.

Whistle-blowing, as Mr. Ellsberg did, is a time-honored means for exposing the secret machinations of the powerful. But the release of huge amounts of hacked data, with no apparent oversight or curation, does the opposite. Such leaks threaten our ability to dissent by destroying privacy and unleashing a glut of questionable information that functions, somewhat unexpectedly, as its own form of censorship, rather than as a way to illuminate the maneuverings of the powerful.

The latest example of these data dumps comes from WikiLeaks, which is releasing the emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, in dribs and drabs going back to 2008, when Mr. Podesta was the co-chairman of Barack Obama’s transition team.

“Wait,” you might think. John Podesta is about as far from dissident politics as you can get. These leaks have produced genuine news. We finally got to see the text of Mrs. Clinton’s paid speeches to Goldman Sachs, for example. What’s wrong with that? Doesn’t that serve the public interest?

The hacked emails did provide the public with some notable information. But any benefit of such mass data releases does not undo their harm. And that harm is relevant whether or not the data was stolen by a foreign government seeking to influence this election.



PRIVACY POLICY
The victims here are not just Mr. Podesta and the people in his contacts list who are embarrassed or compromised. The victim of leaks of private communication is the ability of dissidents to function in a democracy.

Demanding transparency from the powerful is not a right to see every single private email anyone in a position of power ever sent or received. WikiLeaks, for example, gleefully tweeted to its millions of followers that a Clinton Foundation employee had attempted suicide; news outlets repeated the report.

Wanton destruction of the personal privacy of any person who has ever come near a political organization is a vicious but effective means to smother dissent. This method is so common in Russia and the former Soviet states that it has a name: “kompromat,” releasing compromising material against political opponents. Emails of dissidents are hacked, their houses bugged, the activities in their bedrooms videotaped, and the material made public to embarrass and intimidate people whose politics displeases the powerful. Kompromat does not have to go after every single dissident to work: If you know that getting near politics means that your personal privacy may be destroyed, you will understandably stay away.

Data dumps by WikiLeaks have outed rape victims and gay people in Saudi Arabia, private citizens’ emails and personal information in Turkey, and the voice mail messages of Democratic National Committee staff members. Dissent requires the right to privacy: to be let alone in our vulnerabilities and the ability to form our thoughts and share them when we choose. These hacks undermine that crucial right........"


http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/05/opinion/what-were-missing-while-we-obsess-over-john-podestas-email.html?mabReward=A3&recp=2&moduleDetail=recommendations-2&action=click&contentCollection=Movies&region=Footer&module=WhatsNext&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&src=recg&pgtype=article

 
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Thu 10 Nov, 2016 05:44 pm
@dlowan,
Arguing where the line should be drawn will result in many opinions, but one of my main qualms with Assange is that he has no such line at all. If someone dies as a result of his leak tough luck, they shouldn't have collaborated with Americans (his words).

Nobody near him has agreed with this, this is why Snowden did not leak through him and why many of the journalists who have worked with him have criticized him. His goals are self-aggrandizement and he doesn't care what happens as a result because no matter what bad happens it gives him the attention he so craves.
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Nov, 2016 11:21 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Is Assange being paid for his releases?

Can he actually leave his bunker to go enjoy the fruits of his labours?

Your assertions rely on certain other parameters, Robert Genteel.

Julian isn't a free man, and his actions aren't those of a narcissist.

And rememeber that those whom his releases are hurting, are being hurt by their own actions, rather than his. Don't shoot the messenger.

Refusing to deal with mainstream media outlets is the clever route.

mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2016 10:19 am
@dlowan,
If the law has been broken (In any way) It is UNLAWFUL TO NOT REPORT IT - NO MATTER WHAT DAMAGE IT DOES.

Guess that's the crux.
Manning, Assange, et al (Not Snowden - He's 'Orchestrated') are UPHOLDING the law - Not some ritualistic corporate oath.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2016 10:24 am
@Builder,
You do not need to be a free man to be a narcissist.
Robert Gentel
 
  4  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2016 10:31 am
@mark noble,
Assange doesn't just leak illegal things, he leaks anything he can get attention for. This is why the Panama Papers dump didn't go to him, why the Snowden* ones didn't etc. They went to more responsible journalists who care about ethical journalism and release when it's in public interest.


* Quote from Snowden on wikileaks: "'Their hostility to even modest curation is a mistake."
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2016 10:33 am
@Builder,
Infowars held a 52hr livestream - More viewers than fox, cnn and msn, put together.
And they called it for Trump Aug 2015.

Being blinded by bollux-media, bollux pop music, product-placement, blah - Is all they have.

Lady (Satanist) Gaga in an SS outfit, supporting Killary pre-election was insane!
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2016 10:42 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
Where does whistle blowing stop and deep harm begin?

I'd say at the very beginning.

Whistleblowing exposes wrongdoing. No wrongdoing was exposed by Wikileaks.

But Wikileaks did let brutal dictators know who all the dissidents were in their countries.
0 Replies
 
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2016 10:47 am
@Robert Gentel,
What is there that does not belong in the public-domain?
Define 'responsible'?

Better still - Define 'irresponsible'?

You can't - It's subjective - One man's pleasure is another man's pain.

Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2016 01:01 pm
@mark noble,
mark noble wrote:
What is there that does not belong in the public-domain?


Private information on private individuals that is not of public interest.

Quote:
Define 'responsible'?

Better still - Define 'irresponsible'?

You can't - It's subjective - One man's pleasure is another man's pain.


Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of the ethics of journalism can define this quite easily. Acting like it's impossible just because there is some subjectivity to it is nonsensical.
0 Replies
 
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2016 02:34 pm
@mark noble,
You almost lost me at "infowars". 52 HOURS of Alex Jones? I can't stand 52 seconds of his guff and bluster.

Didn't see Gaga at all. I catch a few clips online, but haven't had a television for nearly a decade.

I genuinely understand the anti-trump sentiment, but with only two choices, there really was no choice for many.
0 Replies
 
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2016 02:38 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
You do not need to be a free man to be a narcissist.


NPD appears to be a pre-requisite for political life, but I fail to see why you're labelling Assange as one. I've dealt with NPDs in my working life; it's why I now choose to work alone, actually.

I know all the key "symptoms" of NPD, and yes, it is a well-documented mental disorder, though no "cure" has been found.

I don't see the symptoms in Julian. What do you see?
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2016 03:46 pm
@Builder,
I did not offer a clinical diagnosis and have no intention to. I assert he is a narcissist for the obsession with googling himself that he has admitted to and how he tries to insert himself into the story. Fewer people know of Private Manning who is responsible for putting him on the map than people who know of him. Fewer people know of the journalists who worked to curate and publish the stories that made him famous. His self-agranddizement has driven his initial wikileak partners away (all my claims are well documented, you can search for and find many sources for each) and his actions are all about bringing attention to himself.

He happened to be the recipient of a major leak and developed a cult of personality around the attention it gave. I prefer the work of more humble journalists who let the stories speak and are not trying to practice gonzo journalism and cultivating silly intrigue (recent e.g. is the tweet about a "state actor" shutting off his internet, leaving that to mysterious speculation when it was just his hosts after yet another example of him wearing out his welcome, something he is famous for as a rude, obnoxious guest).
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2016 05:50 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Yes, I have read some of the history of wikileaks, and the internal problems are noted. My initial "take" on that, was the distinct possibility that personality clashes were being ballooned by the media to make out Julian to be the bad guy.

The personality assassination and misinformation spreading is rather classic of a government attempting to undermine source credibility.

As for "Chelsea" Manning, what's your take on his incarceration including a free sex change operation?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Nov, 2016 07:52 pm
@dlowan,
This was also an instructive piece. I was put off by the title, which seemed to indicate that it'd be a cheap hit piece, but read it anyway, and was glad to in the end. Written by a former Wikileaks collaborator. (Not the first former Wikileaks guy to have looked back with sharp criticism - there was Daniel Domscheit-Berg too.)

Inside The Strange, Paranoid World Of Julian Assange
0 Replies
 
 

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