Biggest Government Leak in History Attributed to the Internet, WikiLeaks

Categories: Silicon Beach
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If you're a fan of getting your conspiracy theories and government leaks first, you've probably heard of WikiLeaks. The international organization publishes anonymous submissions and leaks of sensitive documents while keeping their sources' anonymity.

They've been around for a while already, but the website has now possibly made history, publishing what some are calling a modern day Pentagon Papers via the internet.

WikiLeaks just published secret documents related to the war in Afghanistan. It includes detail deals, armed conflicts, strategies, policies, intelligence operations and much more, possibly making it the most complete documentation of the war available to the public so far.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assage told The Guardian:
"This situation is different in that it's not just more material and being pushed to a bigger audience and much sooner... but rather that people can give back. So people around the world who are reading this are able to comment on it and put it in context and understand the full situation. That is not something that has previously occurred. And that is something that can only be brought about as a result of the Internet."
The power of the internet is made really apparent in this case, as the war diary was simultaneously given to reporters from The New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel weeks in advance to properly study them and provide context. Those publications were chosen so that no one national government could censor it, but the U.S. military has an alleged source who potentially leaked the information -- 22-year-old intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, suspected as the source of the video that depicted U.S. soldiers killing civilians.

But before you go off thinking this is a terrible use of the internet, Assage was quick to say that the war diary is filled with old reports, not anything planned for the future, so it won't be very useful to NATO enemies.

The White House has released a critical statement in response to the leak, stating that they "strongly condemn" the disclosure. They criticize WikiLeaks for not approaching them for comment.

The Atlantic adds that "the publication of these documents will be seen as a milestone in the new news ecosystem." Do you agree? The WikiLeaks leak here has brought the main site down due to too many views, but you can check out their mirror site here, or see The Guardian's interactive map, highlighting 300 critical reports found in the leak, and tell us: Do you think technology should be to blame for this? Should anonymous sources be jailed because of an internet leak?
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