Interesting piece in NYT blog “The Lede” about online activists’ response to credit card companies and PayPal “blacklisting” Wikileaks.
The entry includes the YouTube “manifesto” of the group (or, rather, decentralized network) “Anonymous” that claims to be at the center of this backlash.
The Times Blog gives a list of related posts:
In the NYT, Alan Cowell wrote today about reactions among diplomats to the WikiLeaks leaks. In the middle of the story we read:
A Chinese intellectual, who spoke in return for customary anonymity, said the disclosures had left those like him who had contact with United States diplomats “nervous” about the possibility of exposure and persecution by authorities who have already blocked access in China to the WikiLeaks Web site.
I don’t want to equate journalistic secrecy with government secrecy, but I’m surprised, as I suggested in a previous post, that there’s been no commentary (or at least none I’ve seen — anyone have a reference?) on the irony of the secrecy and confidentiality given sources (as above) by the media vs. the ones revealed in the leaks.
NOTE: it appears that in a lot of the material that’s been put online by media organizations some redaction of source information has been carried out.
While I work on more extended analysis of the WikiLeaks situation (among other things the obvious connection to my work on how geometries of information sharing are co-constitutive of social relationships and statuses), a small irony must be noted.
Apparently, several news organizations have had the material recently made public since August. Editors and reporters have been meeting in secret to develop protocols about what would be reported, when, and how. Fortunately for their work, it appears that these journalists managed to do all of this while maintaining the kind of secrecy necessary for them to be able to process the information and to consider its meaning and its implications out of public view. The public, media, and official reaction of the last few days make clear why this secrecy was necessary.
One thing that would be interesting to hear a story on would be what measures were taken to ensure the security of the process. What sorts of technological tools were employed? What sorts of social tools? Did participants have to sign confidentiality agreements? What prevented a rogue reporter from reporting on the reporters reporting?