Whistle-blowing, in my opinion, is essential, especially when it comes to large, immovable, monolithic bureaucracies.
With regards to WikiLeaks as of now, I think the benefits of these current leaks are questionable. I do not deny the benefits of an avenue online for whistle-blowing that can withstand the repeated assaults of large bureaucratic entities from governments to corporations.
What was leaked?
- Some low level diplomatic cables.
- Some informal diplomatic chatter (from the cables), some of which were impolite if uttered in public.
- Some information of various types on the war in Afghanistan and Iraq including video.
The significance of the information
- The information leaked was mostly nothing that was not already known.
- Some Impolite chatter were mildly embarrassing for the parties involved.
- The military information was not unknown, it only provided details.
- The subsequent media storm served to sell newspapers, boosted ratings for TV stations, increased traffic for websites..
- It probably shocked some uninformed members of the public.
- It provided scapegoats in the form of a lightning rod for hackers of various stripes to focus their energies on attacking Amazon, Mastercard, Visa and a few other corporations.
- The involved governments issued the usual statements in corporatespeak (in which nothing was really said) for 'damage limitation' which really weren't much. They were not interesting either.
- The leaks might harm diplomacy when private chatter are made public.
- There might be increased security in large organisations now.
In conclusion, it had been a massive yawn throughout.