Some time ago when the whole Wikileaks scandal broke, I wrote to the Independent newspaper in the UK and had the letter published (wow, what fame!). Now that Julian Assange, in all his weirdness, is holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, it has all come to the fore again. So I thought I would share with you the letter again:
I’m not really sure it is a good idea for Wikileaks to have done what they did this weekend and to have released a massive amount of top secret stuff. By doing this they are implicitly saying:
There is nothing within the realms of politics and reality that should remain secret. Everything should be available to the public.
This is dangerous thinking. It assumes the public have the knowledge, understanding and sense to treat the leaks appropriately. Moreover, some things in life need to be kept secret, even in government. I see the whole situation as follows:
A country is like the brain of the society that they represent. The communiques that are sent, the emails, electronic and other commuinications that pass within the confines of that government, are equivalent to the neurons firing, to the brain thinking. No one likes people accessing their thoughts. Thoughts are personal. Thoughts are your innermost musings that, unless you want them out in the public domain, should remain secret. If I thought that one of my friend’s had put on weight and her bum really did look big in that, or that the burly bloke at the bar was acting like a prat trying to chat up the barmaid, then these are thoughts that should and do remain private: for my own safety, and for the benefit of those involved.
With Wikileaks, the brains of societies are being exposed, laid bare. This can certainly be beneficial when human rights and suchlike are at stake. However, it does not follow that all leaks are good leaks. I don’t think we do have the right to know everything, or the sense to know what to do with the information.
I must add to this that if Assange did actually have sex with someone whilst they were asleep whom was only a casual sexual partner, and if the other allegations are true, then seems as weird as he looks (and should probably be prosecuted). Then again, no one really knows the context (which is why there are courts to work that stuff out).