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WikiLeaks - a force to undermine democracy? Watch

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    Some people seem to encourage the justice in exposing the secrets and challenging the authority of our establishment - but isn't this a threat to democracy?

    The people that do encourage this must believe that a utopia could exist where governments tell the people everything that goes on and the concept of behind the scenes negotiations and deals is eradicated. I don't think this is actually possible, and that secrecy is a charachteristic of any kind of state - democracy or disctatorship.

    There is a risk that such exposes will undermine public confidence and lead to something like anarchy or at least a state where the authority of government officials is very low and their ability to carry out efficient operations would be severley damaged. The stuff about the Saudis encouraging the USA to bomb Iran behind closed doors just plays into Ahmadinejad's hands and his wish to make Iran go nuclear. Also, what implications will this have on the Saudi government's ability to run their country effectivley?

    On the stuff about foul play in Iraq/Afganistan some months back - mistakes happen and prejudists exist among soldiers (no offense to the brilliance of the majority of soldiers, but some of them are from the lower ranks of society). Perhaps this has exposed the Coalition's peoples to the realities of war and will make them less supportive of their governments' future plans to continue or initiate/intervene in another conflict one day (who knows it might be one that is a matter of immediate national security).

    What makes matters worse is that the technology exists to make this possible without anonymity, so the supply of this is likely to increase and or remain healthy whatever happens to Assange and WikiLeaks.

    I think this is just an example of how the media in general has got too big for its boots. It already has, I think, sufficient if not excessive power to influence government but its ability to infiltrae the most private and confidential matters of government responsibility is a bit too far.

    Probably nothing we can do about it though, what do you guys think?

    Edit: An article for those interested, "Missing the point of WikiLeaks" from the Economist - http://www.economist.com/blogs/democ.../after_secrets
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    (Original post by TheRevolution)
    Some people seem to encourage the justice in exposing the secrets and challenging the authority of our establishment - but isn't this a threat to democracy?
    It's not really a democracy though it is, not when it seems people who have the most money get into power.


    There is a risk that such exposes will undermine public confidence and lead to something like anarchy or at least a state where the authority of government officials is very low and their ability to carry out efficient operations would be severley damaged. The stuff about the Saudis encouraging the USA to bomb Iran behind closed doors just plays into Ahmadinejad's hands and his wish to make Iran go nuclear. Also, what implications will this have on the Saudi government's ability to run their country effectivley?
    The Saudi government didn't say this. The Saudi royalty said this...it most likely won't have any implications on their government.

    What makes matters worse is that the technology exists to make this possible without anonymity, so the supply of this is likely to increase and or remain healthy whatever happens to Assange and WikiLeaks.
    How is it worse? I'm in favour of it...

    I think this is just an example of how the media in general has got too big for its boots. It already has, I think, sufficient if not excessive power to influence government but its ability to infiltrae the most private and confidential matters of government responsibility is a bit too far.
    So let's clamp down on the press? Governments are for the people and they should answer to the people as well...free press keeps governments in check or it's supposed to.
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    Wikileaks supports democracy by exposing secrets. Maybe it's not good for a few governments in the short-term, but it's good for the world.
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    It's a force to undermine corrupt governments, which have nothing to do with democracy.
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    I think the backlash Wikileaks received especially from the media really puts into question the "free" part of their title and whether they really do have an agenda.

    It's strange that in essence media outlets are meant to be investigative in their nature, keeping governments in check and exposing anything that could be of interest to the public, but that's right, investigating FIFA and losing the World Cup for a generation is far more important.
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    We want the truth! Not lies!
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    (Original post by bigmo7)
    It's not really a democracy though it is, not when it seems people who have the most money get into power.

    I think you know this point is a tad irrelevent and untrue to say the least. WikiLeaks is nothing to do with combating social inequality and even if this were true it would still be democracy.


    The Saudi government didn't say this. The Saudi royalty said this...it most likely won't have any implications on their government.

    Ok, I was misinformed then. However the way it plays into Iran's hands is still valid. Also, doesn't the Saudi Royalty possess some sovreighnty?


    How is it worse? I'm in favour of it...

    Well it makes the problem of undermining our democracy worse but i know you don't accept that (on invalid grounds, though). It is certainly dangerous that it is too easy to access classified info. Would it be clever to inform the public that soemone who has a hostage is going to be shot by the police? If this happened then the operation would fail but by your logic it is an infringement on freedom of info/press.

    So let's clamp down on the press? Governments are for the people and they should answer to the people as well...free press keeps governments in check or it's supposed to.
    I never said clamp down on the press itself, but rather to keep the checks on its access safeguarded. The press checks the gov't yes but the press also needs some checks to its access to prevent it getting too dangerous and forcing a collapse of gov't efficiency.
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    Haters gonna hate.
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    (Original post by Hylean)
    It's a force to undermine corrupt governments, which have nothing to do with democracy.
    What you call "corruption" is what I call the healthy level of privacy that exists in any stable democracy.

    Where exactly would you draw the line between what the press can and can't know?
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    There was an article in the Telegraph, where an MP wrote about the "hypothetical threat" of the Wikileaks, and came up with some HYPOTHETICAL examples. What many seem to have forgotten, is the fact that trully dangerous information hasn't been released (yet).

    All that has been opened to the public eye so far has been information which highlighted the corruption of governments, or simply the poor characters of the world leaders. All wikileaks have done so far, is embarrass (rightfully so) those individuals. Not cause global conflicts.

    Wikileaks, based on information released so far, should be protected (freedom of speech anyone?), under the argument of citizen participation in a democracy. People have the right to know that the US army shot two journalists from a helicopter and then tried to cover this up.

    We need to trust the government(s), but how can we, when they have undermined that trust?
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    We have just witnessed one of the greatest triumphs of human enlightenment in recent history.

    Julian Assange is a hero of our time.
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    Problem with Wikileaks is that they have gone from a force against all governments and corporations to focusing purely on the US, no other country.
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    (Original post by TheRevolution)
    I never said clamp down on the press itself, but rather to keep the checks on its access safeguarded. The press checks the gov't yes but the press also needs some checks to its access to prevent it getting too dangerous and forcing a collapse of gov't efficiency.
    Since when has a government been efficient?

    I think you know this point is a tad irrelevent and untrue to say the least. WikiLeaks is nothing to do with combating social inequality and even if this were true it would still be democracy.
    How is it untrue? And if it was true which imo it is then it's not a democracy...

    Ok, I was misinformed then. However the way it plays into Iran's hands is still valid. Also, doesn't the Saudi Royalty possess some sovreighnty?
    No it doesn't, if anything it plays into the hands of the Israeli's...

    Well it makes the problem of undermining our democracy worse but i know you don't accept that (on invalid grounds, though). It is certainly dangerous that it is too easy to access classified info. Would it be clever to inform the public that soemone who has a hostage is going to be shot by the police? If this happened then the operation would fail but by your logic it is an infringement on freedom of info/press.
    Something like 2 million people had access to this data, if you want someone to blame then blame the American government for allowing this to happen. The point you made doesn't make sense. Rephrase it....if the hostage taker is shot then what's the problem?
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    (Original post by bigmo7)
    Something like 2 million people had access to this data, if you want someone to blame then blame the American government for allowing this to happen. The point you made doesn't make sense. Rephrase it....if the hostage taker is shot then what's the problem?
    Situation: there is a hostage situation and the police plan to snipe the hostage frrom a nearby building.

    Would you say that the public have a right to know about this before the op happens? if so do u realise that it is likley to result in the hostages death?

    If you say this is irrelevent I correct you. Imagine if the US new NK were planning to send nukes to NYork the following day. Obama decides to invade secretly w/out a public announcement and he manages to relieve the NKs of control of the weapons. He is clearly putting American lives at risk and the invasion of a country w/ out consulting the ppl might sound unacceptable to you. If WikiLeaks had access to Obama's discussions before the invasion and released it America wold have been nuked. Obviously there are things the media has no business in being able to access otherwise they are interfering with the gov'ts job.
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    (Original post by TheRevolution)
    What you call "corruption" is what I call the healthy level of privacy that exists in any stable democracy.

    Where exactly would you draw the line between what the press can and can't know?
    Who ever said I was referring to them keeping things quiet as "corruption"? People don't need to know everything, but in a true democracy, they have the right to, if they want. I don't need to read The Bible, but it shouldn't be kept from me either.

    Wikileaks gives governments the transparency we as voters want. It allows us to see what they really think, what they're really doing, etc. If used properly, it means the governments will have no secrets, yes, but they shouldn't need secrets either. If they've got nothing to hide, they've nothing to fear. Thus, Wikileaks will help keep corruption and double dealing down.

    Governments shouldn't have secrets. The politicians are allowed secrets, but not the Governments.
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    (Original post by jumpingjesusholycow)
    We have just witnessed one of the greatest triumphs of human enlightenment in recent history.

    Julian Assange is a hero of our time.
    I suppose.

    But what better age will this lead to? I can only envisage ineffective government leading to anarchy.
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    (Original post by TheRevolution)
    Situation: there is a hostage situation and the police plan to snipe the hostage frrom a nearby building.

    Would you say that the public have a right to know about this before the op happens? if so do u realise that it is likley to result in the hostages death?

    If you say this is irrelevent I correct you. Imagine if the US new NK were planning to send nukes to NYork the following day. Obama decides to invade secretly w/out a public announcement and he manages to relieve the NKs of control of the weapons. He is clearly putting American lives at risk and the invasion of a country w/ out consulting the ppl might sound unacceptable to you. If WikiLeaks had access to Obama's discussions before the invasion and released it America wold have been nuked. Obviously there are things the media has no business in being able to access otherwise they are interfering with the gov'ts job.
    It's a hypothetical situation with so many variables...too many what ifs so it's kinda pointless to even talk about it let alone using it to justify your point. I'm sure the US has a plan to react to such an event, be it the missile shield or bombing NK.
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    (Original post by Hylean)
    Who ever said I was referring to them keeping things quiet as "corruption"? People don't need to know everything, but in a true democracy, they have the right to, if they want. I don't need to read The Bible, but it shouldn't be kept from me either.

    Wikileaks gives governments the transparency we as voters want. It allows us to see what they really think, what they're really doing, etc. If used properly, it means the governments will have no secrets, yes, but they shouldn't need secrets either. If they've got nothing to hide, they've nothing to fear. Thus, Wikileaks will help keep corruption and double dealing down.

    Governments shouldn't have secrets. The politicians are allowed secrets, but not the Governments.
    I disagree.

    If WikiLeaks is used properly there will still be some secrets; perhaps ones that will be released when it is safe to do so (not politically but in terms of national security). WikiLeaks should have access but as long as it doesn't get to a level that is extremly dangerous. Assange himself said he's balancing the leaks with the effects it will have on soldiers lives in Afganistan. I'm not sure whether i feel that he has no right playing God and balancing the lives of soldiers as he has no authority to do that or whether the ends justify the means.

    Double dealing is somethimes necessary to national security as are Government's having secrets. look at my example in my previous post.
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    (Original post by TheRevolution)
    I suppose.

    But what better age will this lead to? I can only envisage ineffective government leading to anarchy.
    Why would it lead to ineffective government?

    As far as I'm concerned, a more enlightened electorate makes for a more democratic decision.
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    Don't touch Wikileaks, bro.
 
 
 
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