Posts Tagged ‘megaleak’

Next target for Wikileaks will be a megadump of banking information

November 30, 2010

The information paradigm is changing, whether in the political or industrial or commercial or academic world. We are now in the age of megadumps of information and megaleaks from Wikileaks and its inevitable successors.

While the world’s governments threaten legal action against Wikileaks, and bemoan the damage to diplomacy, Australia is considering whether to revoke Julian Assange’s passport. Media which were not in the group of 5 who received the documents in advance are writing heavyweight editorials about the dangers to society of publishing “confidential” information. Some politicians want Wikileaks to be declared a terrorist organisation and many are warning of the “number of lives that will be put at risk”. Professors are weighing in with the dangers to history ! They are all attacking the messenger but “methinks they do protest too much”.

The risk, if any, emanates ultimately from the information or action that is the subject of the document released, not from the release in itself. Diplomats – or others – who are involved in “speaking with a forked tongue” must accept that their duplicity may be revealed. When governments – in the name of the society they represent – take upon themselves the right to tap telephones, intercept documents divert emails, search or arrest members of that society to collect “confidential” information then they will just have to live with the fact that members of that society may feel – technology permitting – the necessity to access and disseminate “confidential” government information. The information world has changed irreversibly and megadumps of information is a reality. It is not a genie which can be stuffed back into the bottle — though some politicians will try.

Attacking the messenger is essentially counter-productive.

I am sure that the self-righteous (and self-serving) indignation currently being exhibited by many politicians and diplomats as their dirty laundry becomes visible will not be present with the next megadumpaccording to Forbes – of Wikileaks revelations – concerning the banking sector. I find that this information may be of greater public interest than some of the secrets of governments – but that is because I have such low expectations of politicians and diplomats. I have the belief that being in government is inherently corrosive (the corruption of power) and all who attain “positions of power” will always engage in hypocrisy and double-talk. Forbes writes:

Early next year, Julian Assange says, a major American bank will suddenly find itself turned inside out. Tens of thousands of its internal documents will be exposed on with no polite requests for executives’ response or other forewarnings. The data dump will lay bare the finance firm’s secrets on the Web for every customer, every competitor, every regulator to examine and pass judgment on.

Sitting for a rare interview in a London garden flat on a rainy November day, he compares what he is ready to unleash to the damning e-mails that poured out of the Enron trial: a comprehensive vivisection of corporate bad behavior. “You could call it the ecosystem of corruption,” he says, refusing to characterize the coming release in more detail. “But it’s also all the regular decision making that turns a blind eye to and supports unethical practices: the oversight that’s not done, the priorities of executives, how they think they’re fulfilling their own self-interest.”

The diplomatic cable megadump is already a reality. The banking megadump will follow. And after banking it may be Energy.

The full transcript of Assange’s interview with Andy Greenberg is here.

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