Monday, 30 April 2007

Wikileaks - a natural progression?

Wikileaks is a new wiki which calls itself 'an uncensorable version of Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis', claiming to combine 'the protection and anonymity of cutting-edge cryptographic technologies with the transparency and simplicity of a wiki interface'. It allows people to put documents into the public domain, whether the authors want them to or not.

Creators are pushing for activists and campaigners to publish whatever information they can to stop authoritarian governments and corrupt corporation to continue with any undemocratic actions. However, the site is not yet live and while it claims to be 'impervious to political and legal attacks', there is no evidence that secuirty and anonymity is certain.

Additionally, supporters have begun to get suspicious. John Young, a highly-respected campaigner for freedom of speech, who runs a public disclosure site, had initially agreed to be involved but pulled out after failing to get reassurance from creators about their motives and capabilities. Recent shifts in the architecture of the Internet have leant towards the increasing retention of long-term storage and user information. Current opinion is centred around the fact that asking people to contribute to the site will risk their freedom, even their lives, if security cannot be guaranteed.

It is also necessary to take account of the fact that, just as with all wikis, not all users are genuine and it is important to consider that some users may have their own agenda about what they are doing and it will be difficult to verify any claims made.

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