Fascinating expose about the rise and influence of Wikileaks. I find it interesting that companies are spending so much money to prevent the already preventable:
It’s a well-worn carpet. Since late 2007 every major security software vendor, from McAfee to Symantec to Trend Micro, has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire companies in the so-called Data-Leak Prevention (DLP) industry—software designed to locate and tag sensitive information, and then guard against its escape at the edges of a firm’s network.
The problem: DLP doesn’t work. Data is simply created too quickly, and moved around too often, for a mere filter to catch it, says Richard Stiennon, an analyst for security consultancy IT-Harvest, in Birmingham, Mich. “For DLP to function, all the stars have to align,” he says. “This is a huge problem that can’t be stopped with a single layer of infrastructure.”
Dead horse, meet sledgehammer:
WikiLeaks’ founder, in fact, seems to have trouble accepting that Mudge is working for the other side. “He’s a clever guy, and he’s also highly ethical,” says Assange. “I suspect he would have concerns about creating a system to conceal genuine abuses.” He dismisses Cinder as just another system of digital censorship. And those systems, he says, will always fail, just as China’s Great Firewall can’t stop well-informed and determined dissident Internet users. “Censorship might work for the average person but not for highly motivated people,” Assange says. “And our people are highly motivated.”
Very similar to issue of file sharing and DRM in the movie, music, even the publishing industries: hackers, geeks and now even disgruntled employees will always be one transnational step ahead. Who would have thought that forcing companies to be honest could be such a grassroots movement, albeit a highly dangerous and potentially lethal one.
But where it’s called transparency in the corporate world, it’s called open source for libraries, as they actually try to promote the sharing of information, whether it through the Web itself or their own repositories. Specifically with the rise of Wikileaks, where is the library’s place in advocating information dissemination? Are we to promote access to leaked troop positions or emails detailing corrupt politicians and their corporate enablers that may potentially endanger the lives of these or peripherally connected people?
After hard thought it seems that Wikileaks is really no different than Wikipedia in principle: users, whatever their intentions, can post factual, sensitive and/or erroneous information at will. And not that either is an inherently bad/evil idea or virtual creation; it’s just that no one thought that either would be so significant in generating user interest and participation. I suppose a coming challenge for libraries and librarians is to start incorporating informational ethics into their instructional literacy sessions. Just think…we’d make a killing with the corruptible market out there…charging by the hour plus adding a fee for virtual downloads, etc. We could create our own unaccountable banking system.