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Author Topic: Wikileaks... making the U.S. look good?  (Read 3519 times)
jgarzik
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December 06, 2010, 05:45:21 PM
 #21

Transparency in general is good, but the complete inability to have a private conversation with another world government is bad.

You're assuming that government leaders behave better in secret than they do in public. I don't think there's much evidence for that.

Fallacious logic.  I make no such assumption.

The world is not black and white, and several in this thread seem to be making the mistaken assumption that "100% transparency is bad" implies "secrecy is always good."

Reality is far more nuanced.

Transparency and openness should be the default position, not an absolute and unbendable rule.

Jeff Garzik, bitcoin core dev team and BitPay engineer; opinions are my own, not my employer.
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ribuck
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December 06, 2010, 06:49:16 PM
 #22

Transparency and openness should be the default position, not an absolute and unbendable rule.

If you allow the rule to be bent, it's not possible for the government to tell you why it's bending the rule (because that would defeat the purpose of bending the rule). Therefore we would have no way to know whether the rule is being bent for good reasons. And history tells us that backroom deals are usually bad for us.

In the UK, there were a few cases where banks received secret bailouts while the politicians were telling us that everything was perfectly OK. Obviously the politicians were gambling that they would "get away with it" and nobody would ever know, but things turned out to be worse than they were admitting. More transparency early on would have helped people and businesses to adapt better, by realizing what was going wrong before so much damage had been done.
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December 06, 2010, 06:55:28 PM
 #23


They don't like the idea of free radical hackers undermining those in power.

I don't like the idea of uninformed, naive hackers undermining the good that diplomats around the world are doing.

Simple example:  informed people think Wikileaks made reunification of North and South Korea more difficult, in the event of a North Korean collapse (predicted in 2-3 years after Mr. Kim's death).

The Chinese have been quietly negotiating with the Koreans, Americans and Japanese on this issue.  Now that a Chinese minister is shown publicly to support reunification (and thus a democratic, unified Korea), a pro-US position, he has been embarrassed, losing face before his peers.

This strengthens the nationalistic, hardline communists opposing reunification, who want to keep a Chinese-friendly, autocratic buffer state between China and democratic South Korea -- thus leading to the continued enslavement of the North Koreans.

"transparency is always good" is incredibly naive.  The real world is not that simple, and peoples' lives really are at stake.

So you would prefer that voters elect their governments based on what the voters think the governments are doing, rather than based on what the governments are actually doing?

This illustrates one of the fatal flaws with Democracy.  There is no way for me, as a voter, to make competent decisions without having access to the real information that the government keeps secret.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

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December 07, 2010, 03:35:10 AM
 #24

 If you tell on the mafia they will hunt you down and kill you ,so does the government. There really is no difference except one has a veil of legitimacy and can kill you without consequences.

Its the lack of consequences that is the problem.




Timo Y
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December 09, 2010, 11:56:19 AM
 #25

The first and foremost casualty of complete, unconditional, immediate transparency would be the truth.  Think about it.

Wikileaks is not about complete, unconditional, immidiate transparency. Wikileaks does not actively spy on people or force anyone to be transparent. Wikileaks simply relays information that has been voluntarily divulged by someone who had access to that information.

If you "own" information that you think is highly sensitive then it's your own responsibility to secure that information.  If you didn't take enough precautions, and the information leaks, you don't have the right to raise hell and supress its dissemination by violent means.

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sarah331
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December 17, 2010, 08:46:30 PM
 #26

Everyone's right!  Nothing seems to be earth-shattering.  I, for one, have not been knocked off my seat by what has been "wikileaked".  It's funny to me as well that they have taken a really bad wrap for what has been said.  They are just relaying information like any other newspaper, magazine, online journal or anything else.  I think it has been blown out of proportion.   

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December 17, 2010, 11:16:11 PM
 #27

They're not being hassled because of what they have already leaked, they're being hassled because people think they're going to dish the dirt about the operation of a major bank.
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