Wednesday, October 26, 2011
The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, says the website may have to close because it is starved for cash. Assange sees the financial blockade of the site as an assault on democracy and no doubt, free speech. I cannot think of a communicator who would agree with him. What WikiLeaks proved is that there is and needs to be protected speech. Transparency only goes so far. While we in PR call for openness, none of us would hold that proprietary secrets be blabbed to the world. But, that is what WikiLeaks was doing. Assange believes that one pushes all information into the public domain and then let events take their course. It is a romantic notion and out of touch with the reality of business and governmental dealings. For those who paid little attention to WikiLeaks, it was only a matter of time before the site spilled industry secrets, and it had already taken records from banking. As a communicator, I defend the First Amendment, but I won't be sad if WikiLeaks disappears.