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Why Wikileaks will be the death of big business and big government

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DearAbby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 02:14 AM
Original message
Why Wikileaks will be the death of big business and big government
I confess that Im torn. I had the same cranky reaction to Times Person of the Year choice as pretty much the entire Internet: Its hard to see the calculation that makes Mark Zuckerberg more influential than Julian Assange in 2010. Still, theres something about this conventional wisdom thats annoying in its own right.

When people riff about the impact of Wikileaks, you typically hear how its forever changed diplomacy or intelligence-gathering. The more ambitious accounts will mention the implications for journalism, too. All of thats true and vaguely relevant. But it also misses the deeper point. The Wikileaks revolution isnt only about airing secrets and transacting information. Its about dismantling large organizationsfrom corporations to government bureaucracies. It may well lead to their extinction.

<snip>

A government agency faces a roughly analogous choice. The State Department, say, can focus entirely on managing relationships with foreign governments. Or it can perform other tasks on top of that, like providing development aid. Because its generally easier to work with people who operate from similar assumptions, rely on the same data, and share a common set of goals and valueswhich is to say, its easier to coordinate with co-workers than with outsidersorganizations often perform these functions in-house. Indeed, thats one reason theyve historically grown so large. This has even been true over the last generation, when many business gurus predicted that information technology would make outsourcing nearly frictionless.

Now consider what happens when you plug Wikileaks into this equation. All of a sudden, the very same things that made it more efficient to work with your colleaguesthe fact that everyone had a detailed understanding of the mission and methodologybecome enormous liabilities. In a Wikileaks world, the greater the number of people who intimately understand your organization,* the more candidates there are for revealing that information to millions of voyeurs.

More @: http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/80481/game-changer
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 02:24 AM
Response to Original message
1. You are forgetting that people have to be very selective about their information uptake
There's just too damned much of it.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. And That's The Danger...
While Wikileaks has provided some fascinating insights into the dark corners of the power elite, it's had little real effect other than mulch for the chattering classes. Maybe something revelead will lead to some kind of serious prosecution or investigation but to date most of what's been released will have more merit for historians in putting these corrupt times in greater perspective.

The real peril is those who will believe anything that comes out of Wikileaks without question and how that could be fertile ground for some black-ops scheme knowing that the blind faith of many will allow them to spread disinformation that could hurt causes rather than expose true coruption. One must be selective and question all sources of information...
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cutlassmama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 06:47 AM
Response to Original message
2. One can only hope
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robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 07:55 AM
Response to Original message
3. Nonsense. It just means more security for communications.
The OP is utter crap, IMO.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 07:59 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. The communications WERE secured.
Obviously when one of the parties breaches that security it makes the security moot.

Encryption helps to prevent an eavesdropper from accessing the information. It doesn't help it when one party is complicit in the release.

There is no such thing as "the government" or "the military" both are made up of people. People who can (and some will) violate the trust they were given.
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social_critic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 08:29 AM
Response to Original message
5. Silly
Wikileaks means the end of communism and the autocratic state.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
6. More Americans know of Facebook than of WikiLeaks. At least, the young demographic TIME craves.
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cbdo2007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
8. If Wikileaks posed any serious threat to ANYONE - Julian Assange would already be dead.
None of the stuff he's releasing have been that big of a deal. Much of it is stuff that is already public anyway and there has been practically no fallout from his "leaks".

Trust me, if the Govt. or "big business" were truly scared of Wikileaks they would just take him out. They've taken out smaller people for a lot less, so why not? It doesn't make sense for them to let him live if he truly is as damaging as many here at DU wish he was.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
9. Not bad.
Edited on Tue Dec-28-10 10:48 AM by bemildred
He sees the core issue, that secrecy reduces the "efficiency" of an organization, and that ready availability of anonymous leaks increases the already extant "friction" of operation in large organizations, a large abused underclass that is in on the "secrets" becomes more risky as it gets larger. Sooner or later the arrangement breaks down, and "leakage" starts to occur, and then you can no longer rely on the secrecy of your secrets. When the added power that derives from being large is offset by the added friction, being large no longers pays.

The twentieth century was not kind to empires, the 21st century will be much worse.

There is a book called "Human Scale" written by a guy named Kirkpatrick Sale, back in the '60s or '70s I think it was, that discusses these issues in a very prescient way.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-28-10 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
10. "millions of voyeurs."
watching the Billions of us getting fucked.
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