On February 15, 2011 Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, delivered his second speech on Internet Freedom or “Internet Rights & Wrongs: Choices and Challenges in a Networked World“. This the first part of a personal analysis of her speech. One, how to fit Wikileaks into a briefcase.
Fundamentally, the WikiLeaks incident began with an act of theft. Government documents were stolen, just the same as if they had been smuggled out in a briefcase.”
Well, no. It is not the same. The obvious: you don’t need a briefcase to smuggle digital information, that’s the beauty of it. Yes, this sounds so bloody stupid/obvious/clear, but it actually points to an important truth (remember: truth always hides behind obviousness and paradox): information is not “briefcasable” anymore, that is, it flows, it cannot be kept in a drawer or in anything physically encaged. It can be copied and recopied with no cost. The support where information is recorded has changed, the cost of distributing information has changed with it, basically it has dropped to nearly nothing. Therefore, in terms of physical and cognitive effort, disclosing the diplomatic cables is something that anybody could have done, you just need a slight motivational push to do it. This brings the action of doing it to a different level: it’s freaking easy.