TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Does the world need Wikileaks and people like Julian Assange?

Does the world need Wikileaks and people Julian Assange? Or should we continue living in the reality created by media.

0
Share:
progress indicator
  • thumb
    Oct 6 2012: Yes... Julian Assange is at once, a hero to 50% of the American people... and being extradited by the US government... and I think to myself... What a wonderful, world.
  • thumb
    Oct 6 2012: I will approach this topic with this post in a different manner, for a different reason. There seems to be a misconception, usually made by the "general public", that by releasing all information to the public, wars and other "bad things" can be prevented. That simply is not true as long as there are THREE or more "players" playing a "game". Yes, it revolves around Game Theory. But is a fundamental understanding of recognized experts in disciplines like Military Doctrine, Economics (both private, business, and nation-state oriented), and other fields.

    I'll address this concept from the Military Doctrine perspective. In another conversation (topic thread0 taking place here on TED, I referenced this link so people could get a better understanding of why wars occur.

    http://www.stanford.edu/~jacksonm/war-overview.pdf

    Please read paragraph 3.5, "Multilateral Bargaining Failures". Note that on page 20, the following statement is made (and explained):

    "What is clear, however, is that with three or more countries the fact that there is complete information, divisible outcomes, and an enforceable bargaining technology does not preclude war."

    You may need to read the entire link to understand what it means, but here is a short description. When there are 3 or more "players" in a "game" (whether it be people or countries), even having COMPLETE INFORMATION...no secrets between anybody...does NOT guarantee a war will not happen. NO CORRUPTION needs to take place. Having "no secrets" can even INCREASE the probablility of a war starting. This same "truth" can apply to economic systems and numerous other disciplines where Human Nature...people making decisions...are involved.

    Despite Mr. Assange's "good intentions", his philosophy of releasing all information to everybody...especially the type of information he released...can actually INCREASE humanity's problems. I'm sorry, but Mr. Assange is quite mis-guided in his beliefs.

    Respectfully submitted.
  • thumb
    Oct 6 2012: No we do not need any leaks. What we do need is responsible leadership that would discourage any wrong doing from being swept under the rug. Does anyone truely believe that Eric Holder did not know that one of his agencies was spending billions of dollars over the allowed local budget. If he truely did not know then hundreds of people who did know should have been fired. They were not. There are certainly secrets that should be kept as anyone in the military knows. What if every priest told every confession to the public. It is a two way street We should do the right thing .... and a secret should remain a secret. When you get your security clearance you know the punishment for disclosing secrets you have access to. That is espionage. To seek and or disclose that information that you are aware of as being classified is at the least abetting the act of spying/espionage and should require the same punishment. It does not make a difference if you drove the get a way car or robbed the bank you are still a bank robber.

    There is wrong everywhere, the media, lawyers, congress, all administrations, PDs, you name it and something has been published showing a wrong has been done. The old saying is you cannot fight city hall is true because sooner or later you will pay the price. JA kinew what he was doing was wrong and did it anyway. He understands the consequesnce for his actions he just does not want to pay the known price of his actions. He went to war with the big boys and lost. When I went to war there was two endings 1) that I woulod come home in a box and 2) that I would come home to the scorn of the public that spit on me and followed the traitor Jane Fonda.

    So here it is JA you lost ... pay up .... everything else is BS.

    Been there own the T shirt and earned the right to speak about it.

    Bob.
    • thumb
      Oct 8 2012: I would only offer that JA is not a US citizen so can't break US laws unless he is in the US.
      • thumb
        Oct 8 2012: Interesting point. Since Austrailia is a NATO member and he is from that country, if he has broken any laws there? He is still wanted in Sweden, is persona non grata in the United States, and has, as I understand, or is suing the Austrailian PM.
        • thumb
          Oct 8 2012: Actually Australia isn't a NATO country as we don't have a coast on the Atlantic. The defence agreement between Aus and US is a separate thing. JA has threatened to sue the PM as she stated that he had broken the law when infact under Australian law it isn't illegal to publish confidential information it is illegal only if you obtained it illegally. If some one gives it to you its OK
      • thumb
        Oct 8 2012: Again you are correct. JA is suing for defamation The statement in question was made on radio almost two years ago, when Ms Gillard condemned WikiLeaks's publication of classified information as "grossly irresponsible" and "illegal".

        Ecuador is now weighing the extradition to Sweden.

        Love him or hate him .... he is a character.

        Thanks for the reply. Bob.
  • thumb
    Oct 12 2012: we need to expose the government because the government can not be trusted to expose itself
  • Oct 12 2012: Well
    the U.S.government and it's affiliated-gangs, want citizens to spy on each other. Something they already do themselves. They are doing their best impression of enticement-like pedo-procedures to lure younger Americans into spying on their friends and parents and they have been stealing trillions of dollars from the poor-working-poor to fund buying the souls of regular people, because, well, times are economically tough, and when you need a job, and they're offering, people take it.

    So, yes, we need more and more people like Jullian. I fear for his life. Can you even try to imagine what may have occurred if Wikileaks hadn't leaked? If all this stuff goes on and is never known about, talked about, revealed and brought into the open, what then? They have been committing horrible atrocities upon the world (and U.S. citizens), for decades with virtual impunity and immunity, yet people (morons really) want him executed or imprisoned for life????!!!!

    My generations were raised being told we aren't told the truth because it would create fear and chaos but the opposite is true. Another lie they told. It would however, create rage at them because many, like myself prefer, demand and want the truth, and they don't want that because of the things they are doing.

    Remember, you cannot cover up the truth with the truth. It must be covered up with lies and eventually a few truths are inserted and admitted here and there to try and give an overall impression that what is buried is the truth also. But it isn't. If we have been told the truth, then why do we seek the truth? Because we can sense we have been lied to.

    We have to sense it because we are so brainwashed that when we see the truth right before our eyes, we doubt it and demand to be told our dearly-beloved lies that we worship so much.

    Robert Winner said here: " No we do not need any leaks. What we do need is responsible leadership that would discourage......" Get the pic? Still believes the lies LMFAO
  • Oct 10 2012: I don't judge others unless I know all the aspects of the cause but I don't have a judgemental attitude if you do you will never have a true open mind .
  • Oct 6 2012: Mr Assange is just providing a prototype of education. How and what we do with this information is based on a persons prototype of schema. In the short term to not allow a function of democracy produces a marxism ideology. While easier to do, will produce stagnation in awareness. Providing interventions of awareness, behaviour, experiental responses will broaden awareness and provide a true democratic society. Takes longer and requires more energy as there a so many paradigms that people hold onto per tradition but no functional efficacy. We know society has trouble copeing and pointing out the problem provides opportunities for effective action tackling. There is no one best solution similar to just removing the person who points out the problem, but understanding and application of effective interventions will produce a stronger society.
  • thumb
    Oct 6 2012: Maybe not wikileaks but an official, unbiased, global news carrier could be nice.
  • thumb
    Oct 5 2012: No. The way Assange approaches the acquisition of truth is incredibly dangerous to people who are trying to PREVENT the destruction of humanity.

    What the world needs more of is people understanding that not ALL information should be released to EVERYBODY "just because" the information exists.

    If you agree with Assange's tactics, then anything that is "true" should be public knowledge. Please immediately post here the account numbers to all of your OWN banking accounts, ALL of your passwords you use to access them, and ALL personal information of your OWN that anybody else might be able to use to do "bad things" to you. Trust me! NOBODY who has access to reading this forum would EVER think of using it in a derogatory or harmful way against you.

    Just because information exists DOESN'T mean everybody should have access to it. If you have never had a Security Clearance (military, government, etc), there are THREE requirements that you must meet before you can "see" the information:

    1. Proper identification (to prove who you are)

    2. The proper level of clearance (commensurate to the level of information you will "see")

    3. The NEED TO KNOW the information (just because the information exists doesn't mean you NEED to see it)

    I am all for seeking the "truth". But not all "truth" information SHOULD be made available to everybody just because the information exists.

    I'm waiting to see your bank account numbers and passwords lists posted here. Where are they? Maybe I need to contact Assange so he can post them for you?
    • Oct 5 2012: Rick posting my back account numbers on a ted forum is nowhere near analogous to posting information about government corruption. Who decides who needs to know what information? All you need is a minor understanding of history to see how dangerous of a sentiment that is.
    • thumb
      Oct 5 2012: I don't believe Julian Assange has posted anyones credit card numbers, seeing as thats the type of argument you're making (false equivalency).

      Certain pieces of information have come out, not necessarily about specific people, but often examples of how something that consitutes as a crime has been swept under the rug by those involved and would have remained the case had they not been leaked.

      It seems its perfectly fine for illegal wiretapping, viewing peoples emails and passing unconstitutional laws..along as it doesn't apply to the ones passing the laws.
      At present, I have yet to hear a single example of someone being killed, attacked, bombed or arrested because of a wikileaks document being exposed (besides the ones leaking it), but I have seen alot of panic from people who's skeletons are coming out of the closet and would most likely wish to have Julian placed on Death row before we find out more..
      • thumb
        Oct 6 2012: @Brian and Xavier

        Who gets to decide if there was corruption? Assange? You? Me?

        We have a legal system that does that. No citizen is allowed to take the law into their own hands. If you want to "force" your government to make everything public, do it the way you are allowed to do it under the laws that exist for YOU. Start a petition. Get enough of your fellow citizens to sign it so it must be placed on a ballot. Then get enough of your fellow citizens to vote for it.

        Assange broke the law..several of them. He is just as much a criminal as the people you accuse of commiting corruption. He, nor anybody else, should be exempt from laws. If you want to change the legal system, do it LEGALLY. You do not have the right to make up your own "rules" and execute them just because you don't like the current rules.

        And it is totally analogous to compare your bank account numbers to nation-state's "secrets". They are both "private information". So what if Assange isn't the one to post your bank account numbers? What if I did it? Is he still right, but I'm wrong? It is not a decision that should be made based on personal opinions, emotions, or any perceived "level of severity" of the crime. It is a decision based on rationality. If the information is private, and there is a law against publicizing it...especially if the acquisition of the information was conducted in an illegal manner (like hacking into the bank's or government's computers)...the law was broken and the person who did it is a criminal. The level of PUNISHMENT may be different depending on the information released, and I'm OK with that. Our legal system allows for that. But that doesn't mean the criminal is any "less guilty".

        He stole the information...Crime #1. Then he published it in violation of the law...Crime #2. Now he's bragging about it, like he's some sort of "Guardian of the People". Sorry...he's still a criminal.
        • Oct 6 2012: i get where your coming at, however your argument that broke the law is not viable as he didn't actually break ant law, it was even proven the Australian government looked into this and actually said he didn't break any laws
          1. He did not steal the information he was given the information by a military personal who voluntarily gave it to wikileaks and is now in jail
          2. He didn't actually break any laws, the only thing the US has on him is that he had sex with some women who agreed but then said i want you to wear a condom, then the smear campaign started that he was a rapist.

          therefore he is technically not a criminal
        • Oct 6 2012: The people get to decide what corruption is in a functioning democracy, which we obviously do not have. My question is how can you decide if corruption has been committed if it has been swept under the rug by bureaucrats who are accountable to nobody?

          Martin Luther King Jr. broke the law is he just as much a criminal as the purporters of the Jim Crow laws?


          This country has an unbelievably poor record when it comes to lying and manipulating its citizens do I need to list some? Iran Contra, project MKULTRA, COINTELPRO,The Gulf of Tonkin incident, East Timor, need i say more. People like Assange are absolutely essential to an evolving society, the last thing we need is more obedience and mindless submission to the law. Do you really think the United States citizens would have ever seen the tape that Bradley Manning released unless the law was broken?

          Im not sure what your argument is supposed to mean, Assange is still a criminal? So what, thats a term used to describe just about any and all of the individuals involved in the civil rights movement, or basically any movement that challenges the status quo.
      • thumb
        Oct 6 2012: @Brian (your quote): "The people get to decide what corruption is in a functioning democracy..."

        Popular misconception of most of the people. The law determines what corruption is, and when. The people elect Legislatures to make those laws. Once they are made, the LEGAL way to remove those laws is NOt to just disobey them.

        There is no law against a Theist standing on a street corner and passing out literature about their religion. But what if I...one of "the people"...disagree with it and think that person is corrupting Mankind? Can I kill him? Don't think so.

        @ Barry: Doesn't matter who gave Assange the information. Once he was in possesion of it, he had a choice. He KNEW he was in possesion of classified information that wasn't intended for public dissemination. He released it anyhow. He wasn't found guilty because the U.S. didn't have jurisdiction over him. The military member went to jail for breaking the law by releasing the information to Assange. Are you saying the military member was not guilty too?

        What if the military member was the one who posted it all on the Internet?

        Hmmm...seems then all we have to do is let anyone who wants to get any information they want to, then use it any way they want to, but stay outside the jurisdiction of the country's laws that own the information.

        No...wait. That's how Internet Identity Theft occurs today in most cases. Well, I guess there's nothing wrong with that then, too.
        • Oct 6 2012: This is just patronizing Rick, obviously the legislature forms the laws, indirectly the people form them.

          "There is no law against a Theist standing on a street corner and passing out literature about their religion. But what if I...one of "the people"...disagree with it and think that person is corrupting Mankind? Can I kill him? Don't think so."
          Another ridiculous analogy, we are talking about Bradley Manning releasing documents of the savage murder of a family, which is then callously laughed about by our soldiers. If you saw the theist murder someone and you did not break the law to stop this it would be morally reprehensible. Just like it would be morally reprehensible to lie to the citizens of the United States and not highlight this kind of tragedy.
          Again ill ask you Should Martin Luther King Jr. not have broken Jim Crow Laws and protested.. according to your logic he should have tried to pass some new laws. Well I think we both know the powers that be would never allow that to happen. In fact most of the time when change was needed laws absolutely had to be broken. According to your logic then we wouldn't have labor rights, woman wouldn't be allowed to vote, your essentially endorsing pacifism in the face of systematic corruption and discrimination.
  • thumb
    Oct 5 2012: The world needs more Julian Assanges because what he does is extremely important.
    When the government says that it increases the risks by letting the information out, what they actually mean is risk TO THEM, as it shows the war crimes and the people who attempt to cover them up, among a long list of other issues that we almost never hear about.

    All Julian is doing is what the government should have been in the first place; transparent.
  • Oct 5 2012: " Or should we continue living in the reality created by media."

    We do that with or without Wikileaks. Or where did you hear about it from? Means, nobody starts his day with reading Wikileaks, but with the newspaper, newschannel or newswebsite...

    I think it is rather sad that journalists of today are not able to do their jobs anymore, and a third-party website is needed to get a news published.

    "Does the world need Wikileaks and people Julian Assange?"

    No.
  • thumb
    Oct 5 2012: I don't like secrets -- especially those that affect my life. I don't need government keeping secrets from me for my own protection. If we could end the secrets, governments around the world would behave better.
  • Oct 5 2012: Two separate questions.

    Does the world need organizations and people LIKE wikileaks and Assange? Yes. There always need to be people brave enough to let the cat out of the bag. I, personally, do not agree with Assange's actions though, because he released the documents wholesale without any real thought to the people whose lives he endangered. There was ample material he could have released to highlight the issues of concern without further endangering our own soldiers and diplomats.


    It is possible to accomplish what Assange did without doing all that he did.

    Should we live in the reality created by the media? NO. There are two specific things that the US in particular MUST do to regain their credibility both internally and externally. The first is to rediversify the ownership of the media. Once upon a time it was illegal for all of the media to be concentrated in the hands of so few in order to prevent any one interest from capturing the airwaves. But, this has been allowed to happen on a global scale. It is MUCH worse than most people recognize. Second, the US has to restrengthen the FCCs existing rules about "truth" in news. In 2003 the law demanding that programs that were labeled as "News" had to tell the truth was overturned by the florida supreme court. They claimed that to dictate that a news network must tell the truth was to infringe on their corporate freedom of speech. The result has been devastating to our democratic function.

    Until they can do that people like Assange are necessary even when they make bad decisions.
    • Oct 5 2012: I agree your answer, the world definently needs people and organization like Julian Assange and Wikileaks. However I personally reckon his actions to release all the documents without "censorship" was necessary in this senario as if he did censor the names of the people, wouldn't he be the same as the US as he did not publish all the infomation. Wouldn't he have been a hypocrite? . Furthermore there is no actual proof that any harm was done to the people named in the information that he leaked

      You raise a really good point about media :) media now-a-days creates a "truth or reality" that overrides what is actually happening to the extent that the truth or what is real doesnt matter anymore.