Saturday, 27 August 2016

Time to bring Wikileaks to account

Graphic of hourglass, coloured in blue and gray; a circular map of the eastern hemisphere of the world drips from the top to bottom chamber of the hourglass.

The organisation Wikileaks was founded to "open governments" and "expose their secrets". However their group has run into a lot of trouble, firstly by their leader, one Julian Assange fleeing to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid alleged charges of rape in Sweden and secondly their idiotic release of not government information, but material that relates to private individuals.

Pink News reports

Whistleblowing group WikiLeaks is under fire for publishing Saudi government data that outs gay men, leaving them at risk of attack.

Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most repressive countries when it comes to LGBT rights, and gay people can face punishments ranging from a fine or flogging up to to the death penalty....

One of the cables includes private details of a Saudi man detained for ‘sexual deviation’ – the charge for homosexuality – raising fears of reprisals or ‘vigilante’ attacks.

It doesn't stop there. The London Times reports:

They also included at least 124 medical files, identifying HIV patients, people with mental health issues, sick children and refugees according to analysis fro Associated Press.

A bewildered consultant in Amman, Jordan, confirmed to the Times that details of his cancer patients were amongst those listed. "It is completely illegal . Medical files are confidential documents between patients and physician. Revealing such private information puts people in serious danger." Dr Nayef al-Fayez said.

Quite. Exactly why did Wikileaks think putting this information in the public domain was acceptable? They claimed they "didn't have the time" to sift through this material with "one person" to do their "work".


It is totally irresponsible to put information in the public domain without checking whats in it. Government files or not, people lives have been put at risk, others exposed to danger and ridicule. If there are any consequences for these private individuals those responsible for these leaks need to be brought to account. 

There are some, if not plenty of things that are not appropriate for the public domain. Wikileaks should be ashamed of itself.

But with their leader in hiding the likelihood of this organisation of internet vigilantes ever taking responsibility for their actions is remote.

Time for Wikileaks to shut up shop and leave politics to the adults.

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