Somebody would have eventually come up with that idea. Julian Assange beat us all to it.
WikiLeaks has been online since 2007, providing anyone in possession of classified information with a website in which to spill the beans. Anonymously.
Its latest claim to fame: that controversial video showing an attack by a US helicopter in Iraq against several persons resulting in the death of more than a dozen—including two journalists. This footage, an excerpt of which can be found online on CNN, is just one of the many files available on the website, which claims to have a filtering mechanism in place to ensure that only quality classified materials find the light of day.
Undoubtedly, WikiLeaks has the capacity to enhance access to information otherwise kept from the public eye, and fosters healthy albeit contentious discussion, debate, and discourse. Undoubtedly too, it’s a double-edged sword; it can (prematurely) cough up information with adverse effects.
The irony here is that while the WikiLeaks’ people push for transparency and access to information, they have to operate guerilla style. According to online articles in CNN and The New Yorker, among others, Assange and his crew hop from location to location as they receive, process, and upload files. But there appears to be a good reason for this. After all, one who deals with sensitive, classified intel is bound to make enemies. Lots of them.
The ultimate value or worth of WikiLeaks remains to be seen. What is clear, though, is that the site has the potential to test the limits of so many interrelated areas—government transparency, national interest and security, right and access to information, free speech and free press, information and communication technology, law and policy. When people say that the internet has revolutionized everything, I guess that includes whistleblowing.
So what does the site have on the Philippines? Go find out for yourself. And if you have the unedited Hello Garci recording...
-- William G. Ragamat