Monday, December 20, 2010

Could Happen?

Government Secrecy Helped WikiLeaks
If governments are serious about doing something about WikiLeaks, they could:

■ Implement far-reaching FOI laws that encourage public access to information that has not been sanitised by media advisers or other PR workers.

■ Create a culture where public servants and politicians facilitate access of the information they hold on behalf of the public.

■ Pass proper whistleblower protection that guarantees anonymity (as has been in force in countries such as Sweden for the past 60 years and has not created chaos or the continuous fall of governments).

■ Implement potent shield laws for journalists, which would give reporters confidence in granting anonymity to sources when needed.

Such reforms would in part deplete the soils in which WikiLeaks is growing. The current responses - describing WikiLeaks as terrorism, calling for the execution of Julian Assange and trying to shut it down behind the scenes is not worthy of mature liberal democracies. In fact, such tactics will probably make WikiLeaks stronger.

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