Wikileaks: challenges and limits of transparency
| 24.12.10 | 12:30 PM • Updated 24.12.10 | 3:23 p.m.
The "a" "World Magazine" dated December 25. DR
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Julian Assange Man of the Year? Time Magazine hesitated, then he chose Mark Zuckerberg , Facebook's father. The man of Wikileaks, or man of Facebook? The World hesitated too, putting more into balance an exemplary woman, who has not created or site for leaks or social networking giant, but that inspires an entire nation by his ideals and his courage, Aung San Suu Kyi . Then we chose Julian Assange - a choice confirmed by the readers of Monde.fr.
Aung San Suu Kyi's attempts to free Burma, Mark Zuckerberg has revolutionized everyday communication on the Internet, Julian Assange upset the terms of public debate on transparency.
The World has partnered with the upheaval in publishing for four weeks, since November 28, articles written from a selection of approximately 250,000 State Department telegrams.
All of this confidential diplomatic correspondence from 2004 to 2010, was made available as well as that of four other titles from the world press ( The New York Times , The Guardian , Der Spiegel , El Pais ) by Wikileaks, the organization of Julian Assange in possession of these telegrams American objects of a massive leak.
The telegrams which this article refers have them, went online after being purged of any data which would endanger persons cited therein. According to an agreed process to start with Wikileaks, the five newspapers partners have made themselves the selection and treatment of selected telegrams which, once severed, were sent to Wikileaks: 1897 telegram (250 000!) Have been treated in four weeks.
This exclusive partnership comes to an end and Wikileaks, resuming his independence, is preparing to present to expand the outreach of telegrams to other newspapers, spread over different continents. According to Julian Assange, the telegrams will be redacted by the media involved, either directly by WikiLeaks.
The publication of these "memos" has provoked strong reactions. Enthusiasm among some of our readers, outrage in others. Conviction by the diplomats of a process that exposes their work, based on confidentiality. Fears of the emergence of a "dictatorship of transparency" now in charge, and total wild tomorrow?
The pages "Debates" of the World and Monde.fr reflected the intensity of ethical questions, journalistic and policy raised by the initiative of a new actor in the communication and the selection process, then filtering traditional media.
A few days ago, a Norwegian newspaper, Aftenposten said to possess, in turn, the 250 000 "memos". The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Stoere, asked the newspaper to provide cables for the Russian-Norwegian relations, and was refused. This has inspired some thoughts, which he announced on the website of his party: "The roles between media and power are virtually reversed. Now we, the department, who demanded access to the press Information! "
While criticizing officials unfair authors of the initial leak, Stoere can not help but find "fascinating" reading this "raw material" diplomatic.
In France, the government has not been fascinated, but the contradictions that emerge within it show that there is no simple management of this case. After the condemnation of leaks by President Sarkozy, Eric Besson , Minister of the digital economy, requested December 3, an organization hitherto largely unknown, the General Council of Industry, Energy and Technology (CGIET) to study the possibility to stop hosting the site Wikileaks by a French firm, OVH.
The CGIET submitted its report on December 10 the Minister, who forwarded it to Matignon. Two weeks later, nothing has filtered out of this report, also submitted to the ministers of justice, defense, interior and foreign affairs, and the decision "at ministerial level" should be announced until January.
In contrast, more than 2000 of Wikileaks mirror sites have been created: a decision to ban Wikileaks Hosting by OVH is not only legally vulnerable because it is really justice, but it would be useless practical.
As to the political position of Mr. Besson, two simple sentences Christine Lagarde have shattered, December 17, on the set of "Grand Journal" Canal +: Julian Assange and Mark Zuckerberg, said the Minister of Economy, "are really interesting characters, one and the other determined to support freedom of expression, which I think is a fundamental freedom" .
Assange, the receiver of stolen documents? "I'm not trying to congratulate me for everything he has done, she said, but I think at the heart of the action is freedom expression, with its substitutes, its disadvantages. " That's fine, too, the problem of the White House .