- WikiLeaks hasn't learned from its mistakes, the largest of which in my humble opinion is a reckless disregard for the privacy of individuals. I think it's fine to blow the whistle on government misdeeds and corporate malfeasance, but to out the bureaucratic functionaries and company drones whose names appear on these emails simply because you can is beyond the pale.
For example: News organizations like Italy's Espresso Republica blanked out parts of the email addresses that would allow readers to identify senders and receivers; WikiLeaks did not. I see no journalistic reason why these people should have their names exposed simply because they were doing their jobs.
- This leak has the smell of Anonymous to me or possibly one of its allied groups like the Peoples Liberation Front, which has been actively attacking the websites of freedom-crushing Middle Eastern regimes. A hack this complex, involving email addresses from some 680 different domains, is either the work of a fearless insider or a group of talented miscreants; and the links between WikiLeaks and the Anons are long established. As long as the connections between those two remain strong, WikiLeaks will always have material to draw upon.
As I've said about a zillion times before, I endorse sites like WikiLeaks in principle, but I can't abide many of its practices. Perhaps those will change once Assange finally shuffles off toward his Ecuadorian exile.
Is SyriaGate a big deal or just a desperate attempt for WikiLeaks to remain relevant? Post your rampant speculation below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article, "What WikiLeaks' Syria emails really mean," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.