Something Wiki this way comes

The fallout from the WikiLeaks Cablegate debacle continues -- and the residents of Cringeville have a lot to say about it

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Next up: Theo de Raadt, the founder of the OpenBSD and OpenSSH projects, has a more international take on the WikiLeaks cables. I'd written that regardless of whose side you're on, the release of the cables will hurt America's ability to act on the world stage. Theo says maybe that's not such a bad thing: 

Inside America, regular (but non-apathetic) citizens are choosing a side. Apparently Americans must choose sides. But outside America, from a (non-apathetic) citizen perspective, the result of this is going to be very, very one sided.  We will choose to know how much the elite have lied to us... In the last 15 years while working on OpenBSD and OpenSSH, I've been to 45 countries.  Let me tell you, the view out there is very different.  The world is tired of this thing Americans call sharing.....

There are incredible injustices that got forced by the American government to go under the table, and they are now exposed.  That is the real danger for America.

Blogger AndyX says its time for America to wake up and smell the Leaky coffee:

Although I think it's pretty easy to make a case against Mr. Assange's choice to release classified information obtained via questionable means, I also think government officials need to come to grips with the simple notion that privacy is an illusion. It's also time for Big Brother to realize that he, too may be spied upon.... 

In short, it's fine if the U.S. government wants to sue Mr. Assange and wikiLeaks, but I have to side with critics who cry foul at the closure of his bank accounts and PayPal accounts without due process.

Meanwhile, reader G. A. says I'm missing the bigger point about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

If Assange were to disappear today, another WikiLeaks would spring up tomorrow, simply because the information is out there to be collected and disseminated and because there are many people who would like to see these documents made public. It's easy to blame the "messenger", but it doesn't solve the problem.

The answer to WikiLeaks is (a) tighter document distribution combined with (b) serious encryption. I also understand why this hasn't been implemented: training government employees to use encryption is too difficult, given current technology. But that's a problem that can be overcome, given time and resources.

He's right. The question people should really be asking -- and so far, the U.S. government appears to be ducking the issue -- is how in God's name did a Private First Class manage to steal 250,000-plus classifed cables without somebody noticing?

Assuming he is found guilty, PFC Bradley Manning is a spy. But it's the system that allowed him to become one that's broken. And no amount of moralizing, cable-browsing, DDoSing, or bloviating will fix it.

Will the WikiLeaks ever get plugged? Got anything more to say about them? Post your comments below or email me:

This article, "Something Wiki this way comes," was originally published at Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringeley's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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