February 18, 2021

WikiLeaks and the power of information

What is Wikileaks?

WikiLeaks is an international non-profit organisation that publishes new leaks so to say confidential information non accessible to the general public. Its purpose is to publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth. Another of the organisation's objectives is to ensure that journalists and whistleblowers are not prosecuted for emailing sensitive or classified documents.

WikiLeaks is usually represented in public by Julian Assange, who has been described as the heart and soul of this organisation. Original volunteers and founders were once described as a team of dissidents, journalists, mathematicians, and start-up company technologists from the United States, Taiwan, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. As of June 2009, the website had more than 1,200 registered volunteers.

Since its founding in 2006, WikiLeaks has been through several phases. From publishing documents and files that its audience could actively post and edit to releasing political statements related to a specific purpose, they now work closely with news organizations to analyze, redact and publish information in a formal process.

Organisations like Wikileaks change society's long-lasting principles and strive to modify high hierarchical systems by using the power of information. Pros and cons being considered, it is truly important as citizens to be a critical thinker and not take everything for granted. Values and purposes are in constant evolution and therefore shouldn't be invariably ground principles.

Freedom versus control

What is the value of information? How is it measured? What kind of information, based on what assumptions, is legitimate? And whose opinion counts?

'Scientia potentia est' originating from Latin writings meaning knowledge is power is a relevant aphorism that can be associated with today's world. This dictum is now truer than ever, as a result of rapid advances in information technology.

Throughout the developing world governments and politicians conceive widely-held beliefs related to the importance of transparency, there has been surprisingly little rigorous evidence on the role that additional information plays in improving someone's situation. The role of information within our society is increasingly questioned. The production of information has sky-roketed in the last few years, one part thanks to its great accessibility as through new ways of data collection and storage. The quantity of information available has by far oustripped our capacity to use it and therefore can be misused if policies and regulations fail to adjust. Quantity doesn't necessarily mean quality. Rarely adequate, the accuracy of information should be controlled to avoid flow of fake news especially regarding political issues.

Rise of knowledge is becoming the key to economic and political input. The role of information provides identification cards to eligible beneficiaries, who can demand the fulfillment of their own rights. Ownership of information confers a sense of impartiality or reflected interests in the eyes of the owner; whereas information which belongs to others.

Innovation in information is not intrinsically bad. Information is important and useful to decision-makes. However, access to information is highly uneven. Ordinary people should have the right to protect their private information in order to avoid being an economical target of colossal financial organizations that will beneficiate from their data.

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