Entry #80 – As the hunt for WikiLeaks‘ Founder Julian Assange came to an end some days ago, so did my hunt for the website (okay it only took me a minute, honest!). Could you blame me for typing ‘wikileaks.com’ in the first place? Well thanks to Google I didn’t have to search for long. You would think that a website that publishes Top Secret information for the public would choose a web address (or URL) that isn’t…well…Top Secret! But for geeks and hackers alike, they can tell at a glance that http://188.8.131.52/ is the WikiLeaks website (You can thank me later). The reason why I couldn’t resist blogging about this website is that it stole the front pages of a couple local Nigerian newspapers last Friday (and later I’ll tell you what was ‘leaked’ ). Now that you’ve probably had a glance at the controversial website I’d like to go through some of the pros and cons I found.
Good inflow: The Pros
- WikiLeaks aims to publish the important hidden truths that most governments in the world wouldn’t want you (the public) to know about.
- The site claims to verify its facts before publishing in order to sustain its credibility as a reliable source of information and not one of false rumours and sensational news.
- Anonymity is promised to anyone who wants to submit top-secret information to the site for publishing.
- Over 100 replica websites with various inconspicuous web addresses have been created in case any government decided to pull the plug on the website.
Bad Plumbing: The Cons
- It is assumed that you understand terms like ‘cable’. For clarity sake a cable is another way of referring to a confidential group e-mail containing highly sensitive information (see Slate.com)
- It does not take responsibility for the impact of the confidential information it publishes e.g. Hackers crashing popular consumer sites like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal because these companies pulled out of the Wiki-relationship following the founder’s arrest (see Sowetanlive)
- The recent revelation in THIS DAY newspaper on December 10, 2010 exposed questionable lapses in the governing style of the Nigerian president, Goodluck E. Jonathan (GEJ). It was reported that the former US Ambassador instructed Jonathan on whom to associate with and whom to terminate (see THISDAYOnline). This comes at a time when the national elections are just round the corner in the first quarter of 2011. In my opinion GEJ is the only presidential candidate who appears to have integrity, exhibits humility and wants to bring about real change to Nigeria.
It seem like WikiLeaks has finally reached the pinnacle of its popularity since its first ever launch in 2006. The verdict (good or bad) on Julian Assange probably wouldn’t stop further leaks from being published. There is no telling what other revelations the public will eventually get to know about. I personally look forward to more leaks if they will force governments and high-profile organizations to get their act together