Leak baby leak

The whole world is now in a frenzy state over the recently leaked US cables. Some people are furious about the leaks, many others are happy. I proudly belong to the second group. I think that countries that behave in the name of their citizens do not enjoy the same right for privacy as their citizens do.

The leaks provided answers to so many questions about events in the modern world, but have triggered a number of questions as well. Will the way US embassies send their cables home change after this? Will the American influence on the world be changed? Will other countries take advantage of this leak to reduce the influence of US foreign policy? Why did other states take this issue quietly? Are they afraid that if they will react strongly then a future leak might just show how they were handling their foreign policy?

These questions are still to be answered in the years to come. Nonetheless, there are some aspects about this leakage that should be taken in consideration now.

First of all, the conventional media’s old way of leaking one or two important documents allowed more scrutiny of these leaks. The few documents that expose a wrongdoing of a certain official allowed the whole world to learn about it, analyze it, and understand the complete magnitude of its effect on the well being of the country or the members of the public.

This is something that we don’t see when it comes to leaking 250,000 documents at once. There are so many small pieces of information that deserve attention, but they are usually overlooked because the attention is always given to the big chunks of information and on the hottest topics. I don’t think that Julian Assange himself predicted that this amounts of leaks will be uploaded to his website when he was formulating the idea of creating it.

The second important factor is that people now have the ability to study the anatomy of in-action-diplomacy under the microscope. I think this is an unprecedented opportunity, because I don’t think that any person who is interested in studying diplomacy has ever been granted access to this amount of data, even within the department of state itself. American people can now see why they shouldn’t think of their government as an angel, especially when it comes to its foreign policy.

Right now, the American administration is trying to avoid that by diverting the attention of the public’s towards the ‘crime’ of leaking those documents, as it is the case with any leakage anywhere in the world. The most important thing for American fellows now is to be careful not to be drifted behind this version of event’s imposed, which views these leaks not as a way to enlighten the public about their government’s activities, that is consistent with their constitutionally guaranteed right of freedom of speech, but as an ‘attack’ on America that deserves some sort of retaliation.

This is also an opportunity for the whole world to learn how countries and leaders who’ve surrounded themselves with secrecy are in fact ‘smaller’ than this secrecy makes us believe they are.

For the Arab leaders, however, it’s another chance to wake up, and understand how the world functions. I’ve always believed that Arab leaders pursue some kind of ‘emotional politics’; the kind of politics where they believe their personal relations and feelings towards a foreign leader can determine whether they can trust the deeds of that leader’s country. Because their country’s ‘personality’ is summoned in their own personality as a dictator, they believe that this is also truth when it comes to leaders in institution-based countries. I’ve always thought this is wrong, and I still do. If they are to study these documents as they should be doing, Arab leaders will realize the amount of pragmatism that is embedded in the international diplomacy and policy-making, and they might end up rethinking their whole political doctrine.

Lastly, for all the other users of the internet out there, we need to understand the importance of the events that might unfold in the upcoming days or weeks regarding this incident. Whatever will happen to Julian Assange is going to become a precedent. If he will be prosecuted, jailed, or if Wikileaks will be closed, then a very big part of internet freedom will be lost forever. If this will happen, then any attempt to use this global, democratic tool to expose wrongdoings of officials will be punished as well, and soon after that, we will find ourselves living in a world where state security dogma controls both the physical and virtual worlds.

It is believed that the cost of democracy is constant vigilance, and that principle is also applicable to the democracy of the internet. What we, the world citizens will do regarding this issue will determine the amount of freedom that the internet will offer in the future. The era of post-Assangism, might offer much more internet freedom, or much less, depending on the way we react now.

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