There are many calls, for example, for US President Barack Obama to be assassinated. Then again, some US politicians have freely called for the assassination of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Calling for certain Twitter accounts to be blocked strikes me as a potentially dangerous threat to democratic freedoms. If it's not right for countries such as China to do it, how can the US justify such widespread censorship?
Mr McClelland wrote to the Right to Know coalition and other media organisations in November to seek "a more formal mutually agreed arrangement'' on handling sensitive national security information. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet raised the possibility of using such a protocol to constrain publication of national security information released by WikiLeaks.
Since 2001, governments in East Africa have changed their attitudes toward the Web, especially in relation to the social movements in Tunisia and Egypt that made extensive use of social media tools to foment political change. "WikiLeaks touched every single government and no one is in control," Nyakairu told me during a break in the conference. "Imagine if similar, regional sites like WikiLeaks enter the playing field? Governments around here won't like that."
Since the release of the 'Collateral Murder' video in April of this year, Julian Assange has been a hunted man, with calls for everything from treason (rather ineffective, given that Assange is an Australian citizen) to vigilante justice. Now, in the wake of Cablegate, it is no longer just Assange and his cronies, or WikiLeaks, but Internet freedom that is at risk. For some time, free speech activists have expressed concern about the powers that private companies have over online speech, an issue dubbed "intermediary censorship" by researcher Ethan Zuckerman.
Although Chinese authorities were quick to block access to the WikiLeaks website on the mainland, such censorship was hardly necessary. What the most recent leaks reveal about China is remarkably mundane, and will do little to damage Beijing or its foreign relations. - Wu Zhong (Dec 7, '10)