Today information provided by WikiLeaks is considered both suspicious and welcome by breaking news. It is a source and yet not a source and has prompted a change in the journalist-source relationship. Newspapers have to think about how to deal with such organisations and how to establish whether they have their own agendas. Should news publications develop their own digital leaking systems?
That deeper malaise, which not many commentators are interesting in reading in these documents, is the obvious fact that men and women who feature so prominently in these documents are determining, in their own small ways, the affairs of the world; they make decisions which affect lives of millions of people around the world and therefore they carry a very serious responsibility and the discharge of that responsibility has implications for their own lives, both in this world and in the Hereafter.
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."
Whistle-blower website WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange "do not deserve to be treated like common criminals" for upholding "such precious freedom" that does not exist in many countries, a leading Indian journalist said. The US athorities want to charge Assange for revealing state secrets after his website published thousands of documents, including files related to US-led war in Afghanistan and Iraq war and diplomatic cables sent to and from American embassies across glob.
Journalists and politicians are calling for the criminalisation of Wikileaks and even the assassination of its members. The US government is coercing companies into blocking access to the website, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is normally a strong proponent of internet freedom, has been forced to "evolve" her positions.