I know this is a little stale (2 whole days!) but I have some quick thoughts on the whole Wikileaks thing:
1. The documents posted aren’t the Pentagon Papers. They contain nothing people didn’t already know. They say the War in Afghanistan is going badly and was never funded well. No news there.
2. Regardless, these were classified documents and leaking classified documents to unclassified sources is bad. Yet, it was a matter of time. If anyone has been following the Top Secret America series on the Washington Post, you know the Intelligence Community in DC has almost 900,000 people. Holy Jumping Jesus, it’s a government jobs program! And all of those people have been cleared. That’s an awful lot of Trust with a capital-T. If 99% of the people involved are honest and 1% of those people feed information to places like Wikileaks, that’s still 900 people — most of them contractors.*
According to Threat Level, the Pentagon claims it has someone but I would be shocked — SHOCKED — if that was the only person leaking to wikileaks. By a long shot.
3. Why is everyone breathlessly surprised at the rise of rogue media? Hell, if spammers and phishers can put up renegade sites, run them for a few hours, tear them down, and bring them up somewhere else, why are we so surprised someone with a hard drive can move a PHP wiki?
Really? Surprise? Hosting sites abound — many nicely outside the US jurisdiction. How hard is it to find a DNS server, a LAMP stack, and SCP to upload files? Wikileaks cannot be stopped or killed — and certainly not by some angry words and a shaking finger. If you can hide your millions offshore, you can certainly run a website.
It’s point #3 that gets me — the shock and surprise. I want to Vanna White and say, “The Internet — Let Me Show You It.” What did people think was going to happen when mass communications met guerrilla disclosure and guerrilla journalistic tactics? Or did we all believe we were going to hold hands and watch FOX News together, forever?
* As a professional security weenie, I have a hard time believing in a mere 1% of dishonesty in contractors.