Transparency Double Standard: UK Public Inquiry Requests Info From Wikileaks
from the feeding-the-hand-that-bites dept
Well, this is interesting. Given the general condemnation of Wikileaks by governments, all the ongoing controversy and reputation problems faced by the organization, you wouldn't expect them to be approached with any official requests for leaked information. But it seems just that has happened in the UK, where the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics has requested and received a dossier from Wikileaks on corruption in the British press.
On the surface this is pretty hypocritical, and more than a little ironic: in the past, the UK government asked media outlets to brief them on government secrets they received from Wikileaks before publishing them. Now, a government-run inquiry is asking Wikileaks to hand over information on UK media outlets. Apparently they don't hate leaks as long as they flow in the right direction.
Hopefully this represents another step towards governments recognizing that Wikileaks isn't pure evil, even if there are questionable things about the operation. Though there are risks, bringing sensitive information to light is often in the public's best interest—indeed, that's the whole spirit behind public inquiries. The Leveson Inquiry was convened when the News of the World phone-hacking scandal pointed to a secret culture of corruption in the press, and now Wikileaks is helping to expose it further. If governments attempt to maintain secret cultures of their own, they too will be exposed.