State Department, Once Again, Asks Wikileaks To 'Return' Leaked Cables

from the that's-not-how-digital-works dept

Earlier this year, we all had a good laugh over the demand from the Pentagon that Wikileaks "return" the leaked documents it held. Lots of people pointed out that they were digital copies. You don't "return" stuff that's digital. All this demand did was make the Pentagon look totally clueless about how digital information works. It looks like the PR geniuses at the State Department have decided to do the same thing. They've put out a demand that Wikileaks "return" the remaining diplomatic cables in its possession.

Once again, this just makes the State Department look clueless, out of date and confused about the internet. First of all, you don't "return" digital documents. But, more importantly, Wikileaks has already shown that it has no intention of doing any such thing -- and making such a request just looks silly by the State Department. It's foot stamping rather than doing anything productive. Given the State Department's ridiculous PR over this whole Wikileaks thing, is it really any wonder why those old attempts by the US government to hire PR people to convince the people we were invading that it was for their own good turned out so disastrously bad?

Filed Under: digital, documents, state department, wikileaks
Companies: wikileaks


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2010 @ 12:07pm

    What if...

    Well, lets just play devils advocate here, and lets say perhaps the DoD and State dept. are not (god I hope they are not) as stupid as they seem. Maybe they are asking for the "Orginals"... like, prior to any modification/redaction. Perhaps they are watermarked in some way. Maybe they are not asking for all copies of the digital file, but instead, the actually files (unmoded) or better yet, the USB/CD-ROM.

    Also, they may be asking for legal reasons... later on, they can use their apparently unwillingness of "Wikileaks" to return 'stolen' goods, or something to that effect. I dunno, just brainstorming here

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