After Wikileaks latest leak, it has been hit with denial-of-service attacks, been kicked off American and French servers, and even cut off from PayPal. In response, Wikileaks has asked its supporters to mirror its site.
While I am opposed to censorship and favor freedom of expression, this freedom comes with responsibilities. To use the stock example, people do not have the freedom to yell “fire” in a crowded theater when there is no fire. This is because the wrongful harm that could arise from this expression outweighs the liberty to make such expressions.
If Wikileaks had stuck with exposing corruption, misdeeds, illegalities or other wrongful acts, then Wikileaks would have most likely been acting in a morally responsible manner. After all, those who commit wrongful acts have no right to have those deeds remain secret.
However, as was argued in my previous post, Wikileaks crossed the moral line. Rather than leaking about wrongful acts, Wikileaks leaked about important targets that could aid the enemies of the West. These enemies, as argued in that post, certainly do not have the moral high ground. As such, aiding them against the West seems clearly wrong.
Yes, I know that Western countries do bad things. But the terrorist groups and places like North Korea seem to be quite worse on objective grounds.
By crossing this line Wikileaks weakens any claim it has to being worthy of protection from being stopped in its leaking. It has failed to use its freedom responsibly and has acted in a wrongful way. As such, stopping its harmful leaks seems to be morally correct.
Other parties should not aid and abet Wikileaks in its leaking-they should not mirror its website nor provide it with support until Wikileaks is willing to act responsibly and ethically. After all, they are not aiding a champion of justice or a defender of transparency. They are aiding folks who are morally irresponsible.
It is, to say the least, unfortunate, that the folks at Wikileaks did not decide to focus on revealing misdeeds. They could have provided an excellent means by which people could reveal such wrongful acts to the world. Unfortunately, the folks at Wikileaks decided to cross over into just dumping secrets without due consideration of the consequences. Then again, perhaps they did consider the consequences and decided to leak anyway.
Interestingly, I was asked if Wikileaks was being set up so it could be discredited and destroyed. That might be possible. However, the latest leak seems consistent with Assange’s personality, so the set up hypothesis seems to have little plausibility (this is, after all, not a movie).
As always, I welcome opposing viewpoints.