Media criticism of WikiLeaks swells

Criticism of WikiLeaks is growing after the Times accused the organisation of disclosing information that could put “hundreds of Afghan lives” at risk.

Julian Assange, the whistleblowing site’s founder, responsible for the disclosure of 90,000 intelligence documents on the war in Afghanistan, insisted on Monday that he had withheld 15,000 documents revealing the identity of informants.

But the Times said that it found “the names of dozens of Afghans credited with providing detailed intelligence to US forces” in the WikiLeaks’ archive.

While Assange has warned that he may disclose thousands of more files, intelligence experts told the Times that the Taliban and al-Qaeda would already be using the leaks to “punish traitors”.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph’s deputy blogs editor Will Heaven said WikiLeaks undermined its own commitments to crowdsourcing, open data and a non-political agenda.

By handing the information to just three left-leaning papers – the Guardian, the New York Times and Der Spiegel – Heaven said WikiLeaks “politicised the information” and achieved “the polar opposite of crowdsourcing, demonstrating precisely why selective disclosure is a far more subtle – and far more dangerous – method of operation.

(Source: The Times, The Telegraph)

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“Before we all sink into a slough of digital dystopian despair, it might be worth considering this: is this a sign of the strength, not weakness, of revelatory journalism in the digital age?”


Charlie Beckett, director of POLIS at the London School of Economics, reacts to news that the UK government forced the Guardian into destroying hard drives that contained information leaked by Edward Snowden.


(Source: POLIS)

 

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