U.S. Strategy to Prevent Leaks is Leaked
As the article says, it doesn’t get any more ironic than that.
More importantly, it demonstrates how hard it is to keep secrets in the age of the Internet.
I think the government is learning what the music and movie industries were forced to learn years ago: it’s easy to copy and distribute digital files. That’s what’s different between the 1970s and today. Amassing and releasing that many documents was hard in the paper and photocopier era; it’s trivial in the Internet era. And just as the music and movie industries are going to have to change their business models for the Internet era, governments are going to have to change their secrecy models. I don’t know what those new models will be, but they will be different.
The more I think about it, the more I see this as yet another example of the Internet making information available. It’s done that to the music and movie industry. It’s done that to corporations and other organizations. And it’s doing that to government as well. This is the world we live in; the sooner the U.S. government realizes its secrecy paradigm has irrevocably changed, the sooner it will figure out how to thrive in this new paradigm.
Shutting WikiLeaks down won’t stop government secrets from leaking any more than shutting Napster down stopped illegal filesharing.
EDITED TO ADD (1/27): The story turned out to be too good to be true; it’s been retracted.
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