What Should Be Done About WikiLeaks? 3 Countries Respond
The United States government condemned WikiLeaks for publishing the Afghan War Diary, saying the 90,000 classified documents could put lives in danger. "The battlefield consequences of the release of these documents are potentially severe and dangerous for our troops, our allies and Afghan partners and may well damage our relationships and reputation in that key part of the world," Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said. A week later, the Pentagon demanded that WikiLeaks "return" the documents that had been made publicly available online, but the organization failed to comply.
Yet even as the Pentagon conducts an internal investigation to ferret out the whistle-blower within its ranks, Assange told The Associated Press today that the U.S. Army has expressed a willingness to help WikiLeaks scrub the remaining 15,000 documents to remove any information that could hurt civilians. WikiLeaks had asked the Pentagon to help edit out the names of Afghan informants from the documents. The group says it will publish the remaining documents in two weeks to a month.
Meanwhile, in the Land of Smiles, the Thai government has restricted access to the WikiLeaks website, using emergency powers granted in a 2005 decree. The decision to censor the site was based on security grounds, an official told Agence France-Presse.
But Thailand has cracked down on websites in recent years, removing tens of thousands of pages and blocking websites like YouTube, which was blacklisted in 2007 for a video insulting the King. A cyber crime agency was set up to censor online criticism of the royal family and recently some have complained that the scope has been stretched to include political opponents as well, AFP reports.
And, while politicians might have a love/hate relationship with the idea of transparency in government, one political party in Sweden has embraced it, (though that party does not have any members in the Swedish parliament). The Swedish Pirate Party announced Tuesday that it will host WikiLeaks' information on its servers. "The contribution of WikiLeaks is tremendously important to the entire world," Rick Falkvinge, leader of the Pirate Party, said on the party's website. "We desire to contribute to any effort that increases transparency and accountability of power in the world."
The Swedish Pirate Party was formed in 2006 and aims to reform the copyright system, get rid of the patent system and tighten citizens' rights to privacy. The organization has sister groups in 26 other countries.