web analytics

Welcome to the 21st Century!

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 am, December 3rd, 2010 - 14 comments
Categories: democratic participation, International, interweb - Tags:

Sometimes I find it hard to believe how the leaders of this world fail to comprehend what appears so obvious to me. What is happening with Wikileaks, or more appropriately, what is about to happen, appears to be playing out along the same lines as the rise and fall of Napster.

The 21st Century, or at least the years we have enjoyed so far, should go down in history as the information age. We have seen the rapid expansion of the internet, and along with it the rise of anonymity. Wikileaks created a platform whereby anyone can submit sensitive material without fearing that their identity may be revealed. This platform, in itself not a overly difficult feat for many hardcore programmers, can be compared to the creation of Napster. People got a sniff of the idea, which was then crushed by authorities, but not before the idea turned into a necessity for the masses.

Since Wikileaks released Collateral Murder, it has been swamped with submissions. This trend will only continue to surge, and it is not difficult to see why. The mainstream media has failed in their duty to uphold the virtues that a democracy demands, and now that citizens have seen a way in which they can partake in upholding some of the most fundamental values of democracy, accountability and transparency, they are taking action into their own hands.

Noam Chomsky sums the latest cable leaks best when he stated that it reveals a “profound hatred for Democracy on the part of our Political Leadership“.

When we analyse the response toward Wikileaks by the authorities, it seems logical that they condemn it; just as those who supposedly lost millions from the rise of Napster spoke out. However, if there is one thing that should be learnt from Napster and applied to the current situation, it’s that there will be no stopping the massive flood of sensitive information to the internet.

The authorities in this situation would be wise to tread carefully in the coming months, for them Wikileaks may seem like the enemy, yet in a few years time, Wikileaks could be seen retrospectively as the lesser of two evils. At least Wikileaks attempts harm minimization before they release information, and ensure that those affected by the leak are informed prior. It seems likely that Wikileaks will be brought down at some point, but it also seems inevitable that many similiar sites will pop up to replace it.

The inability to adapt during evolving circumstances seems to be something of a pre-requisite for most of our modern day leaders, with New Zealand being no exception. The situation with Wikileaks is merely one example of this inability, unfortunately it would be too easy to write a much larger list…


14 comments on “Welcome to the 21st Century! ”

  1. r0b 1

    The mainstream media has failed in their duty to uphold the virtues that a democracy demands


    Interesting post RiJaB. But is Wikileaks (and similar) here to stay? You compare them to Napster, and where is Napster now? Instead we have iTunes…

    • Bright Red 1.1

      I think that’s the point. Wikileaks has let the genie out of the bottle like Napster did. Eventually the music industry realised it had to change its model by giving the Napster experience (well, an improved experience) while retaining the abiltiy to earn some money – Itunes, Youtube etc. And you can still get non-monetised musi from bit torrent, kazaa etc

      Likewise, smart governments are going to have to react to Wikileaks by becoming open by default because even if Wikileaks goes the idea is here to stay.

    • anarcho 1.2

      Yes iTunes is capitalism’s answer to filesharing, but of course – as suggested in the post – the cat is out of the bag and if you’re stil paying for movies or music then yr a sucker.

      Make sure yr running PeerBlock though… always one step ahead 🙂

    • freedom 1.3

      I believe it is clear RiJab’s referring to the nature of the service not the site itself, and there are no shortages of sites to gather music from, just like there will be no shortage of sites to gather information from.

      Many will pose the same problems as Music file sharing. The risk of a bad file, or a mislabelled download. (Worst ever was thinking i was getting Joy Division and got a bunch of elevator tracks.)

      Some people have a cruel sense of humour on the interwebz. This will no doubt continue to be expressed but one thing that should not be expressed is the global hunger for laws that remove the current freedom of the net. Most western nations have installed, or are in the process of installing numerous laws that heavily restrict the use of the net. It is primarily an attempt to control information which is of course completely necessary to retain complete social authority.

      In the US they are very close to getting a ‘Net Kill’ switch that will not only give it the assumed authority to close sites originating in the US but any site that uses US services in its distribution. Last week for example over seventy sites were shut down including a simple search engine that links to torrent sites, a function that Google also provides yet strangely without penalty.

      Luckily, as is the want of the interwebz, a bunch of clever folk are attempting new ways to secure the future of information freedom.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    Around the time the war memos were being leaked, wikileaks uploaded an encrypted 1 GB archive to their servers called “insurance”. This was subsequently downloaded and distributed throughout the world.

    If wikileaks is taken down, all that needs to come out is the decryption key, and who knows what is in that file. It seems likely all the forthcoming cables and other documents that they’ve hinted at are probably in it.

    So even if wikileaks is taken down, likely they will have one last laugh at the authorities.

  3. prism 3

    I heard media releases about items in the WLeaks and thought that anyone following political activities and attitudes would already know this stuff. Pakistan not being straightforward in its dealings, tempted to use its nuclear capacity etc. Can’t remember the summation by a British journo but something like ‘It tells us that bears live in the wild’ which I thought was an appropriate judgment.

    As for people’s lives being endangered or lost – a USA politician in a malicious fit of pique outed a USA woman agent for CIA or like, which ruined her cover and career and the effects would no doubt have spread to her contacts so they can leak what they like and damn the consequences to the state and the person. Then USA started a retributive war which was supposed to be over by Christmas but is still rolling with a high roll of deaths, injuries and hate on both sides, using USA solidiers who were peacetime recruits expecting just to be called out for Hurricane Katrina events. So do they care about endangering citizens? The words don’t connect with the actions.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    Seems the predictions in this post have already come to fruition:

    “A group of former members of WikiLeaks is planning to launch its own whistleblowing platform in mid-December, according to a German newspaper. The activists criticize WikiLeaks for concentrating too much on the US and want to take a broader approach.”


    captcha: promptly

  5. freedom 5

    Here is what Joe Lieberman wants for the Net
    Lieberman is the Seantor who got Amazon to dump Wikileaks from its servers

    Strange thing about the actions of Amazon is you kind of assume they believe in the right to free speech, considering the number of times they have gone to bat for the right to retain dodgy info on their servers. This buffet of information carried by Amazon includes IED construction, terrorist training manuals even Pedophilia guidebooks, but a site that shares corrupt and damning intelligence on the secret actions of a Government intent on deceiving its Allies and pushing the World into a Nuclear War, shit close that puppy down immediately. Amazon,YOU SUCK!!!

  6. Richard 6

    On the other hand, what wikileaks has leaked (thus far anyway, and including previous leaks) hasn’t really been *very* secret stuff.

    Assorted governments seem to be able to generally keep secret information like live force deployments, nuclear weapon activation codes, high level VIP travel itineraries, and so forth.

    What has been leaked thus far seems to be largely stuff that is “secret” more for bureacratic and face-saving/deniability reasons. There haven’t really been any shocking or operational secrets; it’s mostly stuff that is already more-or-less known, it is just normally unconfirmed.

    I would have thought that the US State Department (probably?) already operates on the assumption that this kind of widely distributed diplomatic cable service is compromised to some extent by foregin intelligence services anyway. It seems to me, that the stuff leaked via “cablegate” is stuff that State Dept. thought they could live with foreign intelligence services discovering; they’re just embarressed by the general public having apparently clear access to it.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Cablegate: US stole Afghan aid

      Back in 2007, they set up a “trust fund” to buy equipment for the Afghan army, and solicited donations from their NATO allies. They then transferred the money to the US treasury, sat on it, and charged a 15% “handling fee” into the bargain. Strangely, the Germans, who had donated 50 million Euro to the fund, weren’t too happy about this…

      No, not too scary yet but it is showing the corruption that exists at the highest levels of government.

  7. Jum 7

    Why can’t I access WikiLeaks?

    Thanks for the numbers; I’ve got them.

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    This is funny; or as wikileaks tweets it:


    Utterly surreal: Pravda justifiably criticising US for trying to stifle a free press bit.ly/hD2zst How times change.


    They get a bunch of shit wrong, but hey it’s fucking Pravda (ferchrissakes) schooling the US government on the rule of law, human rights and the freedom of the press.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago