The discerning modern whistleblower knows that making a little public-interest disclosure no longer requires cloak-and-dagger games with journalists — these days, you can just post your revelations on YouTube.
Wikileaks which claims to offer “an uncensorable version of WikiPedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis”. The site’s creators told Secrecy News that it is aimed primarily at those working in repressive regimes, but could also be used by those in government or corporations in democratic states.
Although not yet fully live, the site already contains a document purportedly by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, leader of Somalia’s Islamic Courts Union.
There could be problems for something like this, though.
“In the absence of accountable editorial oversight, publication can more easily become an act of aggression or an incitement to violence, not to mention an invasion of privacy or an offense against good taste,” wrote Steven Aftergood, explaining why Secrecy News declined an invitation to serve on the site’s advisory board.
Accountable editorial oversight? How quaint.
Aftergood seems to be making the right call. As we saw with the Saddam hanging video this week, gatekeeping is over. There is no way to require “accountable editorial oversight” as a barrier to entry to the public sphere anymore — a determined leaker will find a way to publicise their material online. But that doesn’t mean a responsible journalist has to cooperate with a project that carries a high risk of being used irresponsibly and seems to abdicate all responsibility for the actions of its users.
Update: SpyBlog has some technical questions for Wikileaks.
*Update2: **Federal Times* has a few more details.