The Ethical or Unethical Leaks of Wikileaks

Wikileaks due to its idealistic framework has understandably come under criticism primarily from state and institutional entities. Arguments that the organisation hinders international diplomacy and the security of nations is a common theme amongst critics. This argument varies across the political spectrum of individuals, and their vested interest in relative issues. However beyond institutional leaks, another issue that Wikileaks faces is the public release of sensitive civilian information. According to Satter and Michael, Wikileaks has released information regarding the medical history, names of civilian causalities and rape victims.

Considering that Wikileaks slogan is ‘We Open Governments,’ how relevant is individual medical history is to reducing conflict and corruption. Wikileaks dismissed such privacy concerns as ‘unworthy of a headline.’Aftergood states that the publication of information can be considered as an act of oppression. However founder Julian Assange states that Wikileaks follows certain protocol to ensure harm minimisation. Lynch states that this release may be due to the limited resources that Wikileaks has. Contrast this release of information may be a reflection of ‘information wants to be free‘ aspect of Steven Levy’s framework for hacker ethic.

These incidents can be considered a small aspect in the ideals and achievements Wikileaks has accomplished. The opinions of such varies with ethics, as Wikileaks may consider such issues as a ‘means to an end.’




3 thoughts on “The Ethical or Unethical Leaks of Wikileaks

  1. Funny meme, nice way to end. I like how you approached the weekly topic by talking about Wikileaks.
    You’ve given a clear argument that is short and straight to the point and written in a concise manner. I was quite interested in just how ‘ethical’ wikileaks really is so l took the liberty on researching this further. This blog provides more opinion on the negative impacts of wikileaks
    Great post, well done.


  2. I’ve always found wikileaks to be so fascinating. I do find it disgusting though that they’d be releasing information about rape victims and what not. Very disrespectful and shows total lack of human empathy. Short and sweet blog post though, I liked it. Good meme too!


  3. Like any ideologies, belief systems, and ethics, they can be interpreted differently by different people. Hacker ethics follow beliefs such as sharing information, no secrets, and no authority. Though Wikileaks slogan is “We Open Governments”, people within Wikileaks may believe that the ethics of hacking should expand out of the political space and into everyday life. Whether this expansion should take place is debatable. If it were to be implemented, it should be applied on a case-by-case basis instead of a broad application to every aspect of human existence. Revealing the secrets of governments and corporations serves a purpose. It is used to show the world some of the terrible things these organisations do behind close doors. Revealing the identity of rape victims serves no purpose and only harms people who want to move on with their lives.


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