As for me, I prefer to make my own decisions about who I do or don’t support, rather than allow banks and credit card companies to make them for me.
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Not a bad thing to hope for but, nonetheless, an act of naiveté to think that humanity’s favorite activity of warfare would not sooner or later march onto the Internet. Has the true battle been launched with the case of Wikileaks as the catalyst?
You only have to let your imagination run free for a few minutes to realize how great the ramifications would be for a global society if war breaks out in cyberspace. Can’t think of many people, places or things throughout the world who are not Internet or Web dependent or vulnerable, can you?
Some glimmerings of the beginning shots fired in this article in the New York Times earlier this week (“Hundreds of WikiLeaks Mirror Sites Appear” by Ravi Somaiya, Dec 5, 2010).
It’s the conversation favorite virtually everywhere you turn these days — Wikileaks? And the inevitable question that arises — are you for or against?
Yesterday Forbes posted online an article and in-depth Q&A with Wikileaks’ Julian Assange (“An Interview With WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange” by Andy Greenberg).
Admire Assange or revile him, he is the prophet of a coming age of involuntary transparency. Having exposed military misconduct on a grand scale, he is now gunning for corporate America. Does Assange have unpublished, damaging documents on pharmaceutical companies? Yes, he says. Finance? Yes, many more than the single bank scandal we’ve been discussing. Energy? Plenty, on everything from BP to an Albanian oil firm that he says attempted to sabotage its competitors’ wells…
Can the question of “Are we seeing anything new?” in relation to this week’s huge Wikileaks Afghan documents story also be applied to journalism itself?
The answer is yes, according to journalism professor C.W. Anderson writing in a post yesterday for Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab website (“Data, diffusion, impact: Five big questions the Wikileaks story raises about the future of journalism” July 26, 2010).
The release of the Wikileaks stories yesterday was a classic case study of the new ecosystem of news diffusion. More complex than the usual stereotype of “journalists report, bloggers opine,” in the case the Wikileaks story we got to see a far more nuanced (and, I would say, far more real) series of news decisions unfold: from new fact-gatherers, to news organizations in a different position in the informational chain, all the way to the Twittersphere in which conversation about the story was occurring in real-time, back to the bloggers, the opinion makers, the partisans, the politicians, and the hacks. This is how news works in 2010;
Anderson goes on to point out how the three major newspapers breaking the Wikileaks documents story — New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel — each talked in a different way about the Wikileaks data. And he identifies the emergence of something new in journalism (read post here).
Definitely fascinating reading.