So, Wikileaks has been on the news — again.

Apparently, Wikileaks has exposed some pretty sensitive material, for example, the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton ordering US embassies and intelligence services to collect information on UN leaders and diplomats, including DNA and computer passwords, also, Berlusconi (Italian PM) being called “feckless, vain and ineffective” and Sarkozy called “thin-skinned” by US diplomats.

Personally, I support Wikileaks, and I believe in governmental transparency. However, in some cases, this can become a security risk, such as, when locations of secret US or NATO bases, for example, in Iraq or Afghanistan are disclosed within the documents/”cables”, are published for potential terrorists to see, and in those cases I do not support full transparency, even though I am a pacifist, and do not support the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan – this would create an even bigger loss of lives.

Full governmental transparency is, in principle, good, since it allows the people to see what their elected officials are up to. However, in practice, as I mentioned before, it does have a few problems, namely the fact that in this day and age, whatever is published online, is accessible for everyone — and that includes potential terrorists, other governments’ officials, international news organisations, etc.– and this is not good. It can ruin perfectly good relationships between nations due to the humanity of government officials. However, I’d adapt an original quote by Carl Sagan, the American astronomer, to fit this topic: It is far better to know the truth, than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. (Original, unadapted quote on BrainyQuote, LINK)

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