Freedom of Speech, WikiLeaks and Ethics – I have some questions!

Rarely do I post a blog where my opinion isn’t clear…but it looks like this one will be one.  Why?  Because I have some questions and, honestly, I’d like some answers.

Over the past several weeks all we have been hearing on the news is about WikiLeaks – the release of government documents or communications and the WikiLeaks founder – Julian Assange.

So let’s start with some questions:

  1. Is WikiLeaks dissemination of information a form of Journalism?
  2. Is WikiLeaks only a publisher?
  3. In either case, is the publication of documents that comes into the possession of WikiLeaks protected by the First Amendment?

While there are many who feel that what the Assange organization is wrong for publishing the documents, the broader question seems to center around whether WikiLeaks is somehow guilty of a crime vs. just being extremely bold with their application of freedom of speech.

ANOTHER SET OF QUESTIONS:

  1. Should WikiLeaks be held accountable or liable for the release of documents that were allegedly stolen by a member of the government?
  2. Which is the greater ethical lapse – the government not have sufficient security on sensitive government documents or WikiLeaks for publishing them?
  3. Is it unethical to create transparency by publishing the documents, cables, etc. that are in question?
  4. If it weren’t WikiLeaks that published the documents – but rather, they were published (for example) by the Washington Post or the New York Times, would the US Government be as aggressive in wanting to go after the publisher?

Perhaps these questions will spark some blog dialogue?  Or perhaps folks really don’t care?  Either way – YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOME!

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