The WikiLeaks Model

Posted: April 1, 2011 in WikiLeaks
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In all the controversy about Wikileaks, a story that has been overlooked is how they have created a new model for disseminating information, and how others have taken that model and given it their own twist.

Start with UniLeaks, which focuses on receiving and publishing materials from higher education.

Then check out AnonLeaks, which hacked into the private email accounts of four employees of cybersecurity firm HB Gary and published thousands of emails.

And finally, check out PornWikiLeaks, which posted the real names, dates of birth, and HIV status of thousands of porn stars. The information came from a database from a California health clinic that does most of the STD testing in the porn industry. Read Gawker’s reports on this subject here and here.

The bottom line is that while WikiLeaks was designed specifically to reveal government secrets, their model has been applied for purposes which even they probably couldn’t have anticipated. As the PornWikiLeaks case especially shows, this has all kinds of potential recriminations for invasion of privacy issues, even for private medical information which is normally not in the public domain. Who and what WikiLeaks inspires in the months and years ahead may well be as interesting and as important as their next document dump.

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