How Wikileaks shone light on world's darkest secrets
Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 08/04/2010 20:10
When the Ministry of Defence first came across Wikileaks, staffers were stunned. "There are thousands of things on here, I literally mean thousands," one of them wrote in an internal email in November 2008. "Everything I clicked on to do with MoD was restricted... it is huge." The website, an online clearing house for documents whose authors would generally prefer them to stay in the private domain, has since been banned from the MoD's internal computers, but it did no good: eventually, that email ended up on Wikileaks. And when a US Army counter-intelligence officer recommended that whistleblowers who leaked to the site be fired, that report ended up on Wikileaks too.
The authorities were right to be worried. If any further proof were needed of the website's extraordinary record in holding the authorities to account, it came this week, in the release of shocking video footage of a gung-ho US helicopter attack in Iraq that killed 12 people, including two unarmed employees of the Reuters news agency.