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Leaked WikiLeaks Confidentiality Agreement: Neither 'Draconian' Nor 'Extraordinary'

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One should note, courts are not likely  to ever award that much money. The valuation may be a starting point for coming up with an amount the organization could be awarded in the event of a breach. Courts typically would not find all those losses to be "consequential" of a breach of the agreement. So, the organization may still have to pay what it might consider a substantial amount of money for the breach.

If WikiLeaks truly considers itself to be a business out to make profit instead of an organization with a founder who is a true fighter for peace and justice, it certainly has failed to take many opportunities to make huge gains.

Why is the information free on its website? It could set up a paywall like the Wall Street Journal.

Why hasn't it published the documents it has obtained in book form for people to purchase in bookstores or online?

Or, why hasn't it sold the information to other governments so that they can have better intelligence on other governments? That could net them quite a bit of money.

The answer is because WikiLeaks is not an organization out to make profit. It is an organization that believes in a cause that, as Julian Assange says, is no more radical a notion than the idea that citizens have a right, indeed a duty, to scrutinize the state.

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Coverage of this agreement is just the latest in a long line of attempts  to delegitimize and further isolate the organization. They have been accused of endangering lives yet nobody has quantified or provided exact evidence that any persons have been endangered. In many cases, they have been told what they are doing is not journalism. The organization, instead, has had its staff members categorized by the media as a group of "sources," which means Assange is "a source" and Assange and all those linked to WikiLeaks are much more vulnerable to prosecution from governments especially the US government.

When WikiLeaks reveals information on despots, they are characterized as an organization that should be held accountable for a tyrannical government's decision to clampdown on its citizens. And, in this case, they are once again asked to have the secrecy and transparency standards they think government has or else publicly answer to the fact that they are an organization of hypocrites. The problem with that is WikiLeaks is not a government. People do not vote or elect individuals to run this organization.

New Statesman and others' coverage of this agreement affirms Assange's assertion that "WikiLeaks is the most scrutinized organization per capita in the world." It further indicates that most news organizations in the world still do not get WikiLeaks (and, perhaps, would rather scrutinize the organization than publish documents the organization has released).

WikiLeaks is an organization that makes a promise to whistleblowers that if they have the courage to act as a "hero" WikiLeaks will have the courage to be "merely decent human beings." For WikiLeaks, this agreement is part of being a decent human being. It is about going to the nth degree to protect the "sources" it fights to keep anonymous and unknown to governments that could strike at them for providing the organization information.

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Kevin Gosztola is a writer and curator of Firedoglake's blog The Dissenter, a blog covering civil liberties in the age of technology. He is an editor for OpEdNews.com and a former intern and videographer for The Nation Magazine.And, he's the (more...)
 

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Thanks Kevin for your clear assessment...glad I si... by Ronnie Moehrke on Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 9:29:22 AM
If you ever write a mediocre piece, Kevin, you wil... by James Hadstate on Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 1:53:27 PM
I do set a high standard. But standards in media a... by Kevin Gosztola on Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 2:01:49 PM
I think this is just a case of sour grapes on the ... by Paul Carline on Friday, May 13, 2011 at 2:37:35 AM