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The Humane Society of the United States

"Julian Assange is tech world's Donald Trump"

October 26, 2012 by Robert X. Cringely | Infoworld

A Comment...

In observing that all messages are influenced by the medium that conveys them, Marshall McLuhan may have inadvertently made us into a world so focused on the medium that we ignore the message.

Perhaps it might be wise to not let Julian Assange's self-serving ego blind us to the social good WikiLeaks has produced.

The information in the WikiLeaks documents seems largely uncontested. It's not argued that Assange made it up, but rather that he disseminated what was intended to be kept secret.

WikiLeaks is a watershed event in the birth of a new information society. It proves that widespread "security by obscurity" is no longer a practical approach to keeping secrets. In the future, far less information will be protected, but in far more reliable ways. And because so much potentially harmful information about people will be widely available, focus will have to turn to regulating how that information can be legally used.

We'll grow into a healthier society if we avoid letting feelings about Assange discredit the WikiLeaks information and the lessons learned about the new Internet medium. After all, most of history's major disrupting figures morally falter under close scrutiny... we now know that even the revered Thomas Jefferson would be pilloried by many today for his questionable morality.

Maybe a big ego is even a requirement to have the courage (or foolishness) to so disruptively break the rules?

If such an action turns out to be of great benefit to society, we put them in the history books.

If the harm exceeds the benefit, we throw them in jail.

Historically, we've often done both.

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