With the dawn of the internet era, we have been presented with a new and intriguing playground where data, records and countless other information can be shared freely between any parties who are interested. Particularly sensitive is the issue of transparency in government, and how much classified information is available for the taking over the internet. With this whole new information superhighway found in the World Wide Web, new ethical issues are presented regarding how much (or how little) information should be available to people of the world, and more specifically, the people of the United States of America.
Spy satellites, secret personas, stolen government files and a manhunt by US officials for an individual they claim to be dangerous, though many hail him as a hero – a freedom fighter, if you will. This may sound like the plot line for the next spy thriller movie to be released in theaters around the country, though I assure you, it is not. Rather, this is a brief and true description of the situation Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has recently found himself in. In fact, Wikileaks has recently drawn global attention as a result of its ongoing release of thousands of confidential U.S. government documents, including documents and classified information pertaining to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It would seem that most everyone has something to say regarding the Wikileaks controversy. We have heard about the situation on local news networks, national news networks, radio stations, talk shows and it has even been parodied by the comedic genius pool over at NBC Studios / Saturday Night Live. Texas congressman Ron Paul, however, posed perhaps the most poignant question regarding the controversy swirling around Wikileaks – “Which events caused more deaths”, he asked, “lying us into war, or the release of Wikileaks papers?”. Perhaps this leads us to an even more important ethical (and legal) question – did Julian Assange strike the proper…