Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

Summary: Students seem to be taking two main views: that the cable releases enable accountable governments, with the others calling Wikileaks a terrorist organisation. What do you think?

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The Wikileaks saga keeps on ticking over and there is no let-up in sight for a good few weeks yet. I think only a general election or a terrorist attack could kick this story off the front pages of the papers. That is, of course, if you do not consider this to be a 'terrorist attack' in itself.

While Julian Assange is in Wandsworth Prison counting down the days to his extradition to Sweden, Wikileaks continues to publish more of the still-classified communiques sent between diplomats over seemingly secure networks.

Some of the recent, pressing details that have come out of the leaks in the last twenty-four hours include a 'crazy but charming' Robert Mugabe, the publication of hundreds of highly critical points of respective national infrastructure, and a continuation of denial-of-service attacks against major online organisations which pulled their plug of support on the leaking network.

Chris Dawson, resident Education blogger, gives us a great insight into how to deal with school students who inquire, and consider the ethics and morals behind the vast scale of classified releases.

But what do students tell us about the Wikileaks release? There are three strands which are widely available to be taken as 'the opinion of the student' thus far:

Opinion 1: Wikileaks holds governments truly accountable. The public should know everything.

This selection of students on the most part are the socialist, center-to-left view holding set of students with views that governments should not hold secrets, release all information, or have a third-party group such as Wikileaks 'holding governments to account' by releasing classified information regardless of the consequences.

This at a time when students are in a hotbed of political activity, especially on this side of the pond with the raising of tuition fees playing a prominent role in today's politics, and angry students clutching at straws in any political imbalance to embarrass the government at hand.

Twitter is, at the moment, a main source of the venting of anger for many students campaigning for free speech and open governments. The US State Department though has warned over sharing these still-classified files.

Opinion 2: Wikileaks is demonstrating the next-generation of 'terrorism'

In opposition to the Wikileaks release taking the other end of the polar spectrum, the more center-to-right students are taking the approach that Wikileaks is essentially either a terrorist group, or in some way terrorism-related due to the impact they are having around the world. Also, with some of the released leaks, they argue that they can be used to aid and abet terrorists and criminals, thus making Wikileaks no better than those who finance acts of terrorism.

As I've argued before, the web and social media can be used as a conduit to acts of terrorism on the front of Wikileaks, but also a defence campaign for good to protest over issues by enacting denial-of-service attacks.

Opinion 3: Wikileaks? No idea what that is, because we don't watch the news

Believe it or not, a huge minority of students and the Generation Y are relatively unaware of the Wikileaks story or consequences because they simply don't watch the news. After a couple of personal cases discussing the leaks with student colleagues, their brief opinion fell into either 1 or 2, but felt that, "it probably didn't affect them anyway".

What's your opinion? Left, right or or blissfully unaware?

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42 comments
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  • RE: Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

    Let's publish all student grades publicly on the internet. That would make students more responsible for their education performance.

    Some things are best kept secret.
    jorjitop
    • RE: Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

      @jorjitop I agree. We all have secrets; governments should too.
      zwhittaker
      • RE: Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

        @zwhittaker You love the taste of Kool Aid dont you?
        Bodazapha
      • RE: Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

        Bodazapha --

        How does Zack's statement qualify as "Kool Aid?"

        Do you truly believe that the identities of covert operatives, the locations and specifications of sensitive facilities, individuals' personal financial/medical data, etc., etc. should be made public?

        If these things WERE made public, do you really think that no one would exploit this data for very unethical ends?

        If you believe either of those things, then you're incredibly naive.
        Churlish
    • Also their sexual orientation.

      @jorjitop
      Make it more personnal. Publish their sexual history. Hit them with their most private actions to teach them what it's like.
      ripadgett
    • RE: Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

      @jorjitop How about posting all their text messages and who they sent them to. I think that would be more to the point.
      Scubajrr
    • RE: Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

      @Churlish

      Name one "covert" operative, name one sensitive facility. Or have you just done the least amount of homework and listened to Hilary talk of "endangering the lives of...".

      What we have received so far is how much our Gov't mettles in the affairs of others.
      Bodazapha
  • Anyone here old enough to remember...

    ...what happened to that guy, way back when, who was the first to translate the Bible into common English?
    They hung him. Dead.
    Feldwebel Wolfenstool
    • RE: Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

      @Feldwebel Wolfenstool

      Didn't know that and I am old enough. Maybe senility has reared its ugly head and I simply forgot that fact.
      kenosha77a
    • That is what can happen

      @Feldwebel Wolfenstool

      when you go against the establishment, STILL. If the US got hold of Assange, they would try to put him at Gitmo or in one of their torture camps elsewhere, outside the reach of the Constitution. Nice to know they play by the rules. :-(

      In any event, I think this case has an element of the common man feeling empowered, against a huge, entrenched political and industrial establishment. That is imho part of what drives people to sympathize and support Wikileaks.

      If we can prevent the establishment from shutting this one down, maybe the internet can contribute to a real democratization of society.
      Economister
      • RE: Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

        @Economister

        The only thing I don't get is how the US Gov't claims they couldn't shut down WikiLeaks, yet a week earlier, they managed to shut down dozens of Bit Torrent sites. Hmmmm.. makes me wonder if they WANTED WikiLeaks to stay up.

        Chaos Theory anybody?
        SAStarling
      • RE: Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

        @SAStarling

        One was illegal, one is Censorship.
        Bodazapha
    • RE: Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

      @Feldwebel Wolfenstool :
      they should have burned all the bibles as well because of all the trouble they've caused
      deaf_e_kate
  • Terrorists - Plain and simple.

    Terrorism in the name of "openess" is no better than any other reason or form of/for Terror.
    ripadgett
    • RE: Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

      ripadgett --

      I completely agree.
      Churlish
      • RE: Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

        @Churlish terrorism.... Its that kind of mindless twitter that Bush used to manipulate the US public into accepting the Invasion of Iraq. WMD WMD anyone?

        They throw it up in numerous sound-bytes on endless news cycles and before you know it, the sheeple start grabbing their pitchforks....

        Its scary
        Bodazapha
    • RE: Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

      @ripadgett <br><br>Ooooh someone's been listening to Fox News. How is it that people refuse to actually think, but instead prefer hatemongering with words like terrorist. There is nothing sacred about diplomacy, spying and military decisions (sometimes called killing people) and patriotism is demonstrably the last refuge of the scoundrel. By all means try and keep it secret - after all the reason for that is you are doing something or saying something nasty - but when you get caught, why not man up instead of trying to kill the messenger.<br><br>Remember Salman Rushdie? It appears some Americans now have a fatwa. Perhaps you could call him a socialist as well - isn't that a shoot on sight case now?<br><br>Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.
      tonymcs@...
  • RE: Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

    i consider a terrorist the one that bombs countries in order to force them to sell cheap oil and other resources
    d.marcu
    • RE: Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

      @d.marcu But those who protect CNI also take into account economic and diplomatic efforts. There are over 180 definitions of 'terrorism' so yes, it's hard to narrow it down. But terrorism isn't necessarily mutually exclusive to the stereotyped image of bombing and attacks like in Mumbai.
      zwhittaker
      • RE: Continuing Wikileaks fallout: What the students think

        @zwhittaker, true but the "almighty " usa should stop pretending to be a saint and accuse others of terrorism, when they are among the biggest ones (hyroshima and nagasaky ? more than 200.000 people killed + vietnam, korea, iraq, afghanistan etc.) Now a terrorist is the PR guy of a website. Oh please.
        d.marcu