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The Varsavsky Foundation
Avenida Bruselas 7, Planta 3
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Madrid, Spain

The political blog of a social entrepreneur

Assange’s Poison Pill

I am in the process of downloading a file that contains all the unedited cables that Wikileaks has obtained. You can do the same by downloading this link using a program like Vuze. This is a 1.4GB file so it may take a while. As far as I know it is not illegal to download it as it is not copyright material. In any case it is probably not illegal because you cannot read whatever it is that you are downloaded as it is encrypted. What this file is is a Poison Pill. Assange goes, this file is open for humanity to see.

I am downloading this file for two reasons. One is because I believe that if it was so easy for Wikileaks to obtain this information whoever our enemies are probably have it as well. Secondly because while I had mixed feelings on what Julian Assange was doing, I am so disgusted about how Western democracies are reacting towards a person who has not been formally accused of any crime that I think it’s time to stand by Wikileaks to defend freedom of the press.

Lately I have a strong feeling that the Chinese must be rejoicing at all the “retroactive law invention” that is going on in the West to put one man in jail. Because if Assange had been a Chinese citizen promoting transparency in China we would be lining up to give him the Nobel Prize. We can’t demand transparency from others and censorship for ourselves.

If the US government did not want its secrets known, all they had to do was to encrypt these secrets as Wikileak’s Assange is doing with this file. As CNN argues it comes with an encryption that not one of all the encryption crackers in the world can figure out. Think about it, we will all have this file but we will not be able to read it. Can’t the US government do the same if something is really a secret? How can real secrets be distributed among over a million of people with easy access to matters way beyond their jurisdiction and unencrypted? From now on, if you want a secret, encrypt it, and make it a crime to break the encryption.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, at New Media Days 09
Image by New Media Days via Flickr

Posted on December 11, 2010