“A whistleblower is a person who tells the public or someone in authority about alleged dishonest orillegal activities (misconduct) occurringin a government department, a public or private organization, or a company.” Wikipedia
Whistleblowers are brave volunteers who come forward to disseminate suppressed information.
Whistleblowers in the recent past Whistleblower The LeakDaniel Ellsberg (1971) The Pentagon Papers: A secret account of the Vietnam WarW. Mark Felt (1972) US President Richard Nixons involvement in WatergateIngvar Bratt (1979) Bofors Scandal in India dring the Rajiv Gandhi regimeMordechai Vanunu (1986) Israels clandestine nuclear programJeffrey Wigand (1996) Supression of harmful effets of Nicotine by the tobacco industry, dramatised in the Russel Crowe starring The Insider Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_whistleblowers
Indian Whistleblowers Whistleblower The LeakN Ram (1980s) Bofors Scandal in India dring the Rajiv Gandhi regimeSatyendra Dubey* (2003) Corruption in highway construction projects (NHAI) in IndiaS. Manjunath * (2005) Adulteration of petroleum in the India Oil CorporationR Gokul (~2005) Belekeri port scam in Karnataka, Iron Ore mining scamRTI activists in India Whistleblowers of various discrepancies in Governance. * Many paying for it with their lives! Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_whistleblowers http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=54566
“What are we having this liberty for? We are having this liberty in order toreform our social system, which is fullof inequality, discrimination and other things, which conflict with our fundamental rights.” B. R. Ambedkar
Wikileaks, or its founder Julian Assangeare not whistleblowers.
Wikileaks is a non-profit media organization who publish relevant material, voluntarily given by the brave whistleblowers,coupled with investigative journalism
What sort of material do they publish? “Wikileaks publishes material of ethical, political and historicalsignificance while keeping the identity of sources(whistleblowers) anonymous, thus providing a universal way for the revealing of suppressed and censored injustices.” http://wikileaks.ch/
Investigative journalism? “Investigative journalism is distinctfrom apparently similar work done by police, lawyers, auditors and regulatory bodies in that it is not limited as to target, not legally founded and closely connected to publicity.” Hugo de Burgh http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_de_Burgh
Recent Impact of Investigative journalism In India✗ Barak Missile Deal Scandal✗ Increasing farmer suicideds` and Govt. apathy in India✗ Jessica Lall case✗ 2G Spectrum auction scandal✗ Corruption in CWG✗ Sband spectrum allocation by ISRO✗ Cash for votes scam✗ And tons of other suppressed information on a daily basis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tehelka And others
Are the activities of wikileaks against law? Not really. No law (already) present in the US or UK can prosecute them. Wikileaks stands for➔ Freedom of Press➔ Right to Information Fundamental rights of any civilized society in a democracy
What if Wikileaks/Julian Assange,who are being accused of espionage are convicted? It would equal violation of Freedom of Press. And other media houses partnering withWikileaks for publishing the cables like the NewYork Times in the US, The Hindu in India, and hundreds of other publishers would be analogically at the same risk For, Wikileaks is also a publisher.
Important leaks published by Wikileaks● Document revealing the inhuman protocol of the U.S. Armyat the Guantanamo Bay detention camp (2006)● The collected secret bibles of Scientology (2008)● Collateral Murder:Gunsight footage from the 12 July 2007Baghdad airstrike in which Iraqi civilians and journalistswere killed by an Apache helicopter (2010)● Afghan War Diary:92,000 documents related to the war inAfghanistan (2010)●Iraq War Diary: 400,000 documents relating to the IraqWar (2010)● US Diplomatic Cables: 251,287 confidential—but not topsecret—diplomatic cables from 274 US embassies (2010)● Cash for Votes: Cable reiterating the ruckus created inthe Indian Parliament house about 2008 no-confidence vote(2011) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WikiLeaks#Leaks
Why publish sensitive information and Govt. secrets? “The trend has been that many Big Corporations and Government secrets are illegitimate and for prolonged periods of time.” Julian Assange
“The fact is that when it comes to judgement as to what should be secret and what should not besecret, Julian Assanges judgment has been pretty good so far.” Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers Whistle Blower http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Ellsberg
PM Manmohan Singh about the cash-for-votes cable "The government cannot confirm the veracity, content or even the existence of such communication." Julian Asanges response “A deliberate attempt to mislead the public bysuggesting that governments around the world do not accept the material... there is no doubt, whatsoever, that the cables are authentic” http://is.gd/JnfAyx http://is.gd/JBxQLr
Soon, more cables with details on Black money holders in Swiss banks http://www.thehindu.com/system/topicRoot/WikiLeaks/
Dubiousness of support lent to Wikileaks Because Wikileaks is head on with Big Corporations and powerful Governments, lot of smear campaign has been ongoing, off late. Media houses which initially stood byWikileaks have retracted succumbing to the pressure from Govt. Authorities.Heres a comparison of the stands taken by an influential US media houseNeutral interview: http://is.gd/4cmg3OSmear campaign: http://is.gd/G0LPT2
Attacks on Wikileaks after the US Diplomatic cables leak● American-owned EveryDNS dropped WikiLeaks from its entries● Amazon.com severed its ties with WikiLeaks, to which it was providing infrastructure services● PayPal the payment processor cut off the account that had been redirecting donations to WikiLeaks● Swiss bank, PostFinance, announced that it had frozen the assets of Assange● Visa Inc. announced it was suspending payments to WikiLeaks
“It is important to progresstowards the idea of the Internet as a neutral media that is not controlled by large corporates or governments." Sir Tim Berners Lee, on the role played by Internet in the Egypt Revolution http://is.gd/DnmPG7
Why Web Democracy? Freedom to the users Freedom of expression Right to information No content discrimination Privacy and Anonymity
A Quintessential dependencyWeb Democracy Freedom of PressFreedom in the Better democracy Web For People
“ We (US citizens) were taken to war in Iraq on a lie.Hundreds of thousands are now dead. Just imagine if the men who plannedthis war crime back in 2002 had had aWikiLeaks to deal with. They might not have been able to pull it off.” Michael Moore
Participatory Investigative journalism can compel the Governments to become transparent. Support Wikileaks!
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