The Magazine

Can You Plug a WikiLeak?

It’s not easy.

Dec 27, 2010, Vol. 16, No. 15 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
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It seems equally possible, however, that WikiLeaks is a product of the moment: that it took off because a single megalomaniac with just the right resources appeared at a time when the costs for leaking and publishing sensitive information were not yet well defined. If WikiLeaks were driven underground and potential leakers saw that the cost of giving away secrets was frighteningly high, then maybe this would become the movement’s high-water mark.

All of that said, it’s entirely possible that the most prudent course of action for the Obama administration is to leave WikiLeaks alone. But it’s important to remember that the Internet is not an all-powerful force before which mere governments are helpless. The challenge in dealing with WikiLeaks isn’t a dearth of options. It’s balancing the benefits against the costs. 

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