AlanGustin Blog2

Who’s a Spy?

Posted in Information, news by alangustin on January 12, 2011

This is taken from a comment by Socrates at the wired.com blog:

WikiLeaks actions clearly constitute espionage. In a war-time environment, potentially including the “war on terror” as determined by Congress, such a release of information could be interpretted as providing aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States, which constitutes an act of treason and is punishable by death. In a perfect world, nations would not be needed, and national secrets and other protective measures wouldn’t be necessary. We live in an imperfect and hostile world, where violence and the pursuit of power are still commonplace. The United States is a sovereign nation that must act both nationally and globally to protect its citizens and their interests. Risking the lives and freedoms of Americans in the name of profit-driven journalism is not only fraudulent, it is contemptuous.

This comment was in response to an article titled, “Twitter’s Response to WikiLeaks Subpoena Should Be the Industry Standard” read source article

I don’t know the laws concerning espionage, but someone does. If the commentor, Socrates is correct, then Assange could be held accountable. Certainly Pfc. Bradley Manning (the supplier of the leaks) should be tried for treason.

The opinions on this topic are fairly polarized along political “left” and “right” lines. It should not surprise anyone that the liberal left consider Assange to be some kind of cult hero — ‘stickin’ it to the man’ and all.  And conversely, it doesn’t surprise me that conservative-minded folks would adopt the opinion of Mr. Socrates. I find the conservative view the only one that makes real sense, unless you are hoping for some kind of anarchy-or-nothing world in which nothing is protected — short of protecting yourself. I don’t think I want to live in that world.

The radical leftists, throughout their existence in history, have shouted, “Revolution now!” time after time, believing that their revolution will be the one that brings the ultimate, functioning utopia to the world. They are wrong every time. They still hold out blind hope that other cultures and societies believe as they do, think as they do, and will someday, “all just get along”. But I find it interesting that most of our homegrown radicals are happy to reside right here in the good old USA — where it’s reasonably safe and warm.

Unfortunately, as Mr. Socrates alludes to, the world is not a utopia, nor will it be for a long, long time, if ever. Although I agree that the world could be a much better place, radical revolution of the kind that would usher in chaos and anarchy should never be desired by level-headed people. What might the Assange supporters think of him if the information he leaked facilitated a terrorist attack that affected their home town, or killed a loved one.

There are many loved ones serving in our armed forces overseas. These are the ones that may be directly affected by the Wikileaks, and that is where the rubber meets the road for me in this discussion. As long as our elected officials deem it proper and necessary to wage war on terrorists, John Q. Public must accept and abide by the decisions of their elected leaders. Those who think that the Wikileaks are a good thing should think about who might be harmed by the leaks. If a change in policy is desired, then change policy at the voting booth, not by breaking the law.

As for the topic of the original article at Wired, which discusses the bravery displayed by Twitter.com in trying to protect their users from having their accounts given over to subpeona, I think the requested information should be considered on a case-by-case basis. If the Law enforcement agency can show reasonable cause to suspect a crime was comitted by a Twitter user, then that user account should be accessed by law enforcement, but only to the extent that information pertinent to the case at hand is turned over. I don’t believe law enforcement should be able to issue a subpeona for multiple accounts, unless the law makes provision for that action.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alan Gustin. Alan Gustin said: RT @alangustin: Who's a Spy?: http://t.co/msWaPQq #Wikileaks […]


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