Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Metaleaks and metanews

Posted by Dave Bath on 2010-12-08

We need leaks about the leaks.

We are used to the story-about-the-story phenomenon about general news items, but there is now a twist to this waiting to happen.

There will necessarily be a difference between what governments say to public and each other about their attitudes and actions regarding Assange.  Leaks about these will be telling and newsworthy – and give a very accurate understanding of how dissembling works, and why such secrecy is actually necessary.

Are the publically stated reasons justifying secrecy and the seriousness of Assange’s actions the same as the real reasons?

Is the pope a hindu?

Will the true plans of governments regarding Assange be released under the likes of 30-year-rules and FoI requests that apply to standard boring stuff, or hidden for longer on the basis that release would compromise operational security?

Leaks from within government about leaking will reveal whether secrecy protects the public or the political machines, reveal whether the secrecy is actually in the interest of democracy or whether it oppresses the public.

Leaks from within Wikileaks itself would reveal the true agenda of Assange, whether he truly wants better government in the interest of the public, or whether he merely wants to be destructive even if the general public become disadvantaged.

Does wikileaks itself worry about operational security leaks?  Should it release all other information about motives itself?

For instance, communications within wikileaks on the strategy for ordering of publication would be interesting.  It seems the trivial stuff is being released first, perhaps to demonstrate governments’ overreaction, force public attention on the processes of misinformation by governments, perhaps a strategy to get the most information public in the long run.

If wikileaks published the most explosive stuff first, would it be silenced earlier, go out with a bang?

What, if any, planning advice for strategic ordering of releases was given by those mainstream news organizations working closely with wikileaks?

What, if anything, did Fairfax ("The Age", "Sydney Morning Herald") do to promote release of information about Australia ahead of other subjects?  This is very different from "Der Speigel" publishing US internal musings about North Korea.

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4 Responses to “Metaleaks and metanews”

  1. Moe said

    Seems to me that the real explosion of interest in Assange and wikileaks came after he announced that the next doc dump would be from inside a ‘major US bank’.

  2. Dave Bath said

    Moe@1: Leaks about wikileaks and banks, when the public rhetoric involved merely diplomacy, is one of the things I was thinking about.

    Leaks on this topic would not relate to national security nor ability to conduct international diplomacy, would not be held in those more secure agencies.

    Indeed, the most interesting leaks from within the banks would be those relating to the real reasons governments bailed out the banks, and and strategies by governments to minimize the probity requirements imposed on the finance industry.

    In part, I was hoping this post would stimulate discussion that might lead to calls for disclosure of strategies to leak and hassle leakers.

    • Moe said

      Dave – I actually think it’s possible there’s pressure (behind the scenes) coming from the banks right now – perhaps as much as from the US govt.

      I just checked the current site at and they are now being mirrored on over a thousand sites.

      I think this is shaping up to be a much bigger deal than it was 48 hours ago.

  3. […] Comments Dave Bath on Metaleaks and metanewsMoe on Metaleaks and metanewsDave Bath on Recruiting for your enemyDave Bath on Recruiting […]

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