T. H. Breen:
Insurgencies are not movements for the faint of heart.
The larger the institution with secrets to keep, the more opportunities for leaking there will be.
It will always suck to work for large organizations, and the larger the organization, the more it will suck.
There is an old Republican saying that "a government strong enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take away everything you have." This statement contains an essential truth that liberals have no right to overlook.
As far as long-term developments are concerned, I think that much depends on whether the WikiLeaks saga would continue being a debate about freedom of expression, government transparency or whistle-blowing or whether it would become a nearly-paranoid debate about the risks to national security. Anonymous is playing with fire, for they risk tipping the balance towards the latter interpretation -- and all the policy levers that come with it.
With Facebook's prominence on the Web -- its more than 500 million members upload more than one billion pieces of content a day -- the site's role as an arbiter of free speech is likely to become even more pronounced.
The primary consequence of Wikileaks will be the tools, process, and laws that will be used in the future to suppress other leaks.
People who are over-educated become risk-averse.
If the political world becomes a mirror of the Internet as we know it today, then the world will be restructured around opaque, digitally delineated power centers surrounded by a sea of chaotic, underachieving openness. Wikileaks is one prototype of a digital power center, but others include hedge funds and social networking sites.
This is the world we are headed to, it seems, since people are unable to resist becoming organized according to the digital architectures that connect us. The only way out is to change the architecture.
If there's one lesson of history, it is that seeking power doesn't change the world. You need to change yourself along with the world.
It's important to understand that it isn't Congress that must change -- it is us.
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