Responsibility With Information / Fernando Dámaso

  1. The publication by Wikileaks of thousands of classified and highly sensitive communications from United States government officials, has created an international stir. And no wonder. Faced with a fait accompli, there are those who agree with what happened and those who do not.
  2. The search for and transmitting of information about enemies, potential enemies and friends, has been done by officials from the embassies of all world governments, without exception. It is accepted practice and has nothing to do with espionage, which also takes place, albeit disguised. It is undertaken to add to the elements taken into account when discussing policy. They are personal opinions and assessments of officials, not state policies.
  3. To welcome the publication, as some do, is to play with a double-edged sword: it can cut all players because everyone practices it. The problem stems from someone in the know. Wikileaks is symptomatic that, so far, it has only been published documents from the United States and not elsewhere. It could be due to serious weaknesses in the control of such documents by the various departments of this government, or because those of other governments are very well protected, although this assessment is doubtful. I think there is a strong interest in harming one particular player.
  4. I understand that there is information that should be in the public domain, since it relates directly to citizens, but there is others which does not have to be, since it relates only to the states. Freedom of information is one thing and irresponsible debauchery of information, with the intention to shock, is another. Setting limits is not easy, but it is possible and desirable.
  5. If this practice is accepted, and no steps are taken by the concerned agencies in the world to halt it, chaos will invade international relations, making it even harder for peaceful coexistence among states, in a globalized world. Irresponsibility can not be the road map to follow.

December 3, 2010