In most of my talks on Internet censorship, or while discoursing on Free Software, I invariably end up invoking the contributions made by WikiLeaks (WL) in enabling whistleblowers, and also cite WL as an example when the powerful have tried, and been almost successful in trampling independent voices, rising against injustice.
Working with a grand, but necessary motto of transparency in Governments and financial institutions to ensure justice for the commons, WikiLeaks did shake up the ice and make many of us realise the double standards of various major players. In doing so, they have as expected annoyed the benefactors of secrecy.
While WikiLeaks is simply a high technology publishing platform, it is one of its kind. WL started functioning as a platform for whistleblowers to publish information without the fear of having being suppressed or in many cases protecting their lives. WL will in future turn to be an epoch in global journalism and a defining period where the institutions who were suppressing information, will think twice to do so. We have witnessed it, and I am certain not many of us realised how important a thing has occurred in the last 4-5 years around WikiLeaks.
The journey of WikiLeaks can be understood clearly by knowing its Editor-in-Chief, Julian Assange(JA).
While today, people might link him up with malignant rumors and accusations, which have been avalanched upon him – his autobiography provides a peek into the evolution of a man’s mind, who ended up being the baton holder for WikiLeaks.
JA, has been projected a super villain better than what Christopher Nolan does in his creations.
A geeky, promiscuous male chauvinist who wanted to control the world, is what many ended up thinking of him – given the smear campaigns he has been victimised to by the most powerful media networks of the world.
His autobiography, at least three quarters of it, is a passionate recitation of the mind that has grown to become a symbol for activism using the technology that is today making the world more close knit, sophisticated and in ways dangerous.
Advanced Mathematics and Quantum Mechanics , according to Assange helped him realise his goals of using technology to work towards making the world just. After starting off as a hacker in his teenage, with revelatory experiences of witnessing the dynamics of the world in the alleys of information, the progression Assange has made into the man behind WikiLeaks seems natural.
Not everyone is capable of bringing life to their vision both in terms of aptitude and attitude. Assange, given his upbringing and his life experiences coupled with his own intellect set on accomplishing his goals, which happens to be making the world a better place.
The smear campaign against ,JA could be one of the most powerful campaigns in recent history – media houses backed by Governments, went out ballistic against a single man, and they have been effective in tarnishing his image in the eyes of public. Now, I like to look up Asaange what he did in the server room of WikiLeaks, or in the board rooms of conferences, and relative to these grand feats might let him alone with his chauvinism as he calls it himself in his bedroom.
I fail to understand, everytime,as to how people are so longing to thrive on the vices in others and not see the positives. Even in Assange’s case the world seems to have him a villain, without supporting his real purpose.
People like you and I, might sit down to read him and write about people like him, who really have done something. In the end, if we introspect, I repeat – if we introspect, we will in most cases find it disheartening to see we neither have the aptitude or the attitude to go out of our routines and try and impact the world we are helping to go to dogs.
Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love. In a modern economy it is impossible to seal oneself off from injustice.
If we can only live once, then let it be a daring adventure that draws on all our powers.
Perhaps as an old man I will take great comfort in pottering around in a lab and gently talking to students in the summer evening and will accept suffering with insouciance. But not now; men in their prime, if they have convictions are tasked to act on them.