Wikileaks Hypocrisy?

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Mediaite linked yesterday to a piece in the New Statesman which reported that Wikileaks has been pressuring members of their staff to sign what they describe as a “draconian” confidentiality agreement. They apparently got the document from former Wikileaks staffer James Ball, who describes it as “the most restrictive [confidentiality agreement] I have ever encountered,” and who worried that if he signed it, that he could be held liable for things he had already said since it was backdated several months.

Ball argues, convincingly to me at least, that if Wikileaks, and Assange particularly, is going to argue that whistle-blowing is the only way to keep governments and powerful corporations honest, then they must be open to having the whistle blown on themselves as well. This document would seem to negate that idea. Wikileaks must remain open to criticism from within its ranks if it is to maintain its moral standing as a whistle-blower.

You can access the full text of the gag order here.


Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011). His poem “Upon Reading That Andromeda Will One Day Devour Triangulum and Come For Us Next” was featured in Season 9 of Motion Poems. More from this author →