Do you approve of WikiLeaks releasing US State Department documents?

  PC Advisor 15:33 01 Dec 2010

The website WikiLeaks has obtained and released hundreds of thousands of classified cables from US embassies around the world, causing a global diplomatic crisis. Numerous embarrassing revelations and potentially dangerous secrets have emerged.

Emotions are running high, and many feel that those involved should be strongly punished (click here). But what do you think? Have your say in the poll in the lefthand column.

  OTT_B 15:40 01 Dec 2010

I think if the state starts strongly punishing the people who steal and release the files, that is one thing.
If the state or organisations start punishing people for the contents of the released files (e.g. Mervyn King under pressure to resign, UN anger of espionage), then that may be seen to justify the release of the files.

Rock + hard place

  timsmith259 16:25 01 Dec 2010

no comment

  timsmith259 16:26 01 Dec 2010

no comment until further notice

  uk-wizard 16:37 01 Dec 2010

What worrys me is that the grand ol' US of A does not bother to encrypt or even password protect its cables.

  babybell 16:41 01 Dec 2010

I think somethings are better left unsaid or even unknown. We all know, or can imagine, what goes on at this level, but I think in a way, ignorance is bliss for some cases and some of this information will do more harm than good when released.

  spuds 16:46 01 Dec 2010

If these leaks are in the interest of the general public, then yes I fully agree with any 'whistle-blowing'.

All to often decisions are being made or undertaken by individuals or committees for the so called benefit of the public, yet at the same time the public know very little about these.

We only need to look at the UK's recent

  Woolwell 16:48 01 Dec 2010

I suspect that they were encrypted during transmission from whatever embassy to USA. These leaks seem to contain the version that was unencrypted (is that the right word?) for the reader in USA to read. However I am bothered and puzzled as to how so many have been kept like this in plain language and online.

Language about the punishment in the linked report is OTT however the sentiment about the breach of trust and the risk posed to international relationships and possibly lives is right.

  spuds 16:49 01 Dec 2010

MP scandal, and how that as turned out.

(Apology for the extra entry, item went into cyber space before completion).

  caccy 16:58 01 Dec 2010

Have any of these leaked documents been proven to be true?

I'm finding this hard to believe unless the leak comes from the US Department of State which, I suspect, would be be only US government department with all this data.

  Forum Editor 17:05 01 Dec 2010

to governments by embassy officials, and vice versa, and messages from one government to another are very often private, and sometimes contain sensitive information. We don't have a right to read them, and if they come into our possession we certainly don't have a right to publish them for all the world to see.

I've heard and read about a lot of people bandying the 'public interest' phrase about, but I wonder who it is who decides what is or isn't in the public interest? It certainly isn't some US government employee, or Julian Assange of Wikileaks.

I said elsewhere - when the leaks were first publicised - that if embassy officials feel that the content of every email they write is likely to end up on the internet one day they will exercise a degree of caution - they may be less communicative in terms of voicing opinions, and that's the very last thing a government wants.

This leak could be the thin end of a wedge that will have far reaching consequences.

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