Shame on Gawker for going all News of the World and publishing a personal email exchange between Julian Assange and a girl in whom he was interested many years ago:
Julian Assange, the founder of the world’s most notorious secret-sharing operation, has some embarrassing documents in his own past. We’ve obtained a series of emails detailing his stalkery courtship of a teenager in his pre-Wikileaks days.
Moronic apologists for the establishment are trying to portray this as entirely legitimate given that he’s publishing their secrets – as if there were no difference between publishing COMMUNICATIONS OF STATE and digging through the private correspondence of ordinary citizens.
(Funnily enough, Adrian Chen, the author of this vicious little expose, didn’t share any of his embarrassing romantic cock-ups with the world. Although he did provide an embarrassing photo.)
XKCD also missed the point, earlier in the week:
But Wikileaks is not about pursuing the anonymous, ordinary citizens – it’s about exposing the machinations (not the private lives) of the powerful on our behalf. It’s not the same thing at all.
So who watches the watchers? Turns out it’s the watched. With all the resources of the state at their disposal, and all the malice of an insulted tyrant. The aim? To make future watchers too scared to even consider watching them. To destroy those who would dare to hold them to account, so that in future that won’t happen.
Let’s not reward them for the repulsive gambit.
UPDATE: Or, if I might put it like this – the maxim is quis custodiet ipsos custodes, or “who guards the guards” – not (although it is often mistranslated this way) “who watches the watchers”. The distinction: the watchers are not the ones with the guns! They’re not in power over us! They do not rule us, tax us, or punish us.
The state and its agents, on the other hand…