What are your thoughts about this situation?
The following is taken from the ARNOVA-L listserve, which is comprised of about 1,000 nonprofit academics, researchers, and practitioners from around the world. I was intrigued by the situation as it was presented. I've offered a few questions below. What are your thoughts?
"The Wikileaks situation brings up an interesting set of issues. Wikileaks is a nonprofit organization and a lot of the activity its members/supporters are undertaking is very much within the social movement arena. Without taking a position on the rightness of their actions, what does this really say about nonprofit advocacy opposing both government and the corporate sector?" (ARNOVA-L posting - Dec. 9, 2010)
For those of you not keeping up with these issues, read the news from the past few days about the confidential U.S. Embassy cables that Wikileaks has publicly shared that some U.S. governmental representatives say has compromised a number of our foreign relationships. Why? Because they were private assessments about particular leaders. Many folks' egos were apparently offended in this process. Some question whether serious damage has been done to our relationships with particular foreign powers as a result.
Here are a few questions to consider:
- Is there information that should NOT be shared - despite all of our calls for transparency in the sector?
- Do you see an ethical issue here? If so, please describe.
- Does it make a difference that Wikileaks is a nonprofit organization that is sharing this information? Some say that what was shared this time is not classified. What if it were?
- Do you think the underlying concern is that Wikileaks is supported by donors and perhaps government funds, yet its mission to share information might actually hurt those from whom it garners its resources?
We look forward to your comments!