Wikileaks - Should a nonprofit do this?

Wikileakslogo.png

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! 

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Wikileaks was NEVER non profit organization. This is misinformation disseminated by media and it is based on the Wikileaks own proclamation to be "Non profit", on this page: http://wikileaks.ch/About.html

    The fact is that Wikileaks is private unregistered business of Julian Assange, as majority of the money flows to his accounts or pockets. The business was later registered as SUNSHINE PRESS PRODUCTIONS EHF, private limited company in Iceland, with business purpose production, editing and distribution of media content, video content, language and print media, web design and hosting industry, retailers and wholesalers, real estate and business lending and related activities.

    Full company documents:
    http://wikileakscriminalorganization.com/wikileaks-was-never-non-profit-organization.html

    Question: Is there information that should NOT be shared - despite all of our calls for transparency in the sector?

    Answer: The people elect the politicians and their government. At all the times in the world, there was always some "secret" information. Every private individual, company or government, has its secrets. People shall have transparent government, but the enforcement of the transparency must go by the democratic, or civilized, lawful means, and not by anarchistic disrespectful and irresponsible criminal methods such as of Wikileaks.

    Question: Do you see an ethical issue here? If so, please describe.

    Answer: The proclaimed purpose to be "non profit" is intended misrepresentation, false representation and is punishable by high fine in United States and also in Iceland and Australia. The true purpose is very simple, due to none productive business, Julian Assange steals the information and earns money. Although public see benefits, Assange does not take care of anybody but his ego.

    Wikileaks, using criminal methods to obtain documents and without verifying the information, renders itself non authoritative.

    Question: Does it make a difference that Wikileaks is a nonprofit organization that is sharing this information?

    Answer: Wikileaks was NEVER non profit organization. As non profits are always: registered, and always: transparent, and always: distribute moneys to non profit purposes. There is no evidence of any of those three attributes. It is a private business of Julian Assange and his private company SUNSHINE PRESS PRODUCTIONS EHF.

    Question: Some say that what was shared this time is not classified. What if it were?

    Answer: Prior to publishing any documents, publisher has to verify the sources and if it was classified. There is reason why is it classified. There is reason why there are officers employed and handling the information and not some anarchist like Assange.

    Question: 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?

    Answer: I am not aware that Wikileaks, a private business of Assange, was sponsored by government funds, especially not by U.S. funds.

    Wikileaks is scam of public.

    Read more: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/non-profit-chicago/2010/12/wikileaks---a-nonprofit.html#ixzz1C9zcQnUx

Leave a comment