The case of Wikileaks screwing up with transparency in the aftermath of the elections
Wikileaks helped us to get quite an insight at the internal politics of the DNC and the secret garden party of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 elections, what we are all very grateful for, but I might say that after Trump’s elections, they kind of behaved erraticly. Wikileaks, sealed with the seal of conspiracy, promptly started to elementary my dear Catson behave as a mainstream stakeholder shaking hands with whoever like the barons of the privacy (Snowwden out of Assange’s body) to the over consumed media product Michael Moore! Only are missing Good Amy (God, Amy!) and Go Go Klein! to get the portrayal completed (but oups they’re women so skip it).
More seriously, it is dubious that the organization didn’t try to hide a bit more its political ambitions crafted into some kind of christianic moral rhetorics (we are the champions) knowing that they precedently in exclusivity advocated body and soul against the demons of partisan media. But to my dismay, they argued that a media source reaching a kind of public interest should necessarily convert into a political actor, raising voices with dubious demagogical arguments in such a perfectly polished brand (The Intercept? Catch that one). Oh my godness.
Anyway, one thing is sure in ontology and politics, transparency and privacy are not going the same way.
2016 has been a disruptive year with the referendum of the Brexit that splits the UK from Europe, the Revelations of Wikileaks about the links between DNC and Wall Street, the mainstream media and the political gotham as influential leaders and well seen academics, the chief of the FBI last minute request to access the Clinton’s documents and the popular crowds that put, against all expectations, Trump at the head of the White House.
Yes, the last months have been a pochette surprise instead of the craft packet waited to be delivered monthly.
But when you think about these moves, unless they happened out of the blue in a certain poetic chaos, weren’t they, in a way, the quite logical figuration of some secret forces coming from underwater currents that have started to erode the political scene. Nothing was much new but yet, it was made public, and the simulacrum was suddenly known from all.
Many networks of influence that appeared as stables have been seriously affected by these unexpected changes, starting with the markets of New York, Tokyo, Mexico or London that were down on the night of the elections. Damn. They should have asked the hackers, the main and only source having sides both in Russia and America… Call it, diplomacy.
Following Trump’s election, we observed a reconfiguration of the global powers starting with the negociation of the global governance to the reactivation of the Old War fantasm that predicts that US and Russia are soon to exchange bacteriological war, to the emergence of China as a serious challenger (yes Obama, they’re better than you at human exploitation, you bet), to the appearance of secondary economies on the scene of economical power (oh, oh, this is not good for Canada, oups), passing by the discredit of long terms american media figures like the NYT, Washington Post, CNN or AP. Yes. The world has changed its face in a night.
Yet, others revealed the one they were hiding in privacy (and we’d better not know). Quite dominant yet non established actors, the whistle blowers and the alternative tech scene, have thus seemingly, in the realm of the elections, voiced loudly their concerns to get out of the shadow where they lyed since years like Succubs (my precious) to access political power and public recognition. Yes, they revealed how badly they wanted to be adored.
If the wish of accessing political leadership might be understandable yet ironical from actors that have been saying their commitment to the passing of public pieces of information for the last decade, we might ask ourself if the legitimacy of these sources to access political power is not merely an attempt to get honor and fame or get people to do what they want. Doesnt this sound a bit like a communist dictature? Oh yeah…, Fidel Castro is a hero… true. He maintained his seat for nearly 5 decades and he would make 6 if he hadn’t abused from cigars.
Thinking about it, it’s not like if the NYT, the Washington Post, the HuffPost and Friends (there are many but they don’t do much) that are supposed to watch the political power but don’t do it quite yet (Nevermind how hard you try) being watched by the political consortium, the tech leaders (Sillicon Valley hype, Conversation.com, Medium, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, yes Twitter) and the White house fusionned to become one single party. This CANNOT happen because IT IS SIN.
Since ever, it is not for nothing that journalism have splitted political power from news and sources of news as it is quite obvious of what political power Would do if it was in charge with the Press and the Media in terms of political propaganda, looking back at the monarchies in Old Europe (Louis XIII, R.I.P).
Taking into consideration what happened with Snowden when he got access to economical power, political recognition and popular power (yes it is irritating) and became that hegemonic figure managing his business interests (he is also known for settling the Startup culture), we came to a really confusing situation where the proper guy that was supposed to guarantee our civic liberties turned himself into a reseller for an app (i.e. Security for the poors) that incidently exposes its users to breaches and targeted surveillance. Well you can fix it if you happen to have a friend who is a hacker though (but I have been said it is hard to find).
Hell yeah i’m talking responsability. Of course, we don’t want the same thing to happen to Wikileaks because we need hope. We need to believe that a change is possible. For once. Yes. Well. That was the positive moment. Even if I wouldn’t give my caution if the dark web is good or bad, we have to be vigilant that we are maybe, in this period of post-crazy idiot yet successful elected Trump with a risk of concentration of the power – our power – into the hands of ex-political opponents. They are for sure in a position for taking control over both informational networks and political power, which is BAD THING.
And why Wikileaks wouldn’t be at more risk at the times they’re looking for digging their foundations into stones and starting to spread media propaganda. Because since the 9th of November, it is clear that they have refocused on a political agenda rather than keeping it informational.
Ok tell me, do you really think these guys are still going to care about transparency right now? What they’re doing is following a personal interest agenda.
Even if leaders have been maintaining connections with political and economical power at all times, I just think this move was really too short to be true, which is just totally undermining Wikileaks credibility because they’re doing exactly what they reproached to Hillary and on the same night : colluding in the name of democracy. This corruption of the original text – transparency – has damaged Wikileaks integrity. It had been shown that Wikileaks have exposed non public figures privacy in, their leaks when they had apparently the material means not to do so. Why? Some observe that Wikileaks is more creating an illusion of transparency than enacting transparency.
What is going to be different from precedently?
Stakeholders are like the agents Smith. They take every forms that can convey them to more wealth. And they don’t care about who you are until you can drive them where they want. The informational cultures are used as a Trojan.
In this context, we might ask, thoroughly and responsibly…, if it is not better that Wikileaks remains independent from this opaque affiliation of powers to guarantee a counter- power serving the needs of society for transparency because it is crucial for our future to obtain a redistribution of powers. Because if opponents become victorious, then there are not anymore opponents at all (which is great if leaders have integrity and we know they don’t so the situation is pretty fucked).
It is not the only leaks that put the Democrats and establishment upside down but Hillary loss was secreetly wanted by the Senate, and the Congress, and the majority of voters, and at some point, the Russian, and the entire World, and this doesn’t have to see with the fact that Hillary is a woman but with the fact that Hillary is a Clinton.
In other words, Wikileaks compromised and lost their status as a source, occupying the space just as an écran de fumée or public entertainor to distract people from the real thing, just as Snowden in the past, a blockbuster. Wikileaks has not ruined the DNC politics. Wikileaks has ruined the the global politics of emancipation and it is quite obvious now that the only reason was power access. Nothing new folks, forget them.
This case is a lesson for the future.
We need to rethink the frontiers of transparency to allow more people to engage a broader scientific debate.
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