Library of Congress Blocks Wikileaks

From The Guardian:

The Library of Congress tonight joined the education department, the commerce department and other government agencies in confirming that the ban is in place.

Although thousands of leaked cables are freely available on the Guardian, New York Times and other newspaper websites, as well as the WikiLeaks site, the Obama administration insists they are still classified and, as such, have to be protected.


Obviously symbolic,
impotent and unpatriotic.

What precisely does Mr. Assange hope to accomplish by leaking these emails? The value of international diplomacy is that it allows a very formal, measured and, one hopes, constructive dialog between states that contributes to a peaceful resolution of conflict and lessens the likelihood of armed conflict.

We already know that Iran's nuclear program makes nearly all of the world's nations nervous. We already know that most of the world would prefer not to have to deal with a nuclear capable Iran. There're no real secrets there.

Leaking privileged communications that embarrass or anger the parties involved merely serves to make future and ongoing diplomatic action much more difficult to accomplish.

I have disagreed with WikiLeaks actions all along. However, I had understood WHY Mr. Assange decided to leak the information: To hold governments accountable for their actions and present behind the scenes information that seems to belie the avowed purpose of national policy.

Legal questions aside, this leaking of diplomatic communications (between nations and among actors within government) appears more salacious in intent than useful. This is tabloid stuff. I see no benefit to be gained here other than the promotion of the Assange/WikiLeaks brand. Or perhaps Mr. Assange was looking to settle a score. Well, it appears he'll have a much larger score to settle now.

If WikiLeaks was openly posting copyrighted material from a journal, would the library link to the material? As Librarians, we try to be as careful as possible about licenses. Why would we link to material we know is stolen? I see no conflict in refusing to link to a site which has pirated information.

The library of congress is not 'not linking to' this material, they are blocking access, censoring, impeding the free flow of information. Many website contain material that has been sourced with out the permission of the copyright holder and these are not blocked. When the information is freely available anyway, really this just looks idiotic. Libraries should not be in the business of censorship.

Technology is a two-way street: using it, they can spy on us, and as Assange shows, we can spy on them.

But what is disturbing is the people who complain about private citizens (like Assange) who see and reveal government secrets, never say anything, indeed, they often praise the government, for spying, even if illegally, on their people. So whomever wrote the prior message using the heading I used for this message is equally vehement in his complaints of government spying on the people, I can't take their complaints about such like Assange seriously. Long live Assange and his kind so long as the government illegally spies on us!

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