The Good, The Bad and The Ugly [Open Government, Wikileaks & People]

All this time we have avoided snatching a pie from what every other for-profit media has been focusing on: Julian Assange. We decided to focus elsewhere. To focus on the fact that there is Wikileaks today. Why is there a need for such an agency and how there is more positive to the fact the whole thing happened the way it did, than it shouldn’t ever had.

First of all not many people knew that the cables existed. Not until #cablegate happened. SIPRNet was there, a parallel network of routers to transmit classified information (up to and including information classified SECRET) by packet switching over the TCP/IP protocols in a ‘completely secure’ environment. Well now at least we have it on Wikipedia with enough notability! Well technically speaking SIPRNet is secure, and a very expensive investment for US (in the name of security). But does all that security formula work against a human being? No. A human can easily and forever infiltrate any system to bring out information from even the most securest ones. Sometimes even at the cost of one’s life, peace of mind.  Like the young soldier Bradley Manning did.

No form of technology (or law) is designed to handle a human who chooses to act in favor of something. We will have to design & build Skynet and give all the control to machines to avoid human infiltration. A virtually human-less system, not for consumption by people!

SIPRNet is not the only other form of alternative Internet. There is SWIFTNet for financial transactions on which the banks rely. Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication – SWIFT is used for wire transfers, letter of credits, business guarantees etc. in which a format/protocol is defined for diverse transactions of commercial nature. The trust is reposed between the banks acting on behalf of organizations. SWIFTNet is considered a very functional, secure and standardized form of business payment transactions. More than anything else. But is it hack proof? Well technically yes it cannot be hacked from the outside, but the information about transactions can easily be passed outside the bank by another human. It can, it could and it is alright even that way.

So why did SIPRNet ever feel it was human proof? Ever? It has been hack proof yes, but not human proof! That is because if a soldier FEELS that something is wrong with the officers above him and the system is hopeless, and that his childhood education taught him to say the truth and nothing but the truth, then why would he NOT choose to pass the information to the world? You think it is going to be his fear for life – but then he is a soldier, right? Catch – 22.

The Good:

Wikileaks’ disclosure of redacted cables is a great example of forced transparency on an empire that stood tall over centuries of closed operations. That is the good part, believe me. Wikileaks does an amazing job of opening eyes of the international community. It shows how the decision-making process at Pentagon, which is traditional in nature, is pretty much broken and needs a fix. As much broken is the military protocol in this video where they kill innocent civilians from above.

Guess why this happens from Sarkari Babus all the time? Be it in India, America or elsewhere? It is because the traditional systems of Governments every where are closed and lack evolutionary thinking. No one knows what the other is doing or hiding. The systems, the laws and the people in management are built on a ethos of a gone by era. Absolutely not social. We can actually see the frustration of people trying to say something through comments on blogs, twitter, forums, Facebook etc. and yet even after the leak some dork in US said that cables are still a “state secret”. A lot of commentary over the world says that probably India, Russia, Myanmar, China, Bangladesh,Vatican and every other goddamn country needs openness too.

May be we all need Wikileaks in our countries, just like America does it today.

Why so? Have people lost faith in truthfulness of their leaders, traditional media and political structure? No. That is not the right answer. The answer is:

The Bad

Here comes the bad part: The political decision-making is prone to hijack from the inside. A handful of under-meritorious and under-nourished people can twist and interpret data in favor of policies that mankind would otherwise choose to reject. Crowd does not have access to the Government data, even though crowd owns it, and the select few who do, choose the destiny of hundreds and thousands the wrong way from far flung places. That’s when stories of misdeeds come up and are tossed in media soon to be forgotten by yet another fresh story.

In the recent instance of #cablegate we even came across several articles from accomplished newspapers with loaded lines like “embarrassment for America” and so on. Such lines are intended to flare up individual anger. At best it increase the ‘crap index’ of the world. Is it really an embarrassment for America? No absolutely not. It is not an embarrassment for America nor Americans because not everyone in USA favored the war or killings in west Asia. In fact looking at the reactions at TechCrunch, Mashable and NYT and hundreds of American chronicles it is evident that only a handful of people (read Paul Carr) are trying to play down the role of Wikileaks.

In yesterday’s post it was quite annoying for many readers of TechCrunch (includes me) to see Paul Carr writing sweeping articles against Julian Assange. The comments on the other hand seemed totally in favor of Wikileaks. Some even read like “Guess how Assange kicks your a** without writing even one article about TechCrunch“, “Welcome to Fox news of Tech” and so on! Excepting the fact that Europeans love Assange and Paul Carr is the only Brit on American bread – TechCrunch – it does not seem distant to judge the rational as to why Techcrunch is pushing Paul’s ideas? Any other clues, readers? Please correct me if I am wrong.

The Ugly:

From these incidences flow a simple logic that IF SIPRNet == North Korea  THEN the people behind the walls are Innocent North Koreans who believe in their leaders and have no clue about what is wrong within. Government is like any other process based entity with a very large team. It is fraught with typical and sometimes stupid Corporate inefficiencies which our generation has discarded long time back. Unfortunately these inefficiencies give the twisted a chance to misuse power and eventually end up bringing a bad name to the Government. That is true in this instance for United States. And in others for all Governments (even Corporates). The ugly truth.

If it was not for inefficient distribution of power, we would never have witnessed the Holocaust. Same is true for other religious conflicts around the world. In our opinion Wikileaks is a wake up call for the world. Does it really makes sense to force a premier of a relatively poor country and buy him out to accept that bombs dropped on his civilians are his own and not imported? Or that psychos & weirdos are – many cables say such things about premiers on the other side – leading some of the biggest countries out there. And that war is a twisted American reality to what is happening at Afghanistan. Or Iraq.

Its time to open up voluntarily.

Without Wikileaks how could we have ever known about all this? Without sex, lies and videotapes would there be even a Wikileaks today? The greater good is that everyone knows about it all.

What do you guys think?