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Will Someone Leak the Leaker's Secrets?

By New Scientist

August 16, 2010

Who has the right to decide what information should be kept secret? That's the vexatious question raised by WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, who masterminded the publication of 75,000 classified military documents about the war in Afghanistan. The leak was unprecedented in size and scope.

Last week the Pentagon demanded that WikiLeaks remove all trace of the documents because they reveal the identity of NATO informants, which may endanger their lives. WikiLeaks responded with a dismissive tweet.

Assange takes the view that "the truth comes first," arguing that "principled leaking" is essential for holding the powerful to account (see "Julian Assange: The end of secrets?"). There is merit in that argument, though the Pentagon has a point, too.

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