06
Dec
10

WikiLeaks = Wiki-Compromise

The WikiLeaks website has been shut down – and not necessarily by choice of its founder Julian Assange. Just last week, Amazon stopped hosting WikiLeaks on its web servers citing the whistleblower website had violated its terms of service that content “will not cause injury to any person or entity.” Today, Assange is in hiding, not only because Interpol placed him on its “red notice” list of wanted persons, but also because he leaked secret documents that have severely embarrassed and compromised the integrity of just about every world leader.

With what began last July with the mass disclosure of 91,731 U.S. military documents on the Afghan war, most of them classified as “secret,” followed by the October release of 400,000 documents on the Iraqi war, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have introduced a new and deadly form of cyber-terrorism. The November 28th release of 250,000 United States diplomatic cables that describe international affairs from 274 embassies dated from 1966-2010 included approximately 100,000 that are labeled “confidential” and about 15,000 documents have the higher classification of “secret.”

Step back for minute and forget that WikiLeaks is disclosing confidential documents about governments, leaders and wars. What if WikiLeaks was disclosing your company’s trade secrets and key customer lists including your personal e-mail correspondence? We all engage in conversations and correspondence that we trust will remain confidential. What would happen if all of your conversations and correspondence were placed in the public domain for all to see? People would get hurt. Your marketing plans would be revealed before their launch. Your innovations, formulas and intellectual property would be public knowledge. And what level of damage would occur if your payroll records with individual incomes were disclosed for all to see? The release of your confidential conversations, correspondence and privileged information would cause you to not only feel violated, but that all levels of trust have been irreparably compromised.

WikiLeaks disclosures revealed U.S military war tactics, allowing the Taliban, Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations to browse to their hearts’ content. There is no doubt that American and coalition forces will pay or have already paid a price in blood and loss of life. The diplomatic cables exposed sensitive conversations, fears, potential first-strike intentions on saber-rattling countries, and just plain embarrassing comments between world leaders about their peers.

This little planet earth we live on is a volatile and threatening place. I was born in 1950 during the Korean War. There was Vietnam, Panama, Granada, Somalia, the first Iraq War, September 11th, Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq – and North Korea just attacked South Korea for the first time since the armistice was signed in 1953.

I believe in and cherish our freedom of speech. I believe in openness. But I also believe that there is confidential and highly sensitive information that doesn’t belong in the public domain – information that could incite a terror strike, conflict or war. I believe that world leaders and diplomats need to speak and communicate openly with each other about matters that protect nations from harm – and do so under an umbrella of high trust.

WikiLeaks and Julian Assange’s intentions are not to make the world a better place. The objective is to disrupt, distract, embarrass world leaders and place lives in danger. WikiLeaks is the poster child for compromise at the highest level.

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Please share your thoughts with me about today’s Monday Morning Wake-Up. Click above to comment.

Neil Ducoff, Founder & CEO of Strategies and author of No-Compromise Leadership

Pass this e-mail on to your business colleagues, managers and friends. They’ll appreciate it.

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