WikiLeaks, Journalism, and Censorship

I’m incredibly disappointed by increasing government and corporate censorship, and the apparent public and media apathy towards these developments.

Recently, it seems that governments and corporations are allowed to censor whatever they want for any reason. This is obscenely dangerous, especially when represented as “justified” and “in the public interest”.

No organisation should be allowed to deny service to an entity because of its race, gender, or political views. So why is it that PayPal can deny service to WikiLeaks, a non-profit that has not been found guilty of (or charged with) any crime? Likewise, why is it that Amazon can refuse to host WikiLeaks (a paying customer)?

It has been noted that such companies have been bowing to political pressure. Shouldn’t it be illegal for a government to pressure companies in such a way? Shouldn’t an independent body be regulating this, charging the government with acting unlawfully and penalising corporations for curtailing their customers rights?

In the absence of a formal independent body, who does this responsibility fall to? Doesn’t the situation behoove any citizen interested in freedom and justice to call their government and these companies to account?

What is so dangerous about WikiLeaks? What nefarious plans and dangerous ideals do they strive to achieve? Here’s a quote from their website:

WikiLeaks is a non-profit media organization dedicated to bringing important news and information to the public. We provide an innovative, secure and anonymous way for independent sources around the world to leak information to our journalists. We publish material of ethical, political and historical significance while keeping the identity of our sources anonymous, thus providing a universal way for the revealing of suppressed and censored injustices.

Isn’t this exactly what we should be expecting from media outlets that call themselves news organisations? Isn’t journalism meant to be able informing the public of the truth and protecting your sources?

Australia should be very proud of Julian Assange, and doing everything it can to protect him from political persecution and personal harm. In contrast, our Prime Minister and Governor General criticise his organisation and call for his arrest.

These are not the actions of a government interested in freedom and justice. They are the actions of a government of which the public should be deeply ashamed.