SayUncle doesn’t think the Government that snoops ought to have much to complain about when the tables get turned. When it comes to leaking government malfeasance, even if those documents are technically classified, I agree. I’m a lot less sympathetic to someone who dumps reams of diplomatically sensitive classified information online with the sole purpose of embarrassing the US government and destroying its capacity to engage in diplomacy worldwide. In a world where you have a nuclear armed North Korea itching to start a war, and your documents contain sensitive information about plans to reunify the Korean Peninsula, that kind of crap can get millions of people killed. As far as I’m concerned, Assange (and you can’t spell “Assange” without “Ass”) ought to be charged with espionage (I’ve heard talk of Treason. Treason is when you betray your own country). It looks like the Swedes already want him for rape.
But we’re increasingly living in a transparent society. None of us will have any privacy, but that’s going to be true of the government as well. The only effective ways to keep secrets in a world as interconnected as ours is to keep the number of people who know the secrets down to as small a number as possible. If more than a few dozen people have access to your secrets, chances are one of them will be a malcontent, and your secret is no longer.
Even in a transparent world, the governments still have legitimate reasons to keep secrets, but for better or worse that’s going to become more difficult if not impossible. On the balance, I think that will be a good thing rather than a bad thing.