Monday, October 24, 2016

WikiLeaks snooping is as scary as the election

WikiLeak's founder, Julian Assange

     Imagine a politician’s relative who is a very private person. Could be his wife, could be his grandmother. Someone not in the public eye.
     Say I decide to gather insights into that little-known relative’s personal life gained by kicking in a basement window at the family home, creeping into their bedroom and rifling through her diary. It says here, on the entry for May 17, that she worries her children are . . .      What? Intrusive? Some of you are wondering if I had any right to break into her house and snoop around? How about if I don’t actually break into the house — which for the record, I did not actually do. How about if I just stole some letters to friends after the relative put them out for the postman?
     Still bad? How about if I hacked her emails and found some cutting observations about various politicians? You want those?
     You see where I’m going with this. The 2016 campaign is so fractious, the standards of civility so degraded, we’ve all overlooked a very bad precedent that’s being set.


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10 comments:

  1. Too true. It's difficult to see how, in its latest activities certainly, WikiLeaks can claim the ethical high ground over its targets.

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  2. You raise some good points. These are fine lines and we need to answer questions such as: how far is too far and when should it end? Saying something is for the public good is necessary sometimes, but it can also be a slippery slope.

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    1. I'm surprised by the presumed authenticity of the WikiLeaks emails. Are they released in some sort of secure, pure form that means they couldn't have been edited, or just made up? Without that, or some other verification, it seems wrong to report them. I can make up anything I want, claim that it's from an email hacked by the Elbonians, and have it broadcast far and wide just like that?

      Instead of responding like they're all real, folks might respond by saying, "That's just odd gossip and I won't dignify it with a reply."

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  3. It's all OK - until the correspondence between Trump and his minions or the RNC playbook are spread out on the table. Then, the privacy of the American public is of the utmost importance and the republicans are there to protect us.

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  4. If nothing else, this whole wiki-leaks fiasco gives a lie to the oft proclaimed "liberal media bias."

    john

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  5. Where was this column when Trumps tax returns were stolen and posted in the Times?

    Don't you see how obvious it is to everyone else that every time you can't debate the content, you immediately attack the source and/or process?

    Primary election fraud? Nooo, it's Russia!!!
    Collusion with the FBI? Nooo, it's Russia!!!
    Collusion with the DOJ? Nooo, it's Russia!!!
    Debate questions ahead of time? Nooo, it's Russia!!!
    Rampant racist remarks in emails? Nooo, it's Russia!!!

    Russia is trying to influence our elections!!! And you're going to tell me the MSM is not trying to influence the election??

    When you wake up and have that honest moment with yourself, realize that over the past year you've pissed away what little legitimacy you once had.

    Honest journalism is dead.

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    1. Trump's tax returns were not "stolen." He revealed them publicly because he had to, as part of an application for a casino license.

      There was no "primary election fraud." Hillary Clinton got more votes than any of her opponents.

      There was no "collusion with the FBI." The FBI didn't charge Hillary Clinton with a crime because she didn't commit one.

      Same goes for the DOJ.

      Hillary Clinton was not given any debate questions ahead of time. She sounded more knowledgable than Trump because she is. She prepared on the issues and thought through her replies because that's what thoughtful people do.

      There were no "rampant racist remarks." There's only one candidate in this race who continually makes racist remarks, and it isn't Clinton.

      Try getting a few facts straight before you go around telling others about pissing away their legitimacy.

      Bitter Scribe

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  6. Bravo!

    john

    And I might add that Mr. Unknown mentioned Russia 5 times as often as Neil.

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  7. while i feel the content of these emails is marginal in their importance. its like i tell my kids and my colleagues: act as if every tweet, snap chat, Facebook post or email is printed on a billboard outside your grandmothers living room window. an expectation of privacy can be debated , but it simply does not exist. so if you don't want everyone in the entire world to read this stuff be very cautious what you write

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