Courtesy of Flickr creative commons
The controversial founder of Wikileaks — an organization responsible for releasing several classified documents — has been embroiled in a sexual assault controversy for several months.
The transparent-skinned leader for corporate and government transparency lost his appeal, on Nov. 2, of extradition to Sweden to answer questions about the alleged rape of one woman and the molestation of another in Stockholm last year.
Mastercard, Visa, Paypal and others have blocked support to Wikileaks, and Assange has said himself that it would be impossible for him to run Wikileaks from prison.
So, is Wikileaks toast?
The success of Wikileaks has become both a positive and a negative for the organization. It’s positive because they’ve drawn attention to various issues through people viewing their leaked documents, and it’s negative because with more attention to their illegal activities comes punishment by law; Assange has made a lot of powerful enemies.
Wikileaks has been forced into inactivity due to a lack of funding and I think it’s likely to remain that way. However, I think the concept of releasing classified documents as a means to creating transparency is far from toast. There will be another Wikileaks. Whether you think Julian Assange is a dirt bag or you’re against everything Wikileaks stands for, it’s impossible to deny the impact it has had.
Our world culture has shifted to being a more open culture — much of this has to do with the massive popularity of social media. Since people are becoming used to being so open, they are beginning to expect the same openness from their governments and corporations.
If governments and corporations remain resistant to this type of transparency, the concept of Wikileaks will not die. If there’s a demand for another Wikileaks-type website, someone will fill the void — it just might not be Assange.