The reputable press organization Reporters without Borders (reporters sans frontières) have issued an open letter to wikileaks citing them for what the see as reckless behaviour in releasing 77,000 confidential documents. You can read it here: http://en.rsf.org/united-states-open-letter-to-wikileaks-founder-12-08-2010,38130.html. Naturally, I disagree with them, and I sent them an e-mail about it, as should you email@example.com. I decided to also publish my views here, as I believe it is an important issue. So here goes:
I have just finished reading your "attack" on wikileaks, and I must say I am a bit disappointed.
While I realize that a great deal of the difference between your organization and wikileaks is a result of differing values, with regards to the legitimacy of the state itself and its methodology, I do find your approach a bit lacking in focus.
I am of course fundamentally respectful of your work to further press freedom and end censorship and alike, but when you claim that wikileaks' release of documents gives the various authorities around the world legitimate reasons to monitor the internet and keep internet activists under surveillance it smacks quite a bit of backwards logic. That would be like saying that the government can legitimately keep journalists under surveillance because some of them publish confidential materials. There is no legitimacy in such a policy and there never will be. It seems to me that you as an organization should rather focus on that instead of running errands for the Obama administration in taking down Wikileaks.
Also, this issue touches on fundamental issues in state theory, and the philosophical reasoning for a democratic system. The question remains whether a state should be allowed to keep secrets from their own people, while resting on the "legitimacy" the same people provides? Or rather, should a government answer to its people, and be ready to defend its policies without secrecy and threats of legal action? Democracy is founded on the right to overthrow the government should it lose legitimacy, by peaceful means or otherwise. With the excesses we see today, with more than a million dead in two wars, mostly civilians, we as citizens are in our rights to expose and criticize government policies. We have a fundamental right, and even obligation to protest against heavy handed and illegitimate state behaviour, by any means we have at our disposal.
Additionally your arguments seem a bit willy nilly considering that you untill recently praised wikileaks for leaking documents pertaining to Guantanamo and the incident known as "collateral muder". There is no fundamental difference between this most recent release of documents, and these earlier instances. The only difference is in the respose from Obama and his cronies.
Organizations such as your own will continue to reap the benefits of wikileaks' work in the future, as well as suffer the collective punishment of the authorities. The question you should ask yourself is simply, whose side are you on? I'm not implying that you should stand by wikileaks regardless, or that this issue only has two sides, but if you are in favor of press freedom, you cannot turn your back on wikileaks in this matter, and claim that they are the reason why the government is cracking down on freedoms. The government is cracking down on freedoms, because they are protecting their own power, despite lacking legitimacy and a system of principles to back them. All they have is force, and the people's fear of force - in whatever form it takes. Place the blame where the blame is due.