Thursday, 9 December 2010

Wikileaks and our future

There has been much speculated about the significance of the Wikileaks
leak. Some suggest it is heralding a new culture where businesses will
pay to glean information about how their competitors have conducted
their business, and where none of us will be free from others finding
out something from at least our internet habits. But there is one thing
that might hinder this freefall into openess - the fact that we all have
things to hide.

That's the great irony of Julian Assange's arrest. If he is guilty
(which has not yet been proved), we find that the key individual who was
lauding the importance of airing people's dirty laundry, has his own
skeletons that have now come to light. One cannot help think of Jesus'
words about looking to the plank in one's own eye before seeking to
remove the speck in another's.

The fact is that human sin makes absolute openness a terrifying concept.
All of us say things and do things we shouldn't. And if we seek to
encourage a culture where these things can be aired against our will, we
must recognise what that might mean for ourselves.

Of course, we should also recognise that being able to keep such things
hidden is only a temporary reprieve. For on judgement day every thought
and motive will somehow be revealed. One thing the Wikileaks does do, is
bring home the awefulness of what that will mean.