Fear not, I am not about to fuel up the debate and take sides. I claim no allegiance to the Wikileads clan, nor do I stand on our government’s side. There seem to be reasonable arguments on both ends, given their respective extremely involved – aka paranoid – points of view.
What I am going to do, however, is ask everyone else to take a step back and look at the big picture. This little crisis is being turned into a mega-media red-herring. The masses are following each development eagerly, focusing on the details and intricacies of Julian Assange’s arrest and the why’s and why not’s of Wikileaks’ web problems and seemingly global embargo.
This approach is short-sighted. One should, as always, fight tunnel-vision and make an effort to gain perspective. I think the ongoing battle to decide of Assange’s future isn’t about his rights or those of Wikileaks. It’s much bigger, infinitely broader than that; it’s about the internet as a weapon.
As we speak, every nation, every superpower in the world is watching the news with morbid fascination, its leaders thinking: “It has finally happened. The first worldwide internet crisis has struck. Thank God it wasn’t aimed at us but at the poor U.S. bastards. But what if we were next?”
The internet has been high on everyone with an agenda’s agenda for quite some time. It is both their most powerful ally and their Achilles’ heal. It is bound to be this century’s new attack and terrorism vector. Everyone has been trying to prepare for that fact, but until now trouble had remained local and could not be used to extrapolate on future threats.
Not any more. Either willingly (I don’t exclude for him to actually be on some major player’s payroll, including his very official target, the U.S. government) or unwillingly, Julian Assange has become an example. He is a live laboratory animal. He is an experiment, and a scape goat. He will help define a new kind of international cyber-threat legal response and his actions will probably trigger an experimental lawsuit from which many will learn.
Wikileaks, whether voluntarily or by accident, has become a modern warfare battleground. And you can bet that very heavyweight players are throwing their money into the battle. Except this war can not be won. It is only a drill. It is a mock-up. A rehearsal of all evil to come.
And while you are watching the news on a micro level and concentrating on a single person’s fate, everyone with an agenda is attending on a macro level and taking notes. At this point, Julian Assange is either expendable or already taken care of. But that doesn’t really matter.
Huge interests are at stake. The cyber future rests on this crisis’ outcome. By battling Wikileaks and its founder, political and financial superpowers – lead by the U.S. – are not really after the man. They are trying to set an example. They are planning ahead.
They know that sooner or later, Wikileaks & Co. will become a roaming wild cat. They want to make sure the beast is corned and caged before it gets loose. Or else.