The difficulty is that the relative cost-benefit of additional degrees of voluntary transparency is being combated with frequently overwrought rhetoric of national security concerns by governments across the board, so there’s not a lot of room for middle options being put in place by those that would be affected by them.
I’m not arguing nor have I ever argued for an absolute involuntary transparency, whatever that would even look like, and characterizing my stance as some sort of libertarian pie-in-the-sky as others are doing is exactly the sort of faux realpolitik that brought us to this point.
My points are as follows:
-The specific content of the wikileaks thus far has been tangential to the focus it has brought to the discussion about the hyperclassification of government.
-Wikileaks and organizations like it rely on the impulses of whistleblowers, so their content will be unpredictable and frequently uncomfortable, and may (especially in an information management fiasco like the last unredacted leak) lead to some harm. This isn’t something you take lightly, but something that is most effectively be engaged by people who are generally in favor of transparency rather than used as yet another Vague Portent of Doom Through Leaks by people that have been opposed to it from the outset. The latter is inevitable, but not really useful beyond registering yet another variant of generalized opposition.
-The government reaction to transparency has included the following: waging a vast, multilayered dirty war against anyone working for it, penalizing or marginalizing whistleblowers across the board, publicly torturing Manning as a deterrent and as a way of trying to manufacture a conspiracy, intimidating aspiring public sector workers with the concept that any connection to the leaks will destroy their career prospects, leveraging public indifference into reinforcing security infrastructure without any admission that hyperclassification is problematic as on a moral, practical, and strategic level, and so on.
This should be the heart of the issue, not how much Wikileaks twitter feed pisses someone off because it lacks the necessary gravitas. Nothing connected to that feed actually matters in the way that government reactions do.
In addition to that, I think the reaction to specific leaks by private individuals (and that’s where I think we’ve come to in our discussion) often conflates embarrassment and hindrance of government functionaries and specific policies with the national interest as a whole. That can be the case, but as the Swedish leak demonstrates it’s just as likely the leaks will negatively affect something that should be cast into the light and talked about publicly, not just because it’s (arguably) the right thing to do in that case but because it is secrecy itself that allowed a series of actions they could never get away with publicly to take place. I think if you clarify these things along the way you can get to an effective and constructive critique of the current scenario that does not lose the general panorama for the particulars, and those critiques need to happen and come from people within the various affected fields.