Let the information flow freely. These comments represent the kind of healthy debate so absent from the mainstream political and journalistic world. If secrets are kept, Wikileaks and sites like it will remain essential:
The government should take the WikiLeaks revelations as a lesson that civil servants and ministers can no longer assume they operate in private, and “wise up” to a world where any official communication could be made public, according to the information commissioner.
Christopher Graham, the independent freedom of information watchdog, told the Guardian that the website’s disclosures had profoundly changed the relationship between state and public, in a way that could not be “un-invented”. But he warned against “clamming up,” saying the only response was for ministers to be more open.
Speaking after weeks of revelations from US embassy cables published by WikiLeaks, he said: “From the point of view of public scrutiny, the web and the internet has empowered citizens. Governments now need to factor in that things can be WikiLeaked.
“We are strongly of the view that things should be published. Where you’re open things will not be WikiLeaked. Whatever view you take about WikiLeaks – right or wrong – it means that things will now get out. It has changed things. I’m saying government and authorities need to factor it in. Be more proactive, [by] publishing more stuff, because quite a lot of this is only exciting because we didn’t know it. You can’t un-invent WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks is part of the phenomenon of the online, empowered citizen … these are facts that aren’t going to go away. Government and authorities need to wise up to that.”