Were WikiLeaks justified in the 2010-11 release of US diplomatic cables?

Moone, Adam (2015) Were WikiLeaks justified in the 2010-11 release of US diplomatic cables? BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation analyses the debate surrounding the justification of the 2010-11 release of US diplomatic cables by the whistleblowing organisation ‘WikiLeaks’.
    Beginning in November 2010, and spanning a total of 10 months, WikiLeaks released a total of 251,287 classified US documents. The official reaction from Washington was that this leak would cause incalculable damage to the nation’s military personnel, national security, and diplomatic efforts. Despite this, WikiLeaks gained widespread support from advocates of transparency and from citizens from nations whom the cable releases revealed startling information about government corruption and wrongdoing.
    Research for this project was undertaken using an extensive range of academic books, journals, and online sources. Firstly this dissertation identifies and examines the arguments made for an open, accountable, and transparent government. It analyses arguments made against full government transparency, highlighting the potential threats and dangers that come from unmediated access to government information. The dissertation argues that a ‘balance’ of transparency is necessary to consider the positive and negative effects that disclosure might have.
    The dissertation then analyses the role that whistleblowing plays in relation to transparency. With increasing public discontent at the practice of state secrecy, whistleblowing is being looked upon more favourably as a way to uncover the abuse of authority.
    This dissertation studies these concepts of whistleblowing and transparency in order to analyse them alongside the 2010-11 WikiLeaks disclosures. In doing so it highlights the challenge that WikiLeaks pose to the traditional justifications and theories of whistleblowing. Finally the dissertation analyses whether WikiLeaks can be seen as justified in releasing the diplomatic cables given the traditional conventions that they defy.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2015 14:49
    Last Modified: 04 Aug 2015 14:49
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/17948

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