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Wikileaks is an international nonprofit organization founded in 2006. Its main goal is to publish first-source, classified information. To this date, they have released over 10,000 private documents. They operate by receiving information from whistleblowers, acting as a middleman to protect these peoples’ identities and then review and distribute the information on a wide scale through their website. They have been extremely careful over the years to protect everyone involved while still divulging top secrets from around the world. For example, our podcast takes a look at Wikileaks’ new campaign known as Vault 7, a series of leaks on the CIA that claims and proves how the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code. It shows how through their hacking abilities they have replaced the NSA and given up their need to disclose any information to outside agencies. With their own NSA that has less accountability, the CIA exceeded its mandated powers and also placed our world at risk through their negligence by allowing their dangerous code to be available to anyone on the Internet. Without Wikileaks we would have been completely in the dark regarding this entire situation. What government entity exists to place checks and balances on our intelligence agencies? We must trust our government institutions in order to have a democracy but ignorance can be very dangerous. By allowing the CIA to have a clean slate we are giving them the option to abuse their own power with no consequence to themselves. If the government has performed corrupt activity in the past they are liable to repeat their offenses.

I explained in the podcast that I believe Wikileaks is more of a messenger than the ones creating the messages. They receive millions more documents than they choose to publish, and have shown good discretion with the majority of their leaks. In the case of the election leaks of 2008 and 2016, they heavily swayed public opinion and as a result had a great effect on the outcome of the election. I believe in scenarios like these, Wikileaks did not properly serve their purpose because they undermined our election system, a fundamental process of our American democracy. However in other cases they release information that is important for people to know and that does not place any more people in harm’s way. Wikileaks in many ways can be considered more trustworthy than the US government because they do not have an agenda, and have no reasoning to release information that isn’t true. There are times when Wikileaks reveals information that we would have never found out about otherwise, such as Vault 7. These kinds of leaks are important for us to be aware of what is occurring in the world and take proper precautions. It is also important that Wikileaks serve as an “eye in the sky” to strike fear into the hearts of our government institutions. Hopefully the fear that their operations can become transparent at any moment will influence them to act justly and with the best interests of the American people in mind.

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