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      Is WikiLeaks a Blessing or Curse for Democracy? in Ottawa

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      January 10, 2011

      Monday   7:00 PM

      New Edinburgh Park
      Ottawa, Ontario

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      Is WikiLeaks a Blessing or Curse for Democracy?

      Recent publication of US diplomatic cables and Iraq War Logs by created quite a stir (some even called it �informational 9/11�), yet after all emotions on both sides subside we are left with fundamental questions. Two most important of them are �Should there be constraints to the Freedom of Press?� and �How much Government Transparency do we want? � And of course there are many other interesting relevant questions� Do public institutions deserve certain level of privacy? Do they need it to function effectively? How can we control natural institutional desire to make internal information classified and resistance to public audits and scrutiny? Should we encourage whistleblowers? Should protection of journalistic sources be unconditional or not? What does it mean for mass media �to be responsible?�: have close contact with authorities, weight consequences of their actions or practice some kind of self-censorship? Do massive information leaks keep government in check by flushing out its inner working, destroy trust in authority or represent security breaches/setbacks for public safety? Is WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange an idealist or terrorist, new Che Guevara, Robin Hood or Herostratus? Does benefit of better governance outweigh loss of prestige, damage to reputation and trust and hypothetical danger to sources of information? Should we strengthen support for unconventional information sources/mass media or try to get some control over them? In practical terms should Canada follow example of Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (see ), which tries to make Iceland a Safe Heaven of investigative journalism or USA�s example in strengthening information protection and control, promote closer coordination between press and government and prosecution of whistleblowers for terrorism or treason? Or should we keep the middle course (and what is your definition of middle course)? And finally consider the following dilemma: Julian Assange has just (as of Nov 30) been added to Interpol's worldwide wanted list. Interpol web site says "If you have any information contact your national or local police". So if you meet him tonight what would you do? :-) Bring your own questions on the topic of the limits of the Freedom of Press and Government Transparency� This event will be moderated by Slava.

      Categories: Organizations & Meetups | Politics & Activism

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