Title: WikiLeaks: transparency vs. national security

Authors: Mohamed Chawki

Addresses: Center for Terrorism Law, St. Mary's University, San Antonio, Texas 78228, USA

Abstract: Laws regulating transparency in the USA and Australia assume that the disclosure of information can inform the public, stymie government operations or create great harm. Freedom of information legislations (FOI) resolve disputes in difficult incidents, by balancing disclosure's beneficial effects against harmful ones. The massive leaks of the US military and diplomatic documents by WikiLeaks challenge this assumption. Accordingly, this article seeks to address and analyse the following issues: firstly, the disclosure of government information by WikiLeaks and the harm caused. Secondly, an analysis will be provided of the existing legislative and regulatory framework in the USA and Australia concerning the WikiLeaks case. Finally, the paper will conclude by discussing the future of WikiLeaks and the criteria for employing technological measures against a distribution mechanism such as WikiLeaks.

Keywords: WikiLeaks; transparency; national security; freedom of information; FOI legislation; espionage act; USA; United States; Australia; government information disclosure; regulation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIPM.2012.045860

International Journal of Intellectual Property Management, 2012 Vol.5 No.1, pp.39 - 60

Available online: 11 Mar 2012 *

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