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A perfect Wikileaks storm for Berkman
By Dave Winer on Saturday, December 04, 2010 at 5:28 AM.

Yesterday's piece on Wikileaks really connected.  permalink

Lots of links (thanks!), but perhaps the most interesting to me, was the roundup posted at Berkman Center, quoting Ethan Zuckerman, Rebecca Mackinnon and myself. I think a lot about Berkman these days, and wonder if this was the event it was founded for.  permalink

Its full name is Berkman Center for Internet and Society. This one lands on Berkman's desk, I'm afraid. permalink

Is it time to "do something" to create a haven for the free web? permalink

Would the school form a legal braintrust to work on this? Could it happen, or is it hopeless? Do all lawyers want to work in government, and therefore would be working against their own interests if Wikileaks found a safe place to operate?  permalink

A picture named mrNatural.jpgWe now understand that we can't look to the tech industry or even the Library of Congress. The tech industry more or less failed the neutrality test, and the LOC has failed the unwritten code of librarians everywhere. They had a tough choice, no doubt, as part of the US government (think of their name, they take it seriously) they were obligated to maintain its confidentiality, but as librarians, they had an obligation to provide access to the information. I have a feeling that if you're a member of Congress, you can access the info. But the people, whom the government serves, may not enter. permalink

Twitter, who I often am critical of, is singular in not banning Wikileaks. Good for them and thanks.  permalink

It makes sense that Switzerland, long the exemplar of neutrality, and the birthplace of the web, would also stand by Wikileaks. permalink

Ron Paul, alone, in the government -- speaks up for Julian Assange. permalink

I think of my friend and former boss, John Palfrey, who is now responsible for the Harvard Law School library. He has the same decision to make that the LIbrary of Congress had, I assume.  permalink

And when you think about the future-safety our writing, remember that it must be safe against a future where the government is even less perfect that the government of today. Sending archives into deep space doesn't seem too wacky when you think in those terms. Very deep space.  permalink

It's a perfect storm if you're a tech guy, a political guy and a writer, such as myself. Seems to me this is the kind of problem Berkman was founded to work on. I know they have moved in a different direction, but the Internet and Society need us now. :-) permalink

To paraphrase JFK: Ask not what the Internet can do for you, ask what you can do for the Internet. permalink

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