Mullenweg on WikiLeaks: “I hope the web views censorship as a bug”

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Matt Mullenweg was interviewed by Hermoine Way of The Next Web at Le Web last week (also see his interview on stage). He was asked what he thought the biggest tech story of the year was, and responded: WikiLeaks.

It’s not 100% technology related, but WikiLeaks I think, has rocked the world. It’s rocked the diplomatic world, it’s rocked the political world, and it’s rocked the tech world. And the implications of what happens when information that’s out there is sort of universally shut down by all governments. So, we’ll see. I hope that the web views censorship as a bug and routes around it.

Way continued, asking whether he thought there was any justification behind the censorship of WikiLeaks, and Mullenweg said:

Independent of the content of the leaks and everything like that, I think that once information is out there — a free press, a truly free press, and I consider ¬†WikiLeaks a part of the press, is a foundation of a free society, a democracy. So we should treat WikiLeaks just like we treat The New York Times and The Guardian. And if we’re going to talk about shutting WikiLeaks down it’s a very slippery slope to shutting The New York Times down.

The full video is available after the jump, though the Mullenweg section is only the first minute or so.

4 thoughts on “Mullenweg on WikiLeaks: “I hope the web views censorship as a bug”

  1. So many people (including myself) have become intrigued by the WikiLeaks debacle. I’m with Matt on this one. From what I’ve read and heard, the “scandal” is that the government is embarrassed by the information which was released … and WikiLeaks did not publish all of the cables they had access to.

    As I commented on another site, this is Orwellian in nature. In the book 1984, the baseline story was that history belonged to the people who wrote it. Sanitizing the facts for public consumption does just that and we NEED sites like WikiLeaks to bring forward what has been held back.

  2. The problem is getting larger every day.

    In the last week the UN has proposed a body comprised entirely of governmental representatives to police the internet:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/17/un-internet-regulation_n_798457.html

    while in the UK has proposed a firewall similar to the Australian firewall “to protect the children”:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/uk-block-porn-protect-children/

    That same Australian blocklist policy “which officials said would be used only to block illegal content — was found to have targeted religious and political websites. The list was even used to block parts of WikiLeaks.”

    In the last few weeks the US Department of Homeland Security and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency siezed dozens of domains based on testimony of the MPAA and RIAA:

    http://goo.gl/gzymI

    That action included sites that did not host any material, but were only search engines, which had previously been exempt from this kind of seizure.

    And we shouldn’t forget the proposed US COICA Internet Censorship and Copyright Bill, that would, as the EFF states, among other things, “allow the Attorney General to censor sites even when no court has found they have infringed copyright or any other law”:

    https://www.eff.org/coica

    or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement:

    http://goo.gl/umiG
    https://www.eff.org/issues/acta

    More and more countries are realizing that the internet threatens their view of how the world should be run, and are censoring and regulating the hell out of it in claiming these actions are required to “protect the children” or defend copyrights.

    With the US bullying other countries to push more and more internet regulation (as Wikileaks informed us it did with Spain), and the fight for net neutrality all but lost in the US, the internet may not be recognizable to any of us in even a year.

    • I’ve been following that problem too, Mike. Anything that gets regulated by the government gives them another chance to peek into our lives and control us. ~sigh

  3. Assange did not do a damned thing wrong. He didn’t do anything that the Washington Post or New York Times haven’t done. I think he deserves a thanks and a big pat on the back. All he did was expose what the puppeteers in power are really up to.

    But…I do see an international Big Brother smackdown on the internet coming. Is it right? Hell, no. But………………………….

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