A remarkable WikiLeaks document has been, well leaked. The confidentiality agreement basically prohibits any employee from leaking the materials leaked to WikiLeaks under threat of being liable for about $20 million US dollars.
The agreement asserts that is the “open market valuation” of the materials WikiLeaks holds. Moreover, the agreement asserts that all these materials are “solely the property of WikiLeaks.”
The audacity of these claims is breathtaking.
WikiLeaks openly flaunts the rule of law, vacuuming up stolen goods (documents) from the US government, and then claiming protection under the rule of law from any employee who would steal the stolen goods from them. Wow.
WikiLeaks also assigned commercial value to the material. As David Allen Green writes in the New Statesman (which first posted the leaked agreement online):
“This phraseology is consistent with WikliLeaks's perception of itself as a commercial organisation in the business of owning and selling leaked information. Indeed, there is no other sensible way of interpreting this penalty clause.”
WikiLeaks notion that stolen goods should rightly be deemed its “property,” and that the law should protect its ability to profit from possession of stolen goods is equaling stunning.
WikiLeaks was wrongheaded from the start. These latest revelations are just further proof that the organization lacks a moral compass.