What a week it’s been for leaks. First X-Factor, well. X- Factor is always in there with something; it’s a phenomenal marketing machine and will be studied by marketing, music buz, stylists, vocal coaches and others in the decades to come. But I digress. Leaks. Buckets of them. Snide comments from one global superpower about another. Statesmen and women coughing uncomfortably as they endeavour to smooth troubled waters with hastily staged press conferences or statements. Recalling conversations they had with people they shouldn’t have had or emails that should have remained in the ‘draft’ folder.
It’s the last frontier in the global power struggle: the cyber war. Eradicating people through infectious diseases and wars – if one is to believe the conspiracy theorists – is very effective but what one wants, as a global superpower, is for people to carry out your wishes, provide your fuel and defend the nation state. So sick people won’t do. In order to stay at the pinnacle of power, however, you need to kick a few people who are nipping at your ankles. You need to make allegiances through those clever old communications channels. It’s communications dynamite. In fact some people would suggest that ‘the leak’ is an established communications strategy and if well timed, can be extraordinarily effective. An explosion of trust and a betrayal waiting to happen. And so inevitable. People doing what comes naturally: sharing, talking, grouping and re-grouping, really fast.
What’s come out is slightly shocking and embarrassing but it raises bigger issues about government transparency or concealment, democracy and freedoms of information.
The latest development to this story is the remarkable intervention of hackers* who are slowing down or preventing online transactions with companies that are no longer carrying Wikileaks information. These are indeed fascinating times.
*Otherwise known as ‘hactivists’, a word which makes me smile as it reminds me of the Jamaican dialect where ‘h’s are put in front of words beginning with ‘a’, for example: “You want a happle?”
© Suzy Rigg