Radio Berkman 182: Fear of a Networked Fourth Estate
“Wikileaks” has become something of a neverending story. Coverage has branched out beyond the revelations of the documents allegedly leaked by Pfc. Bradley Manning in 2010, and on to ancillary territory: the flamboyant presence of founder Julian Assange; the legal propriety of Wikileaks’ actions; and the harsh treatment of Manning as a military detainee.
These last two areas have garnered the attention of today’s guest. Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler recently co-authored a joint letter condemning the abuse of Bradley Manning that has since been signed by 295 scholars in the legal realm.
He has also spoken out against efforts by government and private entities to stifle Wikileaks. While some have argued that facilitating the release of classified documents is unprecedented and perhaps illegal, Benkler has insisted that Wikileaks’ behavior is not only entirely constitutional, but also not exceptional.
Moreover, he says, the private and governmental response to Wikileaks demonstrates an interesting insight into how networks do battle in the digital age. We sat down with Benkler this week to hear why.