x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Wikileaks and the Age of Transparency: careful where you click

The internet activist Micah L Sifry examines the seismic impact that social media has had on the powers-that-be.

WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency, Micah L Sifry, Cox & Wyman, Dh73
WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency, Micah L Sifry, Cox & Wyman, Dh73

In an age where the credibility of authorities can be destroyed with a mere click of a mouse, the internet activist Micah L Sifry's latest book examines the seismic impact that social media has had on the powers-that-be.

Unlike other similar-themed works, Sifry purposefully avoids much mention of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's personal life. Instead, his thought-provoking but slimline tome focuses on putting the whistle-blowing website in the context of the international struggle for openness of information.

Sifry argues that unless governments become more accountable to their citizens and more transparent in their operations they face eventual downfall. He also states that just as the closure of Napster failed to halt music file-sharing, the US government's draconian crackdown on WikiLeaks was futile, as even if it is forced to shut down, a slew of new websites are now following its model.

After a year in which online protesters played a crucial role in overthrowing unpopular leaders in North Africa, and at a time when WikiLeaks' military source Bradley Manning is on trial, Sifry's book is a pertinent reminder that progress cannot be halted.