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As the late Tony Judt wrote in a New York Review of Books essay on Henry Kissinger, “‘secrecy’ [is] an inevitable component of policymaking in any sensitive area, and one for which there are appropriate and legitimate institutional structures.” Judt goes on to differentiate between secrecy, which is necessary, and deception, which is reprehensible. This […]

Is Open Diplomacy Possible?

At Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson is never far away. President of the university before he became president of the United States, his larger-than-life image looks out across the dining hall at Wilson College, where I am a fellow, and Prospect House, the dining facility for academic staff, was his family home when he led the […]

WikiLeaks’ Flawed Answer to a Flawed World

Long ago, I wrote about the Internet pioneer Julf Helsingius, who ran a precursor to WikiLeaks called anon.penet.fi. As I said then: “Anonymity in itself should not be illegal. There are enough good reasons for people to be anonymous that it should be [allowed] – at least in some places on the Net (as in […]

Betrayal of ‘Truth’

Let us be clear about one thing: Julian Assange is not a journalist. Receiving classified documents and uploading them onto the Internet is not journalism. Journalism has a professional code of ethics. When journalists come across classified material, they understand the seriousness of the situation, and the implications of their actions. They do their duty […]

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