DorobekINSIDER Reader: WikiLeaks and the future of governments, transparency

Monday - 1/31/2011, 2:45pm EST

The overthrow of the Tunisian president and now the protests in Egypt may be the result of the WikiLeaks leaked cables.

The Tunisian protests were sparked largely after details of "ostentatious high living" were revealed in the cables, The National Journal reports.

The article says that the leaks "may have done more to inspire democracy in the Arab world than did a bloody, decadelong, trillion-dollar war effort orchestrated by the United States."

Social media accelerated the protests, and as a result, the Egyptian government shut down Facebook, Twitter and, on Sunday, the Internet, Fast Company reports. A Senate bill would give President Obama the power to do something similar.

About the man behind WikiLeaks

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, spoke in an interview with CBS about the prospects of facing criminal charges in the U.S. Assange called attempts to extradite him to the U.S. and charge him "completely outrageous."

Assange said,"I'm sure there are certain views amongst Hillary Clinton and her lot that we are subverting their authority. But you're right, we are subverting illegitimate authority. The question is whether the authority is legitimate or whether it is illegitimate." (Watch full interview below.)

More about Assange:

Julian Assange: the teen hacker who became insurgent in information war (The U.K. Guardian)

Dealing With Assange and the WikiLeaks Secrets (New York Times)

WikiLeaks resources

Open Secrets: WikiLeaks, War and American Diplomacy (New York Times)

(The Kindle Edition) Open Secrets: WikiLeaks, War and American Diplomacy