Post-WikiLeaks: Can the government still keep secrets?

Monday - 12/13/2010, 3:56pm EST

Are leaks such as WikiLeaks unstoppable?

The federal government ordered employees and contractors not to access the classified documents. And the Defense Department went so far as banning troops from using CDs, DVDs, flash drives and other removable devices.

Private companies are dumping their connections to the WikiLeaks site. The Economist reports that Amazon stopped renting computer space to WikiLeaks and EveryDNS stopped its internet-addressing service. Visa and Mastercard blocked donations to the site. Despite efforts to block the WikiLeaks content, hundreds of servers set up "mirror" sites, the Economist reports.

It's certainly harder for the government to keep secrets now. But The New York Times argues that there are limits to the leaks, and the WikiLeaks case is an example.

WikiLeaks could have posted the 250,000+ diplomatic cables to its website when it obtained them six months ago. However, the Times reports that fewer than 1 percent of the cables have been released on the website.

The WikiLeaks volunteers seem to understand that some of the cables could have devastating effects on those names, such as Chinese dissidents, Russian journalists or Iranian activists, The Times reports.

The Times says, "[E]ven as the government seeks to rein in WikiLeaks, WikiLeaks is reining in itself."

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