Yet the debate over WikiLeaks has proceeded as if the matter might conclude with the eradication of these kinds of data dumps—as if this is a temporary glitch in the system that can be fixed; as if this is a nuisance that can be made to go away with the application of sufficient government gusto. But I don't think the matter can end this way. Just as technology has made it easier for governments and corporations to snoop ever more invasively into the private lives of individuals, it has also made it easier for individuals, working alone or together, to root through and make off with the secret files of governments and corporations. WikiLeaks is simply an early manifestation of what I predict will be a more-or-less permanent feature of contemporary life, and a more-or-less permanent constraint on strategies of secret-keeping.
I was asked this at Yale on Monday about all of the WikiLeaks drama and tried to articulate what the Economist explains splendidly here.
This is simply the new world we live in. And it's going to be mighty awkward for the old guard to adjust to that until they're replaced by those of us who've grown up with this understanding of the [new] status quo. Shutting down WikiLeaks tomorrow isn't going to change the fact that a hundred more can instantly spring up -- this is a new age of information dissemination.