Thursday, December 9, 2010

Movement for Assange

If you haven't heard, there have been a series of cyber attacks on various websites of companies and governments who have acted against Assange, the head of wikileaks. These attacks haven't caused great harm, as of now, but it is interesting. I have a couple observations:

1. What about these two women?
I am concerned about these women, regarding their accusation of Assange for rape. We need to be careful here because if you demonize and put down women who accuse someone for rape, you risk silencing women who have been raped. (The reason being, those who have actually been rape won't want to speak up because they don't want to be put in a similar position.) Hence, we should be very careful in how we deal with this accusation. I don't mean to say they're right or wrong. I'm just saying be careful how we perceive their accusations and work to find the truth as to what really happened.

2. We're all in This
When I first heard about the cyber attacks my mind went immediately went the Roman Catholic - Protestant conflict in Northern Ireland where many innocent people were murdered. The cyber attacks caused problems for these companies (Paypal and Mastercard) customers. Is it just to hurt these customers, making them collateral damage? Though there is a big difference between causing inconvenience and murder, the principle behind to the two is the same, that in order to achieve a "greater" end, people can be sacrificed. (Kant's categorical imperative is helpful in this ethical situation.)

3. There Needs to be Reason (Ironic that I just mentioned Kant?)
When the United States and other governments decide how they are going to deal with Assange, there needs to be rational thought and action in response to these governments. What happens to Assange will greatly influence the internet and great blessing we have, freedom of speech, (this includes freedom of the press.) but just as important will be people's response. How people respond to this decision will greatly determine how the public responds to government action. Let's look to movements like the Civil Rights Movement and not the Russian revolution. (No offense to the Russians or anything.)

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