Of all the recent online phenomena, probably the one with the biggest global impact has been Wikileaks, the anonymous whistleblowing site designed to let people submit information to the public gaze which might otherwise be kept secret. Whether you agree or not with the type of content they have released, it’s impossible to argue against the impact this kind of informational transparency has had on the political and commercial world.
The power of the web to disrupt is now proven, and this is likely to become even more so with the launch of the open source GlobaLeaks software platform. This suite of programs provides a complete Wikileaks type environment which people can use to submit information to the public domain and/or media. The online demo gives a good idea of what’s involved in the process, most of which is about securing the privacy and anonymity of the people involved in the process.
The issue might seem simple to most people, but when it comes to people risking their lives to expose situations in dictatorships and other hostile environments, it’s clearly essential that the software is up to the job. At the moment the system is still under development, so the code is very much in the geek prototype realm, but already there are iPhone, Android and desktop computer components available for free open source download, and it looks as though the system is progressing solidly towards a more public launch.
Anyone who thinks there isn’t a demand for this kind of software/service should take a look at the Leak Directory, which lists all the current Wikileaks type sites out in the wild already. Hint: it’s a surprisingly large number, and they cover a wide part of the globe and social, political and commercial sectors. Interesting times, as they say.