It’s unfortunate that when Republicans and Democrats seem to find consensus, it’s usually in favor of bigger government.
This axiom is holding strong in the wake of the WikiLeaks controversy.
Because all government power comes from the people, the government doesn’t have any power over people that the people don’t already have. This is a fundamental self-ownership principle.
For example: a person or corporation may have a trade secret. They are entitled to maintain said secrets and may require employees to sign confidentiality agreements. Only an employee or person who has signed that contract can be prosecuted for sharing trade secrets. Second hand sharing to the public at large is protected in the freedom of the press. This is often tested in the courts, and usually the courts find in favor of the press.
The distinction that comes with sharing state secrets as opposed to corporate trade secrets is if those secrets are shared to specific foreign governments or enemies of the state and lead to direct harm, then that may be a war crime - even if it is second hand.
Naturally, as with any organization, there may be a need for the government to create a hierarchy of information, and that certain information requires certain clearance. Those military personnel and bureaucrats who are contractually obligated to maintain this information hierarchy should be punished if they break it. But those without that contractual obligation have not committed a crime.
Could the releasing of these secrets pose a danger? Perhaps. But that is a consequentalist approach to freedom, which can and often is manipulated to benefit the state.
And publishing classified information is not automatically an act of terrorism simply by virtue of its level of secret classification. If that was the case, all the government would have to do is make everything classified.
Giving the government power over what may be published gives them tyrannical powers over press and speech - especially when press and speech is bringing to light the misdeeds of our so-called “public servants.”
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