Jesse Brown’s great commentary on the futile persecution of ethical hackers, posted yesterday, is probably one of the most decent pieces of journalism I’ve read for a while:

http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/09/04/from-assange-to-the-pirate-bay-the-hacker-witch-hunt-is-only-creating-martyrs/

I think the point made about the persecution of ethical hackers being futile in silencing the publication of classified material because of the vast, ‘uncatchable’ nature of digital technologies is fair enough, but in addition to that, the persecution unfortunately distracts the general public’s attention from the real issues: The real issues being those surrounding the content of the published materials and the demanding of accountability from those responsible, not a “What Julian Did Next” saga created by the mainstream press, which has lured the majority of the public into watching the captivity of a lone man like some kind of reality soap opera. So, mainstream press: Get off your complacent arse and start asking questions about the real issues, not this futile, not-enough-guts-to-take-sides trash.

Questions about Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, and the self-serving motives of governments participating in the bloodshed occurring there. Questions about individuals detained indefinitely in Guantanamo Bay, with neither charge nor trial. Questions about mass surveillance of everyday individuals and auctioning of intelligence to the highest corporate bidder. Questions about the senseless pursuit of individuals who dare to show us, the public, that we are being deceived by ‘our’ governments. Questions about the wrongness of obeying the law unquestioningly, and of celebrating the ‘neutrality’ of the press as if neutrality were some great virtue on behalf of society, and of shying away from radical progressive change because to stay the same is always ‘safe’.

Questions about whether it isn’t about time all people, everywhere, came together to put strong, decisive pressure on governments to immediately make far-reaching legislative changes declaring their responsibility to practice open governance, including the absolute and immediate transparency of all government decisions.

Assange must be allowed safe passage to Ecuador, and the sooner the better. Because then it will be time for the press to face the real issues: To investigate what has been published, to fulfil its responsibility to inform the public, to explicitly criticise state censorship, and to demand accountability.

Here’s to all those taking huge risks to reveal the shocking extent of today’s unethical governance.

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