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08 December 2010

Itchy geeks

They do have a tendency to get under your skin, and irritate the s..t out of you! Those are the geeks that just think they know it all, speak in a dialect interspersed with meaningless acronyms, admittedly are more intelligent than the average; but they are at their most irritating when they've convinced you that they have been right all along!

Now, on a different topic, consider the following quote: "Countries that restrict free access to information, or violate the basic rights of Internet users, risk walling themselves off from the progress of the next century, ... " oh, how easy it is to slug someone else, one can be so smug and self-righteous, with the firm backing of reason and logic behind one! This was attributed to the US Madame Secretary, speaking in February 2010, and the object of her reference was China and their tendency to shut out voices, just like the above geeks, that are a thorn in their side. Now please don't get me wrong, I am no China apologist, but how ironical, now that the shoe appears to be on the other foot! Is there a hint of double standards? Would the same warning be applicable? Is access to all information indeed a right of Internet users? And whose decision is it anyway? The latest Wiki Leaks are indeed a thorn in the side of the US State Department, inconvenient, embarrassing and yes, even perhaps in a few cases a security threat, but is the reaction justified? Is it directed correctly? I, as I am sure is the case for the majority, have not got any information about the leaked cables from the Wiki Leaks site itself, but rather in the popular media - are they then at least not guilty of the same offence as Wiki Leaks in publishing sensitive information? If the popular press had been restrained, how many, in all honesty, would have sniffed the Wiki Leaks site for the information?

I am not sure of the answers to the questions which I have posed, but it does appear as if Madame Secretary's words, at least as far as john citizen is concerned, will be coming back to haunt her and her peers. I found the following survey on the web site of the local Melbourne daily - The Age. I don't think I have ever seen one with 18000+ respondents; moreover with such a large proportion in favour of one specific view.

This must be a real itch for the US Secretary of State and other leaders. The online world is watching their response with interest. As someone recently remarked: "I am not sure whether I am anti - Wiki Leaks, but I do know that I am anti- anti- Wiki Leaks". Somehow the public do develop a sense of what is right and wrong, and often it is not what they are told it to be.

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