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FCW : January 2013
tant jobs. What they were doing could have been done in the open, but because it was all kept secret, [that] meant that it was mixed in with stuff that really did have to be kept secret. If a lot of that had been made transparent to begin with, there might not have been motivation for this massive disclosure." Despite Obama s stated policy of transparency, the gov- ernment continues to keep a tight grip on certain informa- tion. It is an attitude that is ingrained in the culture. "Secrecy is a habit almost...in a way that makes some- one just want to tear off the lid," Greenberg said. "It makes people suspicious of the government, and that s what moti- vates a mega-leak like WikiLeaks. You can crack down on leakers and run all kinds of network security that basically spies on all of your employees all of the time...but I m not sure how easy that is. The other option is to open up everything and make it all public. Over-classi cation is a problem, and this could be a big part of the solution. But even then there will be some secrets that motivate leakers to publicize." Another solution to the threat of major public leaks is having an internal platform for whistleblowers to expose what they see as immoral, unjust or in need of disclosure. Here, the sort of anonymizing technology that was central to the WikiLeaks scandal actually becomes part of an orga- nization and its answer to the problem. "The recommendation I talk about with federal folks is this idea of an internal WikiLeaks-like platform called GlobaLeaks," Greenberg said. "The leaking tool is meant to be a distributed piece of software that anyone can use to create their own leaking 'node as they call it --- a little WikiLeaks run by their own organization. The goal is to create these whistleblowing platforms inside of a corpo- ration or the government. That could be a way to redi- rect the impetus for dangerous disclosures into internal reforms. It s a kind of compromise that the government should at least explore." It would be a divergence from today s standard oper- ating procedure in the government, but as Greenberg pointed out, whistleblowing is not a new phenomenon and will not be going away anytime soon. Instead, as tech- nologically savvy leakers search for new ways of freeing information and the lockdown on secrets continues, the con ict will only escalate. "This idea of truly secret information as shared between millions of people --- that is a kind of paradox that is unsustainable. And Bradley Manning proved that," Green- berg said. "WikiLeaks does represent a new era. Someone will replicate it and make it happen again. We ve seen glimmers of that in Anonymous running a WikiLeaks plat- form, and Balkan Leaks is doing it in Bulgaria using the same formula. The potential is still there.... The lessons of WikiLeaks still apply." ■ Bookshelf 32 January 2013 FCW.COM SPONSORED BY VERIZON WIRELESS SCAN THIS QR CODE with your smartphone for the full research report TOPICS INCLUDE: Digital government: A boon for information sharing? DOD lays the foundation for better sharing Justice program emerges as model for info sharing ID management: A promising new development Time to get serious about information management To learn more, visit: www.fcw.com/InformationSharing2 Information Sharing Special Report