Are WikiLeaks revelations an essential method of holding the US government to account?

The urge to classify

From Index on Censorship

Are revelations by WikiLeaks one of the few means of holding the government to account? When Barack Obama took office as president he identified transparency as one of the highest priorities on his agenda for change. The author of this article suggests that the president’s early promises remain unfulfilled, the US government has failed to deliver on its commitment to openness. The overclassification of information and the failure of transparency laws to operate in an effective manner both contribute to an environment in which unauthorised disclosures – like those from WikiLeaks – are more likely to occur. Some will argue until we have more openness information leaks particularly facilitated and well circulated by the internet provide an important method for combating government secrecy.


With the Obama administration failing to honour its commitment to openness, leaks are of the few means of holding government to account, says David L Sobel

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Article details
Sobel, D. (2011). The Urge To Classify Index on Censorship, 40 (1), 29-35 DOI: 10.1177/0306422011401974

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