Thursday, February 28, 2008

The PR of WikiLeaks

Bank Julius Baer emerges from hibernation, issues official statement
This just landed in my inbox. Bank Julius Baer would like to clear up some “misconceptions” regarding the WikiLeaks debacle. Here’s their statement, with commentary to follow. — D. T.
ZURICH / NEW YORK, February 28, 2008 — Julius Baer wishes to address certain misconceptions relating to a recent court decision to take the website off line.

This decision was arrived at only after a month long effort on the part of Julius Baer and its advisors had failed to identify and engage the operators of Wikileaks in a dialogue regarding the unlawful posting of stolen and forged bank records. This matter has nothing whatsoever to do with censorship or The First Amendment. Instead, Julius Baer’s sole objective has always been limited to the removal of these private and legally protected documents from the website.

The way to handle this is to strip WikiLeaks of its whistle-blower hero image. Who would send a company memo to WikiLeaks? A heroic whistle-blower motivated by public good? Or a disgruntled Linda Tripp stabbing her employer in the back? Or an industrial sabateur secretly working for a rival company?

Living in freedom means acting in the open; otherwise we are just a pack of Stalinist secret denunciators.

No comments: