Wikileaks and privacy
There's been lots of discussion of the recent publication on Wikileaks of conversations between diplomats. Some people seem to think that it's fine to openly publish classified information that somehow manages to leak out.
It seems to me that there's a bigger privacy issue here that's being overlooked.
Would people feel differently if a large batch of Social Security numbers or credit card numbers were openly published on the Internet? What about proprietary information that's covered by an NDA? What about openly divulging all of the details of negotiating an enterprise software sale?
In each of these cases we'd have a misuse of sensitive information, but many people (perhaps all of them) who I've talked to that support the right of Wikileaks to freely publish classified information don't agree that it would be OK to freely publish other sensitive information, and I don't see a way to make that point of view consistent with the need to protect other types of sensitive information.
There may be a need to be able to expose the actions of governments, but it seems hard to justify openly publishing classified information in a way that doesn't start us on the first step towards also accepting the misuse of other sensitive information. Privacy is important, even for people who work for government agencies and it's probably better to respect it than to openly violate it.