"Syria Files" On WikiLeaks
The whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks is at it again -- this time promising to release the nearly 2.5 million emails that it has in its possession! Known as the Syria Files, the information extends from the intimate correspondence of the most senior governing Baath party figures, to records of financial transfers sent from Syrian ministries to other nations.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said: "The material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria’s opponents. It helps us not merely to criticize one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only through understanding this conflict, that we can hope to resolve it."
Syria’s Internal Chaos
At this time Syria is undergoing a violent internal conflict that has killed between 6,000 and 15,000 people in the last 18 months. Syria is in the cross hairs of the UN and the world for its severe human rights violations. We had written about the vulnerable internal situation in Syria here.
These Syria Files shine a light on the inner workings of its government and economy. The leaks could be very embarrassing for the regime of Bashar al-Assad, the regime's opponents and western nations. Particularly, they reveal how the West and Western companies say one thing and do another.
The Secretive World of Governments
Governments all over the world worry about the use and misuse of their internal information. Secretive and sensitive Government information is normally categorized or “classified” according to its criticality and sensitivity as top secret, sensitive or restricted. Illegal access to such information or leaks of Government data could affect the privacy, welfare, and even the security of a nation, depending on the level of sensitivity and the nature of the information.
As you can imagine Governments are always concerned about information leaks. If presented inappropriately, the leaks could put them in a spot or portray them in a bad light with their allies and the rest of the world. In the past, Governments had been wary of spies. More recently they worry about WikiLeaks.
Many Governments have been up in arms against the website and its founder - from the US to Australia. Under pressure from Governments, companies such as Amazon have withdrawn hosting the website, and Paypal has withdrawn the ability for individuals to donate money to the site. Meanwhile Assange has been wanted by Swedish police for violating its laws. Recently, Assange has sought asylum with the Government of Ecuador at their London embassy, even as the London police waits outside to arrest him should he leave the protection of the embassy.
How embarrassing will the Syria Files be to Assad and the others? The world will be watching over the next few weeks.
Courtesy: BBC, Wikipedia