WikiLeaks and Facebook: What Came Before Will Soon be Rubble (Sol, Portugal)
How transformational are WikiLeaks and Facebook? According to columnist Antonio Pedro Vansconcelos of Portugal’s Sol newspaper, Julian Assange and Mark Zuckerberg have just heralded a brave new world, and those hoping for a smooth transition from the old civilization to the new are going to be ‘sorely disappointed.’
For Portugal’s Sol, Antonio Pedro Vansconcelos writes in part:
If Facebook is for making friends, WikiLeaks seems geared for making enemies. What they have in common is that both are initiatives of young cybernauts who have revolutionized our way of relating and informing one another. We, who no longer have the time to drink a coffee with a friend, are now making new friends every day around the world. WikiLeaks, on the other hand, is a new form of journalism that aims to scrutinize the activities of governments. Without regulation or control, Assange’s initiative completely shuffles the data that, up to now, our democracies have lived with, revealing their frailties completely.
The Internet is a soft revolution, but it will have the same effect on our lives that the industrial revolution had in the 19th Century: a radical mutation from the model of Western society built since the end of the last war [WWII]. Democracies can no longer address the problems created by the combined effect of globalization and the emergence of the immaterial. We confront new freedoms and crimes for which there is neither legislation nor police oversight; nor is there social or political legitimacy for trying to combat or even control them.
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