It’s one of the biggest news stories for years. A charismatic, white-haired Australian sets up a website devoted to publishing leaked documents in the public interest, and then, allegedly with the aid of a disaffected American soldier, starts releasing startlingly honest cables from the US diplomatic service – with explosive results.
This March Yale University Press London will be publishing WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency by technology and politics analyst Micah L. Sifry. In this lively, up-to-the-minute book, Micah Sifry tells the story of WikiLeaks in the context of the growing movement for transparency in politics and of the crowdsourcing activism that the Internet and in particular Web 2.0 has made possible. In particular, he looks at the achievements of open-source web projects that collate information for individuals and governments alike, and describes how crowdsourcing initiatives have analysed MPs’ expenses, recorded political violence in Kenya and reduced bribery in India. Finally, he discusses the rather ambivalent attitudes displayed by political elites, many of whom have embraced the idea of open government in opposition only to go quiet once in power.
Watch this space. WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency promises to be a fascinating, thoughtful and often eye-opening, this is an essential guide to the new age of transparency.
Praise for WikiLeaks and the age of Transparency
‘The effects of the ongoing WikiLeaks are cumulative––sort of like mercury poisoning––and reveal much about how dreadful many of our policies, especially regarding the war in Afghanistan, have been. With insight and clarity, Micah Sifry explores the red-hot spot where politics and the Internet intersect. An indispensable resource for the future fight over secrecy and openness.’ – Arianna Huffington
‘No one better grasps the interplay between innovative media technology and politics than Micah Sifry.’ – Kevin Phillips, author
‘By studying so carefully how technology is changing politics, he’s been preparing for years to write this book. We should be grateful that he actually did.’ – Jay Rosen, Professor of Journalism, New York University; author of PressThink.org
‘Micah Sifry doesn’t just know WikiLeaks. He sees how it relates to everything from Obama’s victory to the Tea Party’s appearance to electoral politics in Croatia, and he uses his incredible breadth of experience to show us how Wikileaks is part of a large, long-term trend in favor of the spread and visibility of information about our world.’ – Clay Shirky
About the Author
Micah Sifry is the co-founder and executive editor of the Personal Democracy Forum (where Assange has spoken twice), editor of its award-winning techPresident.com blog, and a senior technology adviser to the Sunlight Foundation. A former editor and writer at The Nation magazine, he is the author of one book (Spoiling for a Fight, 2002), co-author of another (Is that a Politician in Your Pocket?, 2004) and co-editor of two anthologies: The Iraq War Reader (2003) and The Gulf War Reader (1991). He is also a member of the board of Consumers Union. His personal blog is at micah.sifry.com.
Micah Sifry speaks with Julian Assange and Daniel Ellsberg at the Personal Democracy Forum conference in 2010.
Micah Sifry’s blog: http://micah.sifry.com/
Yale book page: www.yalebooks.co.uk/wikileaks – watch this space
The latest news on WikiLeaks at the Guardian website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/
The site that started it all: www.wikileaks.org