Clay Shirky, author and professor at New York University’s interactive telecommunications programme, has contributed to the Guardian’s Comment if Free with an analysis of WikiLeaks’ effect on the media and publishing environment.
WikiLeaks, as my colleague Jay Rosen points out, is a truly transnational media organisation. We have many international media organisations, of course, Havas and the BBC and al-Jazeera, but all of those are still headquartered in one country. WikiLeaks is headquartered on the web; there is no one set of national laws that can be brought to bear on it, nor is there any one national regime that can shut it down
WikiLeaks has not been a series of unfortunate events, and Assange is not a magician – he is simply an early and brilliant executor of what is being revealed as a much more general pattern, now spreading.