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Who Will Be Behind the Next Wikileaks or PRISM? Let Us Know

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Wikileaks' Julian Assange

The legacy of Wikileaks—the outing of secret government information—is all the vogue.

It won’t stop with PRISM and the government contractor who fed The Guardian and The Washington Post the skinny on the U.S. surveillance program.

The question is what comes next—and the only given is that there most certainly will be a “next.” This is a sky(net)’s-the limit-proposition for the intelligent handicapper. It’s not just leaky insiders vs. government, but bureaucrat against bureaucrat: China vs. the U.S., Russia vs. Georgia, Israel vs. the CIA (no more need for Jonathan Pollards). The possibilities are endless. Hackers without borders.

Help us along here.

If you were endowed with cyber omniscience where would this all go? What could happen or who was behind the major imbroglios? Will the supposedly anonymous Tor be exposed as a target of government snoops?  Who were the masterminds behind Stuxnet? Is the Syrian government responsible for the regular Internet blackouts there? Was it a network of hackers, or Russian government agencies, that shut down sites on Georgia’s Internet during a conflict between the two nations in 2008?

Help us add to the list and let us know what you think about the morality of all this. Should the ever more available tools of  much-vaunted Big Data, letting us burrow into the deepest recesses of the blackest of black databases, be given free rein? Is nothing left that is secret? Let us know.

Image Source: Adam Feuer

Gary Stix About the Author: Gary Stix, a senior editor, commissions, writes, and edits features, news articles and Web blogs for SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. His area of coverage is neuroscience. He also has frequently been the issue or section editor for special issues or reports on topics ranging from nanotechnology to obesity. He has worked for more than 20 years at SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, following three years as a science journalist at IEEE Spectrum, the flagship publication for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He has an undergraduate degree in journalism from New York University. With his wife, Miriam Lacob, he wrote a general primer on technology called Who Gives a Gigabyte? Follow on Twitter @@gstix1.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. wrongwatch 7:12 pm 06/10/2013

    You asked, I would like all the offshore accounts revealed. Billions of tax dollars are lost because of the Cayman Islands etc. These accounts are owned by very wealthy folks that don’t need the money. They are also good friends of elected officials that don’t really want to hunt them down. That’s why the poor and middle class pay for the rich.

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  2. 2. wrongwatch 7:23 pm 06/10/2013

    When will the sequestration cuts hit the Federal Reserve. Let the banks and Walmart issue their own money. The investment industry would shut down without the services of the Fed. Money, still popular, is probably the most widely used program of gov’t and the wealthy benefit hugely from it. It is a fine example of socialism used mostly by people that claim to be anti-socialist. If the Fed offered the service on a user pay basis, enormous income could be generated from banks and investment businesses.

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  3. 3. M Tucker 7:34 pm 06/10/2013

    No, it won’t stop but “what comes next” is not the important question for me. My question is has this ever, EVER, resulted in changing anything for the better? Any of the leaks, going all the way back, have they ever changed anything really? They are always sensational. But what is the result? From what I see nothing changes. The leakers always get a lot of press. Some do really stupid things like sell the leaked documents to the Soviets. Snowden suggested he might have sold his information to the Russians.

    Only Daniel Ellsberg seems to have avoided prison. Why don’t you review that one and tell the tail of how Ellsberg was able to stay out of prison? AND did his leak make any difference?

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