I make this prediction now to see if it will come true in the future. I predict that WikiLeaks would be banned by the US government or at least regulated (which is just a euphemism of various kinds of banning).
George Carlin said, "you have no rights, all you have are privileges, a temporary bill of privileges, that the government can take at any time when it becomes convenient". And I entirely agree with him on this. Throughout United States history the Bill of Rights was used as a way to make people think they have rights. But at any time it became convenient for the United States government to ignore its Bill of Rights for its own convenience it gladly did it.
WikiLeaks is making the United States government really angry. But they cannot ban it. Because that would violate the first amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".
I wrote a post about what freedom of speech is and what it is not, back here. WikiLeaks is most certainly free speech. It does not even matter what it says. Even if it purely lies on every single statement it says about the United States government it is still free speech. Lying is free speech.
The United States and other countries are not very happy with WikiLeaks. Therefore, they would have a very big incentive to terminate it or control it.
And if the US does ban it, they will not say they are suppressing free speech. Oh no, fascists never call themselves fascists. They will never admit that they are destroying free speech. They will approach it in a different manner. They will claim it "damages the security of this country". They will claim it, "harms the economy of this country". They will claim it, "incites people to violence against the government". Do not worry, the United States will find excuses to suppress it. Because that is what fascists do. They always pretend that they are defending you.
The United States might also claim that by banning WikiLeaks they are "defending the freedom of the people". But of course that would be non-sense because the biggest threat to freedom, and the violator of the freedom of the people, is the United States. More so than any terrorist group that attacked the country.
David Friedman made a good point on his blog about unregulated encryption. He said that unregulated encryption is the modern day equivalent of the second amendment. The second amendment is not very useful today as it was back in 1776 (though I do very strongly support it, it is my favorite amendment, and even more) because the government has more powerful weapons. I do believe that citizens should own military weapons as well, to be able to rise a militia in case of a revolution, "the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants" - Thomas Jefferson. But that is a whole different discussion. We are now talking about unregulated encryption. In modern ages having unregulated encryption gives the citizens a weapon against the government. And that is why it is a modern day equivalent of the second amendment.
In the same manner I believe that unregulated free speech against the government is a form of the second amendment. The goal of such speech is to fight against the tyranny in government. In fact, it is probably even more important than a second amendment on hand guns. Thus, for me defending WikiLeaks is not only a matter of free speech, but it is also a matter of defending the modern cyber version of the second amendment.
Now the United States government is going to say that WikiLeaks lies. Maybe it does, maybe it does not, I do not know. I do not follow it so I cannot possibly have any reasonable opinion on it. But the problem with this criticism is that the United States lies to its citizens always. Not just the United States, but all governments lie to its citizens. Howard Zinn, said it nicely when he said that all government lie, and they need to lie, otherwise they would not last very long, here.
Judging how the United States government reacts to WikiLeaks is a sign that they get at least some stuff right. The US was not this angry against the 911 truth movement. Because it is not true. And most people do not buy it anyway. But with WikiLeaks there is a different reaction. Which makes me think that they get some stuff right. Which makes the US really angry. It attacks their "national security". Do not forget that "national security" refers to their security. Not your security. What is security for them does not need to be security for you. When they claim that they are defending national security by banning WikiLeaks they are not defending your "national security", but their own.
The sad thing is that most people are probably against WikiLeaks. Sadly people are not very strong when it comes to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is easy to defend when it comes to trivial things. Like reading People Magazine. Or watching porn online. That is as far as what most people go to support freedom of speech. People forget the true purpose of freedom of speech. And that is to fight tyranny. Porn is great. But what is fundamental is the fight against tyranny. This is the entire point of freedom of speech.
I also predict that conservatives and Republicans, Democrats too, will be opposed to WikiLeaks and want to get it banned or regulated. This will just reveal to you how conservative the so-called conservatives really are. Is Sarah Palin in favor of entire unregulated content of WikiLeaks? I doubt it. Is Bill O'Reilly or Ann Coulter in favor of entire unregulated content of WikiLeaks? I doubt it. If they are, then wow, I am surprised.
There will be a few people who will defend WikiLeaks. But those will be a few liberals who actually do care about freedom of speech, though most liberals are probably too cowardly to defend it (as I am predicting). And even fewer conservatives who commit themselves to what conservatism is supposed to mean.
My final prediction is that WikiLeaks will sooner or later get banned or regulated by the government. It has to. From everything in the past that has happened my best possible prediction is that there will be laws passed on WikiLeaks.
If it does not get banned or regulated then I would be really truly surprised. Maybe somehow the Constitution can magically prevent this from happening. If it does not happen, then I would really be in complete shock.
The last thing that I want to address is that some people would say that something like WikiLeaks can lead to riots and protests. My question is, so what? Why are riots and protest bad? People seeing the evil in their government, why is that a bad thing? That is the spirit of freedom. And if it leads to more crime or something like that, amidst the riots, then so be it. That is what freedom of speech is all about. Give me liberty or give me death. If it means that protests and crime breaks out if this information is released then so be it. We must fully defend this freedom.