Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Heard about the Palestinian document kerfuffle, aka Palileaks? No they weren't part of Wikileaks. And there is some question about their authenticity.

But reading about them reminded me of my first reaction upon seeing accounts of American diplomatic cables in the news. It seemed to me that the only way to fight Wikileaks would be to poison the forest. There are hundreds of thousands of trees out there and you don't want people seeing them, and you can't make them go away, so what can you do? My thought was that you could toss in several thousand of your own, ersatz, trees. (ersatz- it's a kind of conifer) That is, add fake cables. Some just weird, some to counter information already leaked, some inconsequential, some preposterous.

You'd first have to take down the Wikileaks servers, then add your own -- serving doctored files. Then add whistle-blower-whistle-blower sites, trumpeting the presence of fakes and purporting to expose the bad cables. And then sites claiming to expose disinformation sites.

Most citizens wouldn't have the energy to sift through the mess; I mean, most people don't read past Yahoo headlines, right? Just muddy the water until it's impossible to tell what is real and what is not.

There's probably a flaw in my plan. And it may only work going forward, on what Sir Julian releases in the future. Plus there's the risk that some of your wildest fakes will come to be regarded as true - "Hugo Chavez has on several occasions expressed romantic interest in Rosanne Barr. See what the embassy can do to make this happen."

Still, something to think about.