Wikileaks Cloud Fallout

Oh my gawsh! The embarrassment that the U.S. government must have felt (can a government feel?) when secret cables between the U.S. State Department and diplomatic outposts around the world surfaced in the global press.

Among the revelations:  German Chancellor Angela Merkel was labeled “risk averse and rarely creative,” Afghanistan president Karzai is a “paranoid and weak individual unfamiliar with the basics of nation-building.”


While the fallout for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has yet to be determined, there are lessons that can be applied here to the Cloud.  Specifically, where does this leave cloud providers and the underlying network providers over whose equipment this content (potentially) flows, as a recent article questioned?

How do service providers draw a line in terms of how far they can go in figuring out what is “moral” or “legal?” Will it become a higher priority for providers to write specific user terms and apply them locally as well as globally?

If there is pressure by a government, such as China, to censor material or remove content or apps from the network cloud, then how far can and should a service provider go? To which of its clients and constituents should it listen?

Another question to consider: if service providers are supposed to be “neutral” in delivering certain kinds of content, why shouldn’t they treat all content alike — such as in the Wikileaks case?

And then there are the lawsuits to consider — on the one side from civil rights advocates when content is barred and on the other side from governments who want to do the barring (like the U.S. Justice Department).

Curious; what are your thoughts on this issue?