Is WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange a hero, or a villain?

In this sixth installment of Faculty Insight, produced in partnership with Harvard University Extension School, ThoughtCast speaks with Allan Ryan, the director of intellectual property at Harvard Business School Publishing, a member of the American Bar Association’s Committee on the First Amendment and Media Litigation, and an instructor at Harvard Extension School.

The subject is a sensitive one for journalists: Is Julian Assange one of us? Does WikiLeaks serve a legitimate news-gathering purpose, or is it a dangerous, possibly illegal website that spreads official secrets without due diligence or consideration of the consequences?
Let us know what you think!

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2 Responses to Is WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange a hero, or a villain?

  1. Brad Fulk April 22, 2013 at 2:35 am #

    I have a hard time believing that this is a serious question. Wikieaks is a vivid reminder of what journalists profess to be doing but have disasterously failed to actually do. How does willfull ignorance, of what the government and its corporate partners are doing, advance anyone’s interest?

    We cannot know if a secret is harmful or not precisely because it is SECRET!

  2. Dean Landsman October 8, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    Why a Hero or a Villian? Perhaps he is in fact neither. Nor, come to think of it, is he a Beachboys song title (

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