With today’s historic WikiLeaks release (which has been undergoing a DDOS of unknown origin; so here’s the NYT coverage), I couldn’t help but think of the closing of The Hacker’s Manifesto:

This is our world now… the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn’t run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore… and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge… and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias… and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it’s for our own good, yet we’re the criminals.

Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.

I support today’s release. Democracy was never intended to be conducted behind closed doors. A government is responsible to its people – not the other way around – and both would do well to remember that: history shows that governments are expendible, but the citizenry is not.