WikiLeaks, the website run by Julian Assange, may have influenced the outcome of the 2016 election. Donald Trump won the election due to several factors such as the overconfidence of the Democrats and the anger of voters. Wikileaks is responsible for exposing classified government documents from countries across the globe. Prior to the election, they released numerous emails pertaining to Clinton’s campaign in an attempt to successfully elect President elect Trump. WikiLeaks actions are controversial, as they acquire their intelligence through illegitimate sources and illegal hacks in order to expose classified government documents.
The argument for WikiLeaks’ justification of its actions is government transparency. However, it is not an obligation of an unsponsored private website to decide what the public needs to know. WikiLeaks has, in the past, released classified government documents that could have threatened national security of various nations. On one hand, the American public has a right to know everything about the interworkings of this election from both parties, but that’s why we have campaign finance laws. On the other hand, it should be the responsibility of voters to educate themselves on candidates and whether or not they are trustworthy.
WikiLeaks chose to release the Democratic National Convention emails with only a few days left before the election, so it most likely did not persuade voters one way or another. WikiLeaks has never been justified in its decision to release classified information. They believe they are helping the public by releasing personal emails, but they continue to create a larger consensus of mistrust in our government. I support government transparency, but it is the duty of the public to educate itself on elements of electoral politics before they vote, without to listening to WikiLeaks.
Government transparency is a good thing, but there are occasions when officials have to choose to release information that could either help or hinder the public or that could potentially become a national security risk. WikiLeaks officials believed that they did the right thing by releasing DNC emails prior to the election, but only time will tell if they choose to release classified information that they believe will help the public good when in reality, it could endanger American lives. WikiLeaks is involved in the distribution of classified information in an attempt to open governments, but it subsequently neglects national security concerns.