“In The Transparent Society, David Brin argued that developments in surveillance technology were leading us to a world where everything you did would be observed, recordable, and searchable. That outcome could not, in his view, be prevented. The best we could hope for was transparency in both directions, a world where the cops can watch us but we can also watch them.
Early evidence that he might be right appeared in incidents where police officers made the mistake of misbehaving when someone had a video camera—more recently a cell phone—pointed at them. Thinking about the WikiLeaks case, it occurred to me that it was a further development in the same direction. The origin of the information was a conventional leak, not high tech surveillance. But it is modern technology that makes it virtually impossible for the governments affected to prevent widespread public distribution of the leaked information.
In that sense, what we are seeing is an early stage of the transparent society.”