“To me, both right wing extremist leaks [e.g. the names and addresses of abortion providers] and Wikileaks are for the most part resurrections of old-fashioned vigilantism. Some of the targets of vigilantism in the Utah of the 19th century, say, might have unquestionably been “bastards,” and yet there are, to say the least, some tremendously attractive things about the rule of law.
“The point of Cablegate is to make it hard for diplomats to function. We know this is the point, since Julian Assange has described the strategy in his writing. He hopes to screw up the USA, which he considers a conspiracy of bastards, by screwing up the trust which glues the USA together. When you reveal what one person said in confidence to another, you screw up their relationships with other people. That’s what Wikileaks has come to be about with the Cablegate episode, not the revelation of deeply scandalous secrets.” — The Hazards of Nerd Supremacy: The Case of WikiLeaks, by Jaron Lanier
Lanier’s post is worth reading in its entirety.