Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. Source: Wikipedia.
Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

This week in Silicon Valley, Paul Jay, CEO and senior editor for the The Real News Network moderates a session that tackles the global headline-grabbing topic of WikiLeaks.

Hosted by the Churchill Club in Santa Clara the discussion, WikiLeaks – Why it Matters. Why it Doesn’t?, features an impressive line-up of leading thinkers including a VC, a former state official, a high tech Chairman and two university professors.

WikiLeaks 1.0?

In 1971 Daniel Ellsberg released the “Pentagon Papers”, a top-secret Pentagon study of US government decision-making about the Vietnam War, to The New York Times and other newspapers. As a response to the leaks, the Nixon administration began a campaign against further leaks and against Ellsberg personally. Sound familiar?

Ellsberg, the former state and defense department official, will be joined by Clay Shirky (adjunct professor, NYU), Neville Roy Singham (founder/chairman of ThoughtWorks), Peter Thiel (president, Clairum Capital) and Jonathan Zittrain (professor Harvard, co-founder Berkman Center for Internet & Society).

WikiLeaks has received praise as well as criticism. The organization has won a number of awards, including The Economist’s New Media Award in 2008 and Amnesty International’s UK Media Award in 2009.  In 2010, the New York City Daily News listed WikiLeaks first among websites “that could totally change the news”, and Julian Assange was named the Readers’ Choice for TIME’s Person of the Year in 2010.

However, according to Wikipedia, “At the same time, several U.S. government officials have criticised WikiLeaks for exposing classified information, harming national security, and compromising international diplomacy. Several human rights organisations requested with respect to earlier document releases that WikiLeaks adequately redact the names of civilians working with international forces, in order to prevent repercussions”

More on Churchill Club events in Silicon Valley:

The panel will discuss WikiLeaks and its implications for access to information, security, first amendment rights, innovation, and more.

It should be another thought provoking session, and if you’re based somewhere in Silicon Valley is well worth attending if only to take a break from your bocce ball league.

Churchill Club Silicon ValleyWikiLeaks: Why it Matters. Why it Doesn’t?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A panel of leading thinkers explores WikiLeaks and its implications for access to information, security, first amendment rights, innovation, and more.

Daniel Ellsberg, Former State and Defense Dept. Official prosecuted for releasing the Pentagon Papers
Clay Shirky, Independent Internet Professional; Adjunct Professor, Interactive Telecommunications Program, New York University
Neville Roy Singham, Founder and Chairman, ThoughtWorks
Peter Thiel, President, Clarium Capital; Managing Partner, Founder’s Fund
Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law and Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University; Co-founder, Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Paul Jay, CEO and Senior Editor, The Real News Network

– Buffet dinner: 6:15 PM
– Registration: 5:30 PM
– Program: 7:00 PM

Santa Clara Marriott Hotel
2700 Mission College Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95054

Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear