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Quote of the Day: An Era With No Secrets

BY Nick Judd | Friday, March 11 2011

There are leaks everywhere in Washington – it’s a town that can’t keep a secret. But the scale is different. It was a colossal failure by the DoD to allow this mass of documents to be transported outside the network.

Historically, someone has picked up a file of papers and passed it around – the information exposed is on one country or one subject. But this is a scale we’ve never seen before. If Julian Assange is right and we’re in an era where there are no secrets, do we expect that people will release Google’s search engine algorithms? The formula for Coca Cola? Some things are best kept secret. If we’re negotiating between the Israelis and the Palestinians, there will be compromises that are hard for each side to sell to their people – there’s a need for secrets.

— U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, during remarks yesterday at the MIT Center for the Future of Civic Media, as transcribed by technology thinker Ethan Zuckerman. Over time, the State Department has become gradually more open about its response to Wikileaks. The entire conversation is a look into the way State views new media as part of its outreach to the world, and how Crowley views new media as part of his outreach to the American people.