Wikileaks, Julian Assange. These are words that are plastered all over the news. You’d be hard pressed to avoid them even with a cursory glance at the newspaper. The news is replete with information regarding Assange’s sex life and the rape charges against him, the damage being caused by the leaking information and the hacktivists that are taking matters into their own hands and bombarding sites that are anti-WikiLeaks.

Time to dust off the Constitutional Hat, as we would often say in law school when constitutional law issues reared their heads. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press — these freedoms that all too often are tossed under the bed in good times are being brought back out and touted by both sides. It will be interesting how this all plays out in the long run.

Here’s an interesting thought to throw in the mix. Our government is trying desperately to stop the leaking information and is really pissed off that it got out there at all. It appears that the government and political pressure are  the driving forces behind shutting down Assange and WikiLeaks as evidenced  by Lieberman’s muscling Amazon and others to drop their hosting and the pressure placed upon paypal and credit card companies to drop their payment options for the site. Interesting isn’t it, when one considers that this country to a great measure came to be by virtue of the same leaking of information.

Benjamin Franklin did it when he released letters between the Royal Governor of Massachusetts and the British throne. Those letters, which were confidential in nature and not meant to be made public, many believed were what inflamed  an already unsettled body of colonists and was instrumental in the Revolutionary War.

Interesting isn’t it that some of the very essence of what helped to form this country – leaking information – is now looked upon as one of the worst crimes in history according to the government’s condemnation of a similar act by Assange’s site.  Perhaps the only difference is that this time, our government is on the receiving end.