Leaky Briefs – Trust In Confidence

The current story about the leak from the UK National Security Council (NSC) is important because it has nothing to do with Huawei (or Brexit, or Trump, or Climate change, or anything other than leaky security).

People are thoroughly used to participants briefing leaks from “internal” meetings – all sides do it to fly their political kites to their ultimate advantage. And journalists accept is as a standards source of staying ahead of the official announcement game. That the very idea of privacy has been trampled.

Transparency is simply another “freedom fetish” that seems to trump all other considerations – a kind of twisted whistle-blowing that no “institution” should be allowed to do business beyond the glare of public and media scrutiny. Ever. At all.

Secrecy – is absolutely essential to good faith dialogue, you need to be able to trust who you are working with as they need to be able to trust you. It’s why it’s called confidentiality. It doesn’t stop the Snowdens the Assanges and assorted SJWs from demanding access to anything and everything by any means.

Conscience driven whistle-blowing is a special case amongst the good-faith participants – but a hacker or a political leaker is not a whistle-blower, even if they turn out to be right in some moral sense. In the long run details are released and the record scrutinised. In the short-term there are very good reasons to maintain confidence. Meta-confidence amongst trusted commentators too, so the media know what is going on in terms of why certain things shouldn’t be “published” just now.

Of course critics and SJWs with decry any cosy closed relationships, but do I really have to spell out why trust and confidence (secrecy for the time-being) matter?

Beyond risk to innocent parties, in a world where everything is treated as objective, fact or not, there is no room for what ifs.


[Post Note:

It’s become the issue that since the Huawei security concerns were valid public interest the dipstick that released the content from the NSC was justified in doing so. Hell no. The topic was already in public conversation before it became an NSC agenda item in fact and anyone specific (May) said anything specific (minded to go for it despite concerns) about it. NSC confidentiality is separate from public debate. Both can and should happen.]

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