Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is once again in the news, this time holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
Regardless of how you feel about Wikileaks and the charges Assange faces in Sweden, the way this story has played out across the world is a remarkable Internet and social saga.
Even ten years ago, this information would have spread through mass media at the speed of wire services, told through a relatively limited number of sources. In today’s social world, the news of an alleged UK threat to storm the Ecuador Embassy was on Twitter before it reached the BBC. It was a trending topic moments later as Assange’s passionate supporters quickly spread the word.
In a Web world, Wikileaks’ presence is as mobile as the information they share. They’ve moved from country to country and Web host to Web host, always managing to stay ahead of the most powerful governments on the planet. Stopping information from getting out within an authoritarian regime is a challenge, as the Arab Spring showed us, but stopping something so international and controversial as Wikileaks has proven to be, so far, impossible.
It’s a brave new world.