I’ve been saying (and writing) lately that piracy is the consequence of a bad API. That thought came to mind last week, when I was drawn into a discussion of the U.S. government’s responses to Wikileaks.
I look at classification as the government’s analog version of DRM, which (as we have seen in publishing) can block casual piracy but is pretty ineffective against intentional theft of content.
In the discussion, I used my experience studying piracy to make a point about the difficulty and escalating cost of trying to reliably wrap something in a protective layer.
In this era, strengthening the current rules and emphasizing enforcement at the cost of the Constitution are popular options, but I have another idea. Maybe we could work on having fewer secrets.
If government were more open, it might also cost less (speaking of bad APIs …)