WikiLeaks has published thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and the private email account of former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta. The information dump has left many questioning whether the unconventional media group has crossed the line.

The US government blames Russia for the hacks. The presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton has accused the Russian government of "weaponizing" WikiLeaks to influence the outcome of the upcoming US election.

On top of publishing stolen material, WikiLeaks failed to redact the contents to protect personal information not clearly in the public's interest. These incidents have bolstered criticism that WikiLeaks is less a whistleblower group and more a personal vehicle for its mercurial founder and leader, Julian Assange. That perception has grown as WikiLeaks, through its glaring animus against Clinton, has won praise from her rival, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, and other right-wing figures.

The Podesta emails in particular raise questions about whether government officials are entitled to privacy; and whether journalists are committing ethical breaches when their reporting comes from that privacy being violated.

On this episode of the Stream, we'll discuss whether WikiLeaks has gone from beacon of transparency, as it bills itself, to invader of privacy, as its critics now claim.

On today's episode, we speak to: 

Alex Howard @digiphile
Senior analyst, Sunlight Foundation

Ben Norton @benjaminnorton
Politics reporter, Salon

Malcolm Nance @MalcolmNance
Author, "The Plot to Hack America: How Putin’s Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election"

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