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The Wrong WikiLeaks Lesson: Clamp Down on Info Sharing

Companies have spent the first decade of the 21st century investing in technologies that allow their employees to share information, communicate more effectively and push decision making closer to the ground. This has made the companies that use them more responsive to competitive threats and opportunities, better managed and more innovative.

It would be a shame if one lesson we take away from WikiLeaks is that it's time for corporate America or the US government to pull the plug on democratizing information technologies and go back to need-to-know, command-and-control systems. Increasing information security requirements will likely make it more difficult to share information and put a chill on frank online discussions.

Battening down the hatches solves the wrong problem. The right problem to solve is how to prevent the wrong people from getting access to the data. As MIT professor Andy McAfee writes on HBR.org: "Technology is not the culprit here; a misguided person is."

"Fools and knaves have always been with us, and have done us much harm. But if we try too hard to fool- and knave-proof our computer systems, the main effect will be to keep the diligent and patriotic from doing their jobs as well as they could."
I'm curious. Has the WikiLeaks drama popped up on your company's radar as an example of a potential threat? What do you think the response should be?

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WikiLeak vs Bank of America: How to Maintain Morale Amid A PR Crisis (BNET)

(Photo by Flickr user vrogy, CC 2.0)