Let me start by stating:
I am not a politician, nor do I have a desire to be.
I am not a diplomat, nor do I have the desire to be.
With that said; WikiLeaks, Holy Crap! What a fiasco.
The term digital footprint is not new. We all understand by now that something or someone, somewhere and somehow, has a record of just about everything we do online (just ask the U.S. Government right?). WikiLeaks has shown that digital transparency is no longer really an option per se, it’s more of a reality.
Now, it is not my place to comment on the socio-political utility of WikiLeaks; as I said before, I’m not a diplomat! However, I do believe for the entrepreneur, how the government, the FCC and contemporary media-at-large, handle this intelligence blunder will determine in some form the future of web-related privacy.
Last week, a State Department official warned Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs students that discussing, posting, or commenting about WikiLeaks on any social media platform could “severely endanger” their future employment prospects.
The email is re-posted here:
From: “Office of Career Services”
Date: November 30, 2010 15:26:53 EST:
We received a call today from a SIPA alumnus who is working at the State Department. He asked us to pass along the following information to anyone who will be applying for jobs in the federal government, since all would require a background investigation and in some instances a security clearance.
The documents released during the past few months through Wikileaks are still considered classified documents. He recommends that you DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter. Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.
Office of Career Services
Okay, well a couple of things:
1. It’s now obvious that the government, along with a multitude of other entities who want to commodify your online presence are: recording, notating and evaluating everything that you do online.
2. Ummm…doesn’t this smell dangerously of 1st Amendment rights infringement?
3. G.N.F. Google Never Forgets
4. What you do online is no longer written in just pen, it’s in concrete.
As an entrepreneur, the line between your digital presence, and your actual presence is becoming rapidly minimized. The same integrity, and commitment to principle you carry in your day to day life, must translate into your digital presence, period.
As we move further and further into a digital economy, it’s only natural that your “digital integrity” will continue to be of growing importance and be a substantial vetting platform for online business consumers.
So remember, as business guru Warren Buffett says: “It takes a lifetime to build a reputation and only 15 minutes to destroy it.”
All the best,