Unileaks Seeks to Keep Education Honest

Unileaks Seeks to Keep Education Honest
  • Opening Intro -

    Wikileaks has shaken governments from the Middle East to Europe to America, revealing detailed information about certain practices and opinions that some prefer would never see the light of day.

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The morality or even the legality of Wikileaks is a matter of debate, but its impact is not: the Internet has provided the perfect platform for disseminating documents to an eagerly awaiting public.

 

Unileaks Launched

University administrators across the globe should educate themselves about a Wikileaks-like website, Unileaks, designed to disclose information pertaining to higher education. Based in Australia, Unileaks has already fired warning shots to chancellors overseeing higher education in Australia and in the United Kingdom, and has promised to carry the exposé torch around the world including to the United States.

Claiming to operate much like Wikileaks, Unileaks is accepting news that has been restricted or censored. The stories must be original and cannot be based on rumor or conjecture. Original material is investigated by Unileaks’ journalists who verify its authenticity and write articles based on that information. These articles appear on the Unileaks website with supporting documentation offered to back each story up. Sources are not named, a widely-accepted journalistic standard.

First Shot

So far, the letters to the respective chancellors have not shown what Unileaks may be able to accomplish although with its U.K. letter, the organization complained about recent austerity measures which have resulted in class cancellations and student strikes. Wedged between its U.K. and Australian chancellor letters was its first expose detailing the practices of the head of I.T. security of RMIT University in Melbourne. Allegedly, the security boss posted anonymous comments to a YouTube video that cast a former student in a bad light. Unileaks identified the university official “…within three minutes using basic investigative techniques (and relying on public information to guide us).” Not earth shattering news, but maybe offering a glimpse of what Unileaks can do.

Documents that might be of interest to Unileaks include contracts, written letters, emails, confidential files and recordings. Recognizing that this information could open itself and submitters to criminal prosecution, Unileaks offers detailed instructions on its website on how news can be forwarded to them. “Online submissions are routed via countries which have strong shield laws to provide additional protection to sources and journalists,” is one way Unileaks obtains information; they also have access to a post office box in Victoria, Australia.

U.S. Scandals

Naturally, we wonder what sort of mischief Unileaks might uncover in the United States. Perhaps a sporting scandal not revealed by the NCAA. Or, maybe the questionable practices of a for-profit university. Then again, uncovering the funding decisions of a review university panel just might be the sort of news colleges won’t want to see published.

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Categories: Campus News