And that's without even considering the impact the WikiLeak had on threats from outside, such as the 4Chan.org-based hactivist group Anonymous that no doubt inspired thousands of copycats in its successful rampage against financial organizations that refused to allow contributions to Assange's defense and attacks at totalitarian governments in the Middle East.
Those attacks and a growing concern over data security and whistleblowers raised to critical the constant, low-intensity debate over who owns and who can publish information considered proprietary by corporations or governments, how to punish those who release it, and why supposedly high-security systems are so vulnerable.
Top-Secret and Secret [security designations] mean little without the appropriate protections in place to secure them from a motivated thief....the old ways of protecting these documents become ineffective in today’s digital world. Similarly, legacy technology-based solutions that we most frequently think of for computer protection, like AV or firewalls are completely uselessin this type of data theft. – Dave Meizlik
To supplement [IT data] security, every business should also develop an appropriate incident response plan so that it is adequately prepared to respond to a security breach in the event that the worst occurs. – Thomas J. Smedinghoff, Wildman Harrold, attorneys
Wikileaks is, in effect, a huge tax on internal coordination... the fact that [everyone you work with] had a detailed understanding of the [organization's] mission and methodology become enormous liabilities. In a Wikileaks world, the greater the number of people who intimately understand your organization, the more candidates there are for revealing that information to millions of voyeurs. – Noam Scheiber, The New Republic
The Army is prosecuting PFC Bradley Manning to the full extent of its capabilities, and no doubt revamping the lax interconnected security system that enabled all those cables to be downloaded by someone who had no reasonable need to see them.
The U.S. business world is far less organized, far less conscious of its own vulnerability and far less willing to admit or pay for mitigation of that risk.
Whatever you think of what Manning allegedly did, or WikiLeaks published, both no doubt inspired others to follow their example, gaining power over the bosses whose decisions they despise and whose company policies they believe to be criminal, stupid or simply insensitive.