Coming next for Wikileaks: Swiss bank revelations

The legendary secrecy of the Swiss banking system is about to blow up as a former high ranking bank executive has given Julian Assange proprietary information that names dozens of famous people who have broken tax laws by hiding their wealth.

New York Times:

Rudolf M. Elmer, who ran the Caribbean operations of the Swiss bank Julius Baer for eight years until he was dismissed in 2002, refused to identify any of the individuals or companies, but he told reporters at a news conference that about 40 politicians and "pillars of society" were among them.

He told The Observer newspaper over the weekend that those named in the documents come from "the U.S., Britain, Germany, Austria and Asia - from all over," and include "business people, politicians, people who have made their living in the arts and multinational conglomerates - from both sides of the Atlantic."

Mr. Elmer handed two computer disks to Mr. Assange at the news conference, the first significant public event the WikiLeaks founder has held since he was arrested in London in early December after Swedish prosecutors sought to have him extradited on charges of sexual crimes there. He has denied the charges but was briefly jailed last year before bail was granted.

Revealing these names will not change the world. It is gossipy baloney pure and simple. It's Wikileaks aping People Magazine. No doubt, many of those named will be in trouble for not paying taxes but is that really worth violating the privacy of individuals?

The fact that they are rich and famous shouldn't have anything to do with it. The idea that Assange is willing to do this means that no one's private information is safe. The Wikileaks justification can and will be used to make anything and everything about anybody public. The reason is simple; it will be done because it can be done.