This article explores how the “Cablegate” phenomenon played out beyond its pre-dominantly Western context and examines the online circulation of leaked US diplomatic cables pertaining to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). While the media is constitutionally protected in the DRC, in practice journalists face severe press restrictions and frequent reprisals. This meant that politically sensitive cables were discussed cautiously (if at all) in the domestic press while being debated vigorously in the diasporic press. At the same time, both domestic and diaspora outlets were suspicious of the Cablegate disclosures, at times calling into question the motivations of Wikileaks and its partner organizations, as well as the veracity of the cables themselves. Their reactions suggest how the global reception of Cablegate was shaped by local conditions; however, the ability of Congolese to access and discuss Wikileaks cables is indicative of the Internet's effects on the circulation of information even in constrained environments.
Lisa Lynch; Cablegate in the Congo: Mapping the Digital Trail of Wikileaks Cables about the “Forgotten” DRC. Radical History Review 1 October 2013; 2013 (117): 49–69. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01636545-2210455
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