December 22, 2010 10:27 ET

What's More Important -- National Security or Government Transparency?

Lab42 Study Reveals Americans Are Torn Over WikiLeaks Scandal

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - December 22, 2010) - Lab42, an innovative market research start-up, published results today of a study revealing the public's perception regarding the WikiLeaks information scandal.

Significant press coverage has recently been placed on an organization known as WikiLeaks, a non-profit media organization created in 2006 by Julian Assange that publishes classified news from anonymous sources. Based on survey results, many respondents feel the organization could have a harmful effect on United States' diplomacy and security.

Familiarity with WikiLeaks

Approximately 41% of respondents claimed to have actually visited the WikiLeaks website, while 19% answered that they visited a mirror of the website (the same information hosted on a different online server). Nearly 40% of respondents who were familiar with WikiLeaks had never even visited the website. Based on these numbers, it appears that more than half of people who are familiar with WikiLeaks do not actually visit the site due to its highly controversial or sensitive nature.

Additionally, WikiLeaks website traffic differed by age. Younger respondents -- those between 26-35 years old -- were more likely to have visited the website. Only 28% of respondents in this age group claimed that they did not visit the website, whereas over 50% of respondents ages 46-65 years old said they had not visited WikiLeaks.

Fear of Backlash from WikiLeaks

When asked whether they think WikiLeaks will have a damaging effect on United States diplomatic relations, nearly 45% of respondents answered a definitive 'Yes,' while only 19% answered a definitive 'No.'

Age was a significant factor. About 40% of respondents ages 18-55 thought WikiLeaks would negatively affect US international relations. Older survey takers seemed much more worried about the implications of WikiLeaks. Nearly 89% of respondents ages 56-65 felt that WikiLeaks would have a damaging diplomatic effect.

Feelings towards WikiLeaks

When asked which statement best described their feelings towards WikiLeaks, nearly 40% of respondents answered that 'Some information should remain classified.' On the contrary, 28% of respondents claimed that 'Information should be available and not hidden from the public.' 18% of respondents agreed that WikiLeaks threatens our National Security. These results reflect a popular belief about WikiLeaks, that public safety should take precedence when it comes to releasing classified information to the public. One respondent summed up typical American sentiment by stating, "Obama promised us an open government and only through WikiLeaks has he in anyway kept that promise, but some things shouldn't be disclosed like information that might directly endanger lives."

About Lab42
Lab42 is a new kind of market research firm that is breaking the mold in market research. It is a full service research solution that leverages a variety of social networks to reach targeted markets and obtain fresh responses to important questions that need to be answered. Visit for more information.

About The Survey
This survey was conducted online via social networks from December 7 to 10, 2010 among 350 adults who are familiar with WikiLeaks.

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