In one of a series of passages in Hamlet where Shakespeare demonstrates his keen insight into acting and directing, the character of Hamlet instructs the players as follows:

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance, that you o’erstep not the modesty of nature. For anything so o’erdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is to hold as ’twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure.

William Shakespeare, Hamlet, III, ii, 17 – 22

In a remarkable phenomenon that is playing itself out across the internet, Wikileaks has held its own “mirror up to nature.” Despite US government attempts to shut down the site (much like China did with Google), Wikileaks has established mirror sites across the globe. The number of mirrors is growing by the hundreds each day and as of this writing stands at 1,241. The mirrors can be accessed here.

A “mirror” is basically an exact copy of an internet site which is placed on another site. Not only does it provide for a backup copy of data, it also makes it difficult for governments to stifle or censor speech.

The decision of Paypal, Visa and MasterCard (but not, ironically, American Express) to stop any payment of funds to Wikileaks can be taken as evidence of US government interference, since even during wartime, commerce is often granted unfettered access to enemies and allies alike.

More to follow…