Wikileaks exposed by mnmgroup

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									WikiLeaks is not affiliated with Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation.

                    Screenshot [show]

      (originally) [Note]
               Official mirrors list (2,194 as of 2010-12-

Slogan         We open governments.

Commercial? No

Type of site   Document archive

Owner          The Sunshine Press [4]

Created by     Julian Assange
Launched       October 4, 2006

Alexa rank     861 (December 2010)[6]

Current        Active, but undergoing DoS attacks and
status         ISP rejection[7]
Julian Assange, the main spokesperson for WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks is an international new media non-profit organisation that publishes submissions of
private, secret, and classified media from anonymous news sources and news leaks. Its website,
launched in 2006, is run by The Sunshine Press. [4] Within a year of its launch, the site claimed its
database had grown to more than 1.2 million documents.[8] The organisation has described itself
as having been founded by Chinese dissidents, as well as journalists, mathematicians, and start-
up company technologists from the United States, Taiwan, Europe, Australia, and South
Africa.[4] Julian Assange, an Australian Internet activist, is generally described as its director.[9]

WikiLeaks has received praise as well as criticism. The organization won a number of awards,
including The Economist's New Media Award in 2008[10] and Amnesty International's UK Media
Award in 2009.[11][12] In 2010, the New York City Daily News listed WikiLeaks first among
websites "that could totally change the news", [13] and Julian Assange was named the Readers'
Choice for TIME's Person of the Year in 2010.[14] Supporters of Wikileaks in the media have
commended it for exposing state and corporate secrets, increasing transparency, supporting
freedom of the press, and enhancing democratic discourse while challenging powerful

At the same time, several U.S. government officials have criticized WikiLeaks for expo sing
classified information, harming national security, and compromising international
diplomacy.[21][22][23][24][25] Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International criticized
WikiLeaks for not adequately redacting the names of civilians working with the U.S. military. [26]
Some journalists have criticized the lack of editorial discretion when releasing thousands of
documents at once and without sufficient analysis. [27] Among negative public reactions in the
United States, people have characterized the organization as irresponsible, immoral, and

In April 2010, WikiLeaks posted video from a 2007 incident in which Iraqi civilians and
journalists were killed by US forces, on a website called Collateral Murder. In July of the same
year, WikiLeaks released Afghan War Diary, a compilation of more than 76,900 documents
about the War in Afghanistan not previously available for public review. [31] In October 2010, the
group released a package of almost 400,000 documents called the Iraq War Logs in coordination
with major commercial media organisations. In November 2010, WikiLeaks began releasing
U.S. State department diplomatic cables.
WikiLeaks was originally launched as a user-editable wiki site, but has progressively moved
towards a more traditional publication model, and no longer accepts either user comments or
edits. The site is available on multiple servers and different domain names following a number of
denial-of-service attacks and its severance from different Domain Name System (DNS)


        1 History
        2 Administration
             o 2.1 Site management issues
             o 2.2 Hosting
             o 2.3 Financing
             o 2.4 Name servers
             o 2.5 Name and policies
             o 2.6 Verification of submissions
             o 2.7 Legal status
                      2.7.1 Legal background
                      2.7.2 Potential criminal prosecution
             o 2.8 Insurance file
        3 Investigations, censorship, harassment, and surveillance
             o 3.1 By governments
                      3.1.1 Police raid on German WikiLeaks domain holder's home
                      3.1.2 P.R. China
                      3.1.3 Potential future Australian censorship
                      3.1.4 Thai censorship
                      3.1.5 United States
                      3.1.6 Iceland
             o 3.2 By organisations and companies
                      3.2.1 Facebook Inc.
                      3.2.2 Moneybookers Ltd
                      3.2.3 After the US diplomatic cables leak
        4 Reception
             o 4.1 Support
                      4.1.1 Praise by governments
             o 4.2 Criticism
                      4.2.1 Criticism by governments
        5 Spin offs
        6 Leaks
             o 6.1 2006–08
             o 6.2 2009
             o 6.3 2010
                      6.3.1 Diplomatic cables release
             o 6.4 Announcements on upcoming leaks
      7 See also
      8 Notes
      9 References
      10 Further reading
      11 External links

The domain name was registered on 4 October 2006. [5] The website was unveiled,
and published its first document in December 2006. [34][35] The site claims to have been "founded
by Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and start-up company technologists, from the
US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa". [4]

The creators of WikiLeaks have not been formally identified. [36] It has been represented in public
since January 2007 by Julian Assange and others. Assange describes himself as a member of
WikiLeaks' advisory board.[37] News reports in The Australian have called Assange the "founder
of WikiLeaks".[38] According to Wired magazine, a volunteer said that Assange described
himself in a private conversation as "the heart and soul of this organisation, its founder,
philosopher, spokesperson, original coder, organiser, financier, and all the rest". [39] As of June
2009, the site had over 1,200 registered volunteers[4] and listed an advisory board comprising
Assange, Phillip Adams, Wang Dan, C. J. Hinke, Ben Laurie, Tashi Namgyal Khamsitsang, Xiao
Qiang, Chico Whitaker and Wang Youcai.[40] Despite appearing on the list Khamsitsang said that
while he received an e- mail from WikiLeaks, he had never agreed to be an advisor. [41] Adams
said he'd also never met Assange or been asked for any advice and suggested that other members
of the board hadn't either.[40]

WikiLeaks states that its "primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former
Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to
people of all regions who wish to reveal unethical behaviour in their governments and

In January 2007, the website stated that it had over 1.2 million leaked documents that it was
preparing to publish.[43] An article in The New Yorker said:

One of the WikiLeaks activists owned a server that was being used as a node for the Tor
network. Millions of secret transmissions passed through it. The activist noticed that hackers
from China were using the network to gather foreign governments’ information, and began to
record this traffic. Only a small fraction has ever been posted on WikiLeaks, but the initial
tranche served as the site’s foundation, and Assange was able to say, "[w]e have received over
one million documents from thirteen countries."[35][44]

Assange responded to the suggestion that eavesdropp ing on Chinese hackers played a crucial
part in the early days of WikiLeaks by saying "the imputation is incorrect. The facts concern a
2006 investigation into Chinese espionage one of our contacts were involved in. Somewhere
between none and handful of those documents were ever released on WikiLeaks. Non-
government targets of the Chinese espionage, such as Tibetan associations were informed (by
us)".[45] The group has subsequently released a number of other significant documents which
have become front-page news items, ranging from documentation of equipment expenditures and
holdings in the Afghanistan war to corruption in Kenya.[46]

The organisation's stated goal is to ensure that whistleblowers and journalists are not jailed for
emailing sensitive or classified documents, as happened to Chinese journalist Shi Tao, who was
sentenced to 10 years in 2005 after publicising an email from Chinese officials about the
anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.[47]

The project has drawn comparisons to Daniel Ellsberg's leaking of the Pentagon Papers in
1971.[48] In the United States, the leaking of some documents may be legally protected. The U.S.
Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution guarantees anonymity, at least in the area of
political discourse.[48] Author and journalist Whitley Strieber has spoken about the benefits of the
WikiLeaks project, noting that "Leaking a government document can mean jail, but jail
sentences for this can be fairly short. However, there are many places where it means long
incarceration or even death, such as China and parts of Africa and the Middle East."[49]

On 24 December 2009, WikiLeaks announced that it was experiencing a shortage of funds [50]
and suspended all access to its website except for a form to submit new material. [51] Material that
was previously published was no longer available, although some could still be accessed on
unofficial mirrors.[52] WikiLeaks stated on its website that it would resume full operation once
the operational costs were covered.[51] WikiLeaks saw this as a kind of strike "to ensure that
everyone who is involved stops normal work and actually spends time raising revenue". [53] While
the organisation initially planned for funds to be secured by 6 January 2010, [54] it was not until 3
February 2010 that WikiLeaks announced that its minimum fundraising goal had been

On 22 January 2010, PayPal suspended WikiLeaks' donation account and froze its assets.
WikiLeaks said that this had happened before, and was done for "no obvious reason". [56] The
account was restored on 25 January 2010.[57] On 18 May 2010, WikiLeaks announced that its
website and archive were back up.[58]

As of June 2010, WikiLeaks was a finalist for a grant of more than half a million dollars from t he
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation,[35] but did not make the cut.[59] WikiLeaks commented,
"WikiLeaks was highest rated project in the Knight challenge, strongly recommended to the
board but gets no funding. Go figure‖. WikiLeaks said that the Knight foundation announced the
award to "'12 Grantees who will impact future of news' – but not WikiLeaks" and questioned
whether Knight foundation was "really looking for impact". [59] A spokesman of the Knight
Foundation disputed parts of WikiLeaks' statement, saying "WikiLeaks was not recommended
by Knight staff to the board."[60] However, he declined to say whether WikiLeaks was the project
rated highest by the Knight advisory panel, which consists of non-staffers, among them journalist
Jennifer 8. Lee, who has done PR work for WikiLeaks with the press and on social networking
On 17 July, Jacob Appelbaum spoke on behalf of WikiLeaks at the 2010 Hackers on Planet
Earth conference in New York City, replacing Assange because of the presence of federal agents
at the conference.[61][62] He announced that the WikiLeaks submission system was again up and
running, after it had been temporarily suspended. [61][63][64] Assange was a surprise speaker at a
TED conference on 19 July 2010 in Oxford, and confirmed that the site had begun accepting
submissions again.[65]

Upon returning to the US from the Netherlands, on 29 July, Appelbaum was detained for three
hours at the airport by US agents, according to anonymous sources. [66] The sources told Cnet that
Appelbaum's bag was searched, receipts from his bag were photocopied, his laptop was
inspected, although in what manner was unclear. [66] Appelbaum reportedly refused to answer
questions without a lawyer present, and was not allowed to make a phone call. His three mobile
phones were reportedly taken and not returned. [66] On 31 July, he spoke at a Defcon conference
and mentioned his phone being "seized". After speaking, he was approached by two FBI agents
and questioned.[66]

Assange is quoted as acknowledging that his practice of posting largely unfiltered classified
information online could one day lead the Web site to have "blood on our hands."[67]

In 2010, at least a dozen key supporters of WikiLeaks have left the website. [68]

According to a January 2010 interview, the WikiLeaks team then consisted of five people
working full-time and about 800 people who worked occasionally, none of whom were
compensated.[53] WikiLeaks has no official headquarters. The expenses per year are about
€200,000, mainly for servers and bureaucracy, but would reach €600,000 if work currently done
by volunteers were paid for.[53] WikiLeaks does not pay for lawyers, as hundreds of thousands of
dollars in legal support have been donated by media organisations such as the Associated Press,
Los Angeles Times, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association.[53] Its only revenue
stream is donations, but WikiLeaks is planning to add an auction model to sell early access to
documents.[53] According to the Wau Holland Foundation, WikiLeaks receives no money for
personnel costs, only for hardware, travelling and bandwidth. [69] An article in

As a charity accountable under German law, donations for WikiLeaks can be made to the
foundation. Funds are held in escrow and are given to WikiLeaks after the whistleblower website
files an application containing a statement with proof of payment. The foundation does not pay
any sort of salary nor give any renumeration [sic] to WikiLeaks' personnel, corroborating the
statement of the site's former German representative Daniel Schmitt (real name Daniel
Domscheit-Berg)[70] on national television that all personnel works voluntarily, even its

Site management issues
Within WikiLeaks, there has been public disagreement between founder and spokesperson Julian
Assange and Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the site's former German representative who was
suspended by Assange. Domscheit-Berg announced on 28 September 2010 that he was leaving
the organisation due to internal conflicts over management of the site. [71][72][70]


WikiLeaks describes itself as "an uncensorable system for untraceable mass document
leaking".[73] WikiLeaks is hosted by PRQ, a Sweden-based company providing "highly secure,
no-questions-asked hosting services". PRQ is said to have "almost no information about its
clientele and maintains few if any of its own logs".[74] The servers are spread around the world
with the central server located in Sweden. [75] Julian Assange has said that the servers are located
in Sweden (and the other countries) "specifically because those nations offer legal protection to
the disclosures made on the site". He talks about the Swedish constitution, which gives the
information providers total legal protection. [75] It is forbidden according to Swedish law for any
administrative authority to make inquiries about the sources of any type of newspaper. [76] These
laws, and the hosting by PRQ, make it difficult to take WikiLeaks offline. Furthermore,
"Wikileaks maintains its own servers at undisclosed locations, keeps no logs and uses military-
grade encryption to protect sources and other confidential information." Such arrangements have
been called "bulletproof hosting."[74][77]

On 17 August 2010, it was announced that the Swedish Pirate Party will be hosting and
managing many of WikiLeaks' new servers. The party donates servers and bandwidth to
WikiLeaks without charge. Technicians of the party will make sure that the servers are
maintained and working.[78][79]

Some servers are hosted in an underground nuclear bunker in Stockholm. [80][81]

After the site became the target of a denial-of-service attack from a hacker on its old servers,
WikiLeaks moved its site to Amazon's servers.[82] Later, however, the website was "ousted"[82]
from the Amazon servers, without a public statement from the company. [citation needed] WikiLeaks
then decided to install itself on the servers of OVH in France.[83] After criticism from the French
government, the company sought two court rulings about the legality of hosting WikiLeaks.
While the court in Lille immediately declined to force OVH to shut down the WikiLeaks site, the
court in Paris stated it would need more time to examine the highly technical issue. [82][84]

       This article's factual accuracy may be compromised because of out-of-date
       information. Please help improve the article by updating it. There may be additional
       information on the talk page. (December 2010)

WikiLeaks is based on several software packages, including MediaWiki, Freenet, Tor, and
PGP.[85] WikiLeaks strongly encouraged postings via Tor because of the strong privacy needs of
its users.[86]

On 4 November 2010, Julian Assange told Swiss public television TSR that he is seriously
considering seeking political asylum in neutral Switzerland and setting up a WikiLeaks
foundation in the country to move the operation there. [87][88] According to Assange, Switzerland
and Iceland are the only countries where WikiLeaks would feel safe to operate. [89][90]


WikiLeaks is dependent on public donations since it is a non-profit organisation. Its main
financing methods include conventional bank transfers and online payment systems. Wau
Holland Foundation, one of the WikiLeaks' main funding channels, stated that they have
received more than €900,000 (US$1.2 million) in public donations between October 2009 and
December 2010, out of which €370,000 has been passed on to WikiLeaks. Hendrik Fulda, vice
president of the Wau Holland Foundation, mentioned that the donations through PayPal was
twice[vague] as through normal banks, before PayPal's decision to suspend WikiLeaks' account. He
also noted that donations were never as strong as when WikiLeaks started publishing leaked
diplomatic cables.[91][92]

Name servers

WikiLeaks had been using EveryDNS's services, which led to DDoS attacks on the host.[clarification
        The attacks affected the quality of service at EveryDNS, so the company withdrew their
service from WikiLeaks. Pro-WikiLeaks supporters retaliated by launching a DDoS attack
against EveryDNS. Due to mistakes in the blogosphere, some supporters accidentally mistook
EasyDNS for EveryDNS and attacked it. The attacks caused both EveryDNS and EasyDNS to
experience outages. Afterwards EasyDNS decided to provide WikiLeaks its name server

Name and policies

Despite using the name "WikiLeaks", the website is no longer wiki-based as of December 2010.
Also, despite some popular confusion[94] due to both having the term "wiki" in their names,
WikiLeaks and Wikipedia have no affiliation with each other;[95][96] i.e. "wiki" is not a brand
name. Wikia, a for-profit corporation loosely affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation, did
however purchase several Wikileaks-related domain names (including "" and
"") as a "protective brand measure" in 2007. [97]

The "about" page originally read:[98]

To the user, WikiLeaks will look very much like Wikipedia. Anybody can post to it, anybody
can edit it. No technical knowledge is required. Leakers can post documents anonymously and
untraceably. Users can publicly discuss documents and analyze their credibility and veracity.
Users can discuss interpretations and context and collaboratively formulate collective
publications. Users can read and write explanatory articles on leaks along with background
material and context. The political relevance of documents and their verisimilitude will be
revealed by a cast of thousands.

However, WikiLeaks established an editorial policy that accepted only documents that were "of
political, diplomatic, historical or ethical interest" (and excluded "material that is already
publicly available").[99] This coincided with early criticism that having no editorial policy would
drive out good material with spam and promote "automated or indiscriminate publication of
confidential records."[100] It is no longer possible for anybody to post to it or edit it, as the
original FAQ promised. Instead, submissions are regulated by an internal review process and
some are published, while documents not fitting the editorial criteria are rejected by anonymous
WikiLeaks reviewers. By 2008, the revised FAQ stated that "Anybody can post comments to it.
[...] Users can publicly discuss documents and analyse their credibility and veracity."[101] After
the 2010 relaunch, posting new comments to leaks was no longer possible. [102]

Verification of submissions

WikiLeaks states that it has never released a misattributed document. Documents are assessed
before release. In response to concerns about the possibility of misleading or fraudulent leaks,
WikiLeaks has stated that misleading leaks "are already well-placed in the mainstream media.
WikiLeaks is of no additional assistance. [103] The FAQ states that: "The simplest and most
effective countermeasure is a worldwide community of informed users and editors who can
scrutinise and discuss leaked documents."[104]

According to statements by Assange in 2010, submitted documents are vetted by a group of five
reviewers, with expertise in different fields such as language or programming, who also
investigate the background of the leaker if his or her identity is known. [105] In that group,
Assange has the final decision about the assessment of a document.[105]

Legal status

Legal background

The legal status of WikiLeaks is complex. Assange considers WikiLeaks a whistleblower
protection intermediary. Rather than leaking directly to the press, and fearing exposure and
retribution, whistleblowers can leak to WikiLeaks, which then leaks to the press for them. [106] Its
servers are located throughout Europe and are accessible from any uncensored web connection.
The group located its headquarters in Sweden because it has one of the world’s strongest shield
laws to protect confidential source-journalist relationships.[107][108] WikiLeaks has stated that they
"do not solicit any information".[107] However, Assange used his speech during the Hack In The
Box conference in Malaysia to ask the crowd of hackers and security researchers to help find
documents on its "Most Wanted Leaks of 2009" list.[109]

Potential criminal prosecution

The U.S. Justice Department opened a criminal probe of Wikileaks and founder Julian Assange
shortly after the leak of diplomatic cables began.[110][111] Attorney General Eric Holder affirmed
the probe was ―not saber-rattling‖, but was "an active, ongoing criminal investigation."[111] The
The Washington Post reported that the department was considering charges under the Espionage
Act, a move which former prosecutors characterised as "difficult" because of First Amendment
protections for the press.[110][112] Several Supreme Court cases have previously established that
the American constitution protects the re-publication of illegally gained information provided the
publishers did not themselves break any laws in acquiring it. [113] Federal prosecutors have also
considered prosecuting Assange for trafficking in stolen government property, but since the
diplomatic cables are intellectual rather than physical property, that approach also faces
hurdles.[114] Any prosecution of Assange would require extraditing him to the United States, a
step made more complicated and potentially delayed by any preceding extradition to Sweden. [115]
One of Assange's lawyers, however, says they are fighting extradition to Sweden because it
might lead to his extradition to the United States. [116] Assange's attorney, Mark Stephens, has
"heard from Swedish authorities there has been a secretly empaneled grand jury in Alexandria
[Virginia]" meeting to consider criminal charges in the WikiLeaks case. [117]

In Australia, the government and the Australian Federal Police have not stated what Australian
laws may have been broken by WikiLeaks, but Julia Gillard has stated that the foundation of
Wikileaks and the stealing of classified documents from the US administration is illegal in
foreign countries.[118] Gillard later clarified her statement as referring to "the original theft of the
material by a junior US serviceman rather than any action by Mr Assange."[119] Spencer Zifcak,
President of Liberty Victoria, an Australian civil liberties group, notes that with no charge, and
no trial completed, it is inappropriate to state that WikiLeaks is guilty of illegal activities. [120]

On threats by various governments toward Assange, legal expert Ben Saul argues that founder
Julian Assange is the target of a global smear campaign to demonise him as a criminal or as a
terrorist, without any legal basis.[121]

Insurance file

On 29 July 2010, WikiLeaks added a 1.4 GB "Insurance File" to the Afghan War Diary page.
The file is AES encrypted and has been speculated to serve as insurance in case the WikiLeaks
website or its spokesman Julian Assange are incapacitated, upon which the passphrase could be
published, similar to the concept of a dead man's switch.[122][123] Following the first few days'
release of the US diplomatic cables starting 28 November 2010, the US television broadcaster
CBS predicted that "If anything happens to Assange or the website, a key will go out to unlock
the files. There would then be no way to stop the information from spreading like wildfire
because so many people already have copies."[124] CBS correspondent Declan McCullagh stated,
"What most folks are speculating is that the insurance file contains unreleased information that
would be especially embarrassing to the US government if it were released."[124]

Investigations, censorship, harassment, and surveillance
According to The Times, WikiLeaks and its members have complained about continuing
harassment and surveillance by law enforcement and intelligence organisations, including
extended detention, seizure of computers, veiled threats, ―covert following and hidden
photography.‖[125] Two lawyers for Julian Assange in the United Kingdom told The Guardian
that they believed they were being watched by the security services after the US cables leak.[126]

By governments

Police raid on German WikiLeaks domain holder's home
The home of Theodor Reppe, registrant of the German WikiLeaks domain name,,
was raided on 24 March 2009 after WikiLeaks released the Australian Communications and
Media Authority (ACMA) censorship blacklist.[127] The site was not affected.[128][129]

P.R. China

Wikileaks's website claims that the government of the People's Republic of China has attempted
to block all traffic to web sites with "wikileaks" in the URL since 2007, but that this can be
bypassed through encrypted connections or by using one of Wikileaks's many covert URLs. [130]

Potential future Australian censors hip

On 16 March 2009, the Australian Communications and Media Authority added WikiLeaks to
their proposed blacklist of sites that will be blocked for all Australians if the mandatory internet
filtering censorship scheme is implemented as planned. [131][132] The blacklisting was removed 30
November 2010.[133]

Thai censors hip

The Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) is currently censoring the
website WikiLeaks in Thailand[134] and more than 40,000 other webpages[135] because of the
emergency decree in Thailand imposed as a result of political instabilities (Emergency decree
declared beginning of April 2010[136]).

United States

Access to WikiLeaks is currently blocked in the United States Library of Congress.[137] On 3
December 2010 the White House Office of Management and Budget sent a memo forbidd ing all
unauthorised federal government employees and contractors from accessing classified
documents publicly available on WikiLeaks and other websites. [138] The U.S. Army, the Federal
Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department are considering criminally prosecuting
WikiLeaks and Assange "on grounds they encouraged the theft of government property", [139]
although former prosecutors say doing so would be difficult. [112] According to a report on the
Daily Beast website, the Obama administration asked Britain, Germany and Australia among
others to also consider bringing criminal charges against Assange for the Afghan war leaks and
to help limit Assange's travels across international borders. [140] Columbia University students
have been warned by their Office of Career Services that the U.S. State Department had
contacted the office in an email saying that the diplomatic cables which were released by
WikiLeaks were "still considered classified." and that "online discourse about the documents
'would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information.'"[141]

All U.S. Federal Government staff have been blocked from viewing Wikileaks. [142] Some
Department of Homeland Security staff say the ban on accessing Wikileaks on government
computers and other government devices is hampering their work; "More damage will be done
by keeping the federal workforce largely in the dark about what other interested parties
worldwide are going to be reading and analysing." One official says that the ban apparantly
covers personal computers also.[143]


After the release of the 2007 airstrikes video and as they prepared to release film of the Granai
airstrike, Julian Assange has said that his group of volunteers came under intense surveillance. In
an interview and Twitter posts he said that a restaurant in Reykjavík where his group of
volunteers met came under surveillance in March; there was "covert following and hidden
photography" by police and foreign intelligence services; that an apparent British intelligence
agent made thinly veiled threats in a Luxembourg car park; and that one of the volunteers was
detained by police for 21 hours. Another volunteer posted that computers were seized, saying "If
anything happens to us, you know why ... and you know who is responsible."[125] According to
the Columbia Journalism Review, "the Icelandic press took a look at Assange’s charges of being
surveilled in Iceland [...] and, at best, have found nothing to substantiate them."[144]

In August 2009, Kaupthing Bank succeeded in obtaining a court order gagging Iceland’s national
broadcaster, RÚV, from broadcasting a risk analysis report showing the bank's substantial
exposure to debt default risk. This information had been leaked by a whistleblower to WikiLeaks
and remained available on the WikiLeaks site; faced with an injunction minutes before broadcast
the channel ran with a screen grab of the WikiLeaks site instead of the scheduled piece on the
bank. Citizens of Iceland felt outraged that RÚV was prevented from broadcasting news of
relevance.[145] Therefore, WikiLeaks has been credited with inspiring the Icelandic Modern
Media Initiative, a bill meant to reclaim Iceland's 2007 Reporters Without Borders (Reporters
sans frontières) ranking as first in the world for free speech. It aims to enact a range of
protections for sources, journalists, and publishers.[146][147] Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a former volunteer
for WikiLeaks and member of the Icelandic parliament, is the chief sponsor of the proposal.

By organisations and companies

Facebook Inc.

WikiLeaks claimed in April 2010 that Facebook deleted their fan page, which had 30,000
fans.[148][149][150] However, as of 7 December 2010 the group's Facebook fan page was available
and had grown by 100,000 fans daily since 1 December, [151] to more than 1,300,000 fans. It is
also the largest growth of the week. [152] Regarding the presence of WikiLeaks on Facebook,
Andrew Noyes, the company's D.C. based Manager of Public Policy Communications has stated
"the Wikileaks Facebook Page does not violate our content standards nor have we encountered
any material posted on the page that violates our policies."[153]

Moneybookers Ltd

In October 2010, it was reported that Moneybookers, which collected donations for WikiLeaks,
had ended its relationship with the site. Moneybookers stated that its decision had been made "to
comply with money laundering or other investigations conducted by government authorities,
agencies or commissions."[154]
After the US diplomatic cables leak

Following the US diplomatic cables leak, which started on 28 November 2010, several
companies severed ties with WikiLeaks. After providing 24- hour notification, American owned
EveryDNS dropped WikiLeaks from its entries on 2 December 2010, citing DDoS attacks that
"threatened the stability of its infrastructure". [32][155] The site's 'info' DNS lookup remained
operational at alternative addresses for direct access respectively to the WikiLeaks and Cablegate
websites.[156] On the same day, severed its ties with WikiLeaks, to which it was
providing infrastructure services, after an interventio n by an aide of U.S. Senator Joe
Lieberman.[7][157][158] Amazon denied acting under political pressure citing a violation of its terms
of service.[159] Citing indirect pressure from the U.S. Government, Tableau Software also
dropped WikiLeaks' data from its site for people to use for data visualisation. [160][161]

In the days following, hundreds of (and eventually more than a thousand[162]) mirrors of the
WikiLeaks site appeared and the Anonymous group of internet activists, called on supporters to
attack the websites of companies which do not support WikiLeaks, [163] under the banner of
Operation Payback, previously aimed at anti-piracy organisations.[164] AFP reported that attempts
to shut down the address had lead to the site surviving via the so-called Streisand
effect, whereby attempts to censor information online leads to it being replicated in many

On 3 December, PayPal, the payment processor owned by eBay, permanently cut off the account
of the Wau Holland Foundation that had been redirecting donations to WikiLeaks. PayPal
alleged that the account violated its "Acceptable Use Policy", specifically that it was used for
"activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal
activity."[166][167] The Vice President of PayPal later stated that they stopped accepting payments
after the ―State Department told us these were illegal activities. It was straightforward.‖ Later the
same day, he said that his previous statement was incorrect, and that it was in fact based on a
letter from the State Department to WikiLeaks. [168] On 8 December 2010, the Wau Holland
Foundation released a press statement, saying it has filed a legal action against PayPal for
blocking its account used for WikiLeaks payments and for libel due to PayPal's allegations of
"illegal activity".[169]

On 6 December, the Swiss bank, PostFinance, announced that it had frozen the assets of Assange
that it holds, totalling 31,000 euros. In a statement on their website, they stated that this was
because Assange "provided false information regarding his place of residence" when opening the
account.[170] WikiLeaks released a statement saying this was due to that Assange, "as a homeless
refugee attempting to gain residency in Switzerland, had used his lawyer's address in Geneva for
the bank's correspondence".[171] On the same day, MasterCard announced that it "is taking action
to ensure that WikiLeaks can no longer accept MasterCard-branded products", adding
"MasterCard rules prohibit customers from directly or indirectly engaging in or facilitating any
action that is illegal."[172] The next day, Visa Inc. announced it was suspending payments to
WikiLeaks, pending "further investigations". [173] In a move of support for WikiLeaks, XIPWIRE
established a way to donate to WikiLeaks, and waived their fees. [174] Datacell, the Swiss-based
IT company that enabled WikiLeaks to accept credit card donations, announced that it will take
legal action against Visa Europe and Mastercard, in order to resume allowing payments to the
website.[175] On December 18, Bank of America announced it would "not process transactions of
any type that we have reason to believe are intended for Wikileaks" citing "Wikileaks may be
engaged in activities that are... inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments".
WikiLeaks responded in a tweet by encouraging their supporters who were BoA customer to
close their accounts. Bank of America has long been believed to be the target of WikiLeaks's
next major release.[176]

On 7 December 2010, The Guardian stated that people can still donate to WikiLeaks via
Commerzbank Kassel in Germany or Landsbanki in Iceland or by post to a post office box at the
University of Melbourne or at the domain.[177]

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has highlighted that Visa,
Mastercard and Amazon may be 'violating WikiLeaks' [e pluribus unum] right to freedom of
expression' by withdrawing their services. [178]


Daniel Ellsberg (2006) has made numerous media interviews supporting WikiLeaks. [179][180]

In July 2010 Veterans for Peace president Mike Ferner editorialised on the group's website
"neither Wikileaks nor the soldier or soldiers who divulged the documents should be prosecuted
for revealing this information. We should give them a medal."[181]

Documentary filmmaker John Pilger wrote an August 2010 editorial in the Australian publication
Green Left titled "Wikileaks Must Be Defended." In it, Pilger said WikiLeaks represented the
interests of "public accountability" and a new form of journalism at odds with "the dominant
section ... devoted merely to taking down what cynical and malign power tells it."[182]
Daniel Ellsberg, the man who released the Pentagon Papers in 1971, has been a frequent
defender of WikiLeaks. Following the November 2010 release of U.S. diplomatic cables,
Ellsberg rejected criticism that the site was endangering the lives of U.S. military personnel and
intelligence assets stating "not one single soldier or informant has been in danger from any of the
WikiLeaks releases. That risk has been largely overblown."[179] Ellsberg went on to note that
government claims to the contrary were "a script that they roll out every time there's a leak of
any sort."[180] Following the US diplomatic cable release, which a number of media reports
sought to differentiate from Ellsberg's whistleblowing, [183] Ellsberg claimed, "EVERY attack
now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the
Pentagon Papers at the time."[184]

On 3 December 2010 Republican Congressman of Texas, Ron Paul, spoke out publicly during a
Fox Business interview in support of Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange; "In a free society we're
supposed to know the truth," Paul said. "In a society where truth becomes treason, then we're in
big trouble." Paul went on to state, "Why don't we prosecute The New York Times or anybody
that releases this?"[185] In another speech at US House of Representatives Paul again defended
WikiLeaks against criticism for revealing the truth and warned the US administration that "lying
is not patriotic".[186]

Fellow Republican congressman Connie Mack IV of Florida also praised WikiLeaks, stating that
Americans have a right to know the contents of the leaks, ―no matter how we acquire that

Australia’s most senior and high-profile media professionals expressed their support for
WikiLeaks in a letter to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.[188] The letter was initiated by
the Walkley Foundation, who present the yearly Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism.
The letter was signed by "the ten members of the Walkley Advisory Board as well as editors of
major Australian newspapers and news websites and the news directors of the country’s three
commercial TV networks and two public broadcasters." Their position (an extract from the
letter) is summarized as follows:

―In essence, WikiLeaks, an organisation that aims to expose official secrets, is doing what the
media have always done: bringing to light material that governments would prefer to keep secret.
It is the media’s duty to responsibly report such material if it comes into their possession. To
aggressively attempt to shut WikiLeaks down, to threaten to prosecute those who publish official
leaks, and to pressure companies to cease doing commercial business with WikiLeaks, is a
serious threat to democracy, which relies on a free and fearless press.‖[189]

Following the November 2010 leak of United States diplomatic cables The Atlantic, in a staff
editorial, opined "Wikileaks is a powerful new way for reporters and human rights advocates to
leverage global information technology systems to break the heavy veil of government and
corporate secrecy that is slowly suffocating the American press." Calling legal and physical
threats against WikiLeaks volunteers "shameful" the magazine went on to state, "Not since
President Richard Nixon directed his minions to go after Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg
and New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan ... has a working journalist and his source been
subjected to the kind of official intimidation and threats that have been directed at Assange and
Manning by high-ranking members of the Obama Administration."[190]

On 4 December 2010, Reporters Without Borders condemned the "blocking, cyber-attacks and
political pressure" being directed at WikiLeaks. The organisation is also concerned by some of
the extreme comments made by American authorities concerning WikiLeaks and its founder
Julian Assange.[191]

In an article titled "Only WikiLeaks can save US policy" published on the online foreign affairs
magazine The Diplomat, former long-time CIA counter-terrorism expert Michael Scheuer said
the source of interest in WikiLeaks revelations was in the inherent dishones ty of recent U.S.
administrations. "In recent years, the US public has had to hear its leaders repeatedly tell
Americans that black was white," Scheuer wrote, referencing the presidencies of Bill Clinton,
George W. Bush and Barack Obama.[192]

Evan Hughes, editor- in-chief of published his support for WikiLeaks in an online
editorial titled "Why WikiLeaks is Good for America." Despite an often contentious relationship
between Wired and WikiLeaks, with the former having being accused by the latter of complicity
in the identification and arrest of Bradley Manning, Hughes argued that "WikiLeaks stands to
improve our democracy, not weaken it." He went on to note that "The greatest threat we face
right now from WikiLeaks is not the information it has spilled and may spill in the future, but the
reactionary response to it that’s building in the United States that promises to repudiate the rule
of law and our free speech traditions, if left unchecked."[193]

A December 2010 rally in Australia protesting the Australian government's treatment of Julian

The New York Times reported that over 200 WikiLeaks mirror sites sprang up after some
hosting companies cut their services to the company. [194] On 5 December, a group of activists
and hackers known as "Anonymous" called upon supporters to attack sites of companies that
oppose WikiLeaks as part of Operation Avenge Assange.[195] Paypal has been targeted following
their decision to stop processing donations for Wikileaks. [196][197] Gregg Housh, who previously
worked on other projects with Anonymous, said that he had noticed an organised attempt taking
place to attack companies that have not supported WikiLeaks. In reference to the support being
shown for Wikileaks, Mr. Housh said; "The reason is amazingly simple, we all believe that
information should be free, and the Internet should be free."[163] On 8 December 2010, Paypal
website was victim of a Denial-of-service attack by Anonymous.[198][199][200] Later that day,
Paypal announced in their blog that they will release all remaining funds in the account to the
foundation that was raising funds for WikiLeaks.[201][202] On the same day, the websites of Visa
and Mastercard were attacked by WikiLeaks supporters. By then over 1,200 mirror sites had
been set up for hosting content no longer accessible at Anonymous also issued a
fresh statement; "While we don't have much of an affiliation with WikiLeaks, we fight for the
same reasons. We want transparency, and we counter censorship...This is why we intend to
utilise our resources to raise awareness, attack those against, and support those who are helping
lead our world to freedom and democracy."[203]

The Internet Society (ISOC) stated that despite the international concern about the content
released by WikiLeaks, "we nevertheless believe it must be subject to the same laws and policies
of availability as all Internet sites" and that ―free expression should not be restricted by
governmental or private controls over computer hardware or software, telecommunications
infrastructure, or other essential components of the Internet‖. ISOC also called for appropriate
action to "pursue and prosecute entities (if any) that acted maliciously to take it [WikiLeaks] off
the air‖ because suppressing communication would merely serve to ―undermine the integrity of
the global Internet and its operation‖.[204]

On 8 December 2010 the international civic organisation Avaaz launched a petition in support of
WikiLeaks, which was signed by over 250 thousand people within the first few hours, the total
number went up to 600 thousand by 15 December 2010. [205][206][207]

In early December 2010, Noam Chomsky offered his support to protesters across Australia
planning to take to the streets in defence of WikiLeaks. [208]

On 14 December 2010, Michael Moore offered $20,000 to help bail Assange out of jail. [209][210]

Praise by governments

     Brazil: President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva expressed his "solidarity" with Julian Assange
following Assange's 2010 arrest in the United Kingdom. Lula went on to state—in reference to
WikiLeaks disclosure of classified US diplomatic cables in November and December 2010—
WikiLeaks had "exposed a diplomacy that had appeared unreachable."[211][212] He further
criticised the arrest of Julian Assange as "an attack on freedom of expression".[213]

     Ecuador: In late November 2010 a representative of the government of Ecuador made what
was, apparently, an unsolicited public offer to Julian Assange to establish residency in Ecuador.
Deputy Foreign Minister Kinto Lucas stated "we are going to invite him to come to Ecuador so
he can freely present the information he possesses and all the documentation, no t just on the
Internet, but in various public forums."[214] Lucas went on to state his praise for WikiLeaks and
Assange calling them "[people] who are constantly investigating and trying to get light out of the
dark corners of [state] information."[215] The following day, however, president Rafael Correa
distanced his administration from the offer stating that Lucas had been speaking for himself and
not on the government's behalf. Correa then criticised Assange for "breaking the laws of the
United States and leaking this type of information."[216]

     Russia: In December 2010 the office of Russian president Dmitry Medvedev issued a
statement calling on non-governmental organisations to consider "nominating [Julian] Assange
as a Nobel Prize laureate." The announcement followed commentary by Russian ambassador to
NATO Dmitry Rogozin who stated that Julian Assange's earlier arrest on Swedish charges
demonstrated that there was "no media freedom" in the west. [217]

     Venezuela: Hugo Chávez, president of Venezuela, stated his support for WikiLeaks
following the release of US diplomatic cables in November 2010 that showed the United States
had tried to rally support from regional governments to isolate Venezuela. "I have to congratulate
the people of WikiLeaks for their bravery and courage," Chávez commented in televised

     United Nations: In December 2010 United Nations Special Rapporteur for Freedom of
Opinion and Expression Frank LaRue stated he agreed with the idea that Julian Assange was a
"martyr for free speech." LaRue went on to say Assange or other WikiLeaks staff should not face
legal accountability for any information they disseminated, noting that, "if there is a
responsibility by leaking information it is of, exclusively of the person that made the leak and not
of the media that publish it. And this is the way that transparency works and that corruption has
been confronted in many cases."[219] High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay
subsequently voiced concern at the revelation that private companies were being pressured by
states to sever their relationships with WikiLeaks. [220]


WikiLeaks has attracted criticism from a variety of sources.[221]

In 2007 John Young, operator of Cryptome, left his position on the WikiLeaks Board of
Directors accusing the group of being a "CIA conduit". Young subsequently retreated from his
assertion but has continued to be critical of the site. [222] In a 2010 interview with
Young accused the group of a lack of transparency regarding their fundraising and financial
management. He went on to state his belief that WikiLeaks could not guarantee whistleblowers
the anonymity or confidentiality they claimed and that he "would not trust them with information
if it had any value, or if it put me at risk or anyone that I cared about at risk."[223]

Citing the leaking of the sorority rituals of Alpha Sigma Tau, Steven Aftergood has opined that
WikiLeaks "does not respect the rule of law nor does it honour the rights of individuals."
Aftergood went on to state that WikiLeaks engages in unrestrained disclosure of non-
governmental secrets without compelling public policy reasons and that many anti-corruption
activists were opposed to the site's activities. [224]

In 2010, Amnesty International joined several other human rights groups criticising WikiLeaks
for not adequately redacting the names of Afghan civilians working as U.S. military informants
from files they had released. Julian Assange responded by offering Amnesty International staff
the opportunity to assist in the document vetting process. When Amnesty International appeared
to express reservations in accepting the offer, Assange dismissed the group as "people who
prefer to do nothing but cover their asses." Other groups that joined Amnesty International in
criticising WikiLeaks subsequently noted that, despite their displeasure over the issue of civilian
name redaction, they generally appreciated WikiLeaks's work. [225]
In an August 2010 open letter, the non- governmental organisation Reporters Without Borders
praised WikiLeaks' past usefulness in exposing "serious violations of human rights and civil
liberties" but criticised the group over a perceived absence of editorial control, stating
"indiscriminately publishing 92,000 classified reports reflects a real problem of methodology
and, therefore, of credibility. Journalistic work involves the selection of information. The
argument with which you defend yourself, namely that WikiLeaks is not made up of journalists,
is not convincing."[226] The group subsequently clarified their statement as a criticism of
WikiLeaks release procedure and not the organisation itself, stating "we reaffirm our support for
Wikileaks, its work and its founding principles."[227]

On 30 November 2010, former Canadian government adviser Tom Flanagan, while appearing on
the CBC television program "Power & Politics", called for Julian Assange to be killed. "I think
Assange should be assassinated," Flanagan stated, before noting to host Evan Solomon, "I'm
feeling pretty manly today." Flanagan subsequently retracted his call for the death of Assange
while reiterating his opposition to WikiLeaks.[228] Dimitri Soudas, spokesman to Prime Minister
Stephen Harper, decried Flanagan's comments and said the former Tory strategist's remarks are
"simply not acceptable." Ralph Goodale, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party in the House of
Commons, called Flanagan's remarks "clearly contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and

Russian investigative reporter Andrei Soldatov has criticised WikiLeaks for disclosing
documents "without checking of the facts, without putting them in context, and without
analysing them.‖ Soldatov believes WikiLeaks is "filling the gap" left by the decline of
investigative journalism with a sensationalist alternative while journalistic support of WikiLeaks
is motivated by anger over declining funding and resources for investigative reporting. [230]

Contrary Views. A number of authors contend that Wikileaks, contrary to appearances, is
actually a charade or intelligence agency disinformation ploy conducting psychological warfare.
They point to the effects on mobilizing public opinion against freedom of information and to
allegations in the purported leaks which incriminate targets of US foreign policy, such as Iran.
Notable critics in this vein include Michel Chossudovsky[231] and F. William Engdahl.[232]

Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger has said: "Speaking as Wikipedia's co-founder, I consider
you enemies of the U.S.—not just the government, but the people." [233]

According to a telephone survey of 1,029 US residents age 18 and older, conducted by the Marist
Institute for Public Opinion in December 2010, Americans are overwhelmingly critical of
WikiLeaks. The poll found that 70 percent of respondents – particularly Republicans and older
people – think the leaks are doing more harm than good by allowing America's enemies to see
confidential and secret information about U.S. foreign policy. Just 22 percent – especially young
liberals – think the leaks are doing more good than harm by making the U.S. government more
transparent and accountable. A majority of 59 percent also wants to see the people behind
WikiLeaks prosecuted, while 31 percent said the publication of secrets is protected under the
First Amendment guarantee of a free press.[234]

Criticis m by governments
Most of the governments and organisations whose files have been leaked by WikiLeaks have
been critical of the organisation.

           Australia: On 2 December 2010 Prime Minister Julia Gillard made a statement that
       she 'absolutely condemns' Wikileaks' actions and that the release of information on the
       site was 'grossly irresponsible' and 'illegal.'[235] Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is
       Australian and he responded two days later by accusing his prime minister of betraying
       him as an Australian citizen.[236] However, on 8 December 2010—after WikiLeaks
       published U.S. diplomatic cables in which United States diplomats labelled him a
       "control freak", former Australian Prime Minister and current foreign minister Kevin
       Rudd said the leak of the US secret cables raised questions about US security. Rudd said,
       "The core responsibility, and therefore legal liability, goes to those individuals
       responsible for that initial unauthorised release."[237][238] In an article in The Australian,
       Assange claimed, "The Australian attorney- general is doing everything he can to help a
       US investigation clearly directed at framing Australian citizens and shipping them to the
       US."[239] However, Australian officials later said that Assange has done nothing

           France: The French Industry Minister Éric Besson said in a letter to the CGIET
       technology agency, WikiLeaks "violates the secret of diplomatic relations and puts
       people protected by diplomatic secret in danger." Therefore it would be 'unacceptable'
       that the site was hosted on servers based in France. The minister asked for measures to
       bar WikiLeaks from France.[241]

           Iran: The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also criticised WikiLeaks
       following the release of United States diplomatic cables. Ahmadinejad claimed that the
       release of cables purporting to show concern with Iran by Arab states was a planned leak
       by the United States to discredit his government, though he did not indicate whether he
       believed WikiLeaks was in collusion with the United States or was simply an unwitting

          Philippines: President Benigno Aquino III comdemned Wikileaks and leaked
       documents related to the country, saying that it can lead to massive cases of

           United States: Following the November 2010 release of United States diplomatic
       cables, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denounced the group saying, "this
       disclosure is not just an attack on America's foreign policy interests, it is an attack on the
       international community."[244] Peter King, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee
       of the United States House of Representatives has stated his support for listing Wikileaks
       as a "foreign terrorist organisation" explaining that "WikiLeaks presents a clear and
       present danger to the national security of the United States."[245] In a contrary statement,
       secretary of Defense Robert Gates has said that concerns about the disclosures were
       "over-wrought" in terms of their likely adverse impact on ordinary diplomatic
       activities.[246] Philip J. Crowley, United States Assistant Secretary of State for Public
       Affairs, stated on 2 December 2010 that the US State Department does not regard
       WikiLeaks as a media organisation. "WikiLeaks is not a media organization. That is our
       view." Crowley said and with regard to Assange;"Well, his – I mean he could be
       considered a political actor. I think he’s an anarchist, but he’s not a journalist."[247]
       US Senator Joe Lieberman, who first called on Amazon to shut down WikiLeaks and
       then praised the company after doing so called for other companies to follow suit. [158] He
       also proposed new legislation targeting similar cases—Securing Human Intelligence and
       Enforcing Lawful Dissemination Act,[157] also known as the SHIELD Act,[248] not to be
       confused with a shield law. Lieberman later said that also The New York Times and other
       news organisations publishing the US embassy cables being released by WikiLeaks could
       be investigated for breaking US espionage laws. [249]

Spin offs
Following the initial releases of US diplomatic cables, a number of other sites based on the
WikiLeaks model were borne.[250]

      OpenLeaks was created by the former deputy to Assange. Daniel Domscheit-Berg said
       the intention was to be more transparent than WikiLeaks as "In these last months, the
       organisation has not been open any more. It lost its open-source promise." It planned to
       start in early 2011.
      Brussels Leaks was focused on the European Union as a collaborative effort of media
       professionals and activists that sought to "pull the shady inner workings of the EU system
       out into the public domain. This is about getting important information out there, not
       about Brusselsleaks [or any other 'leaks' for that matter]."
      TradeLeaks was created to "do to trade and commerce what WikiLeaks has done to
       politics." It was founded by Ruslan Kogan, a fellow Australian of Assange. Its goal is to
       ensure ""individuals and businesses should attain values from others through mutually
       beneficial and fully consensual trade, rather than force, fraud or deception."
      Balkan Leaks was founded by Bulgarain Atanas Chobanov in order to make the Balkans
       more transparent and to fight corruption as "There are plenty of people out there that
       want to change the Balkans for good and are ready to take on the challenge. We're
       offering them a hand."
      Indoleaks is an Indonesian that sought to publish classified documents of the Indonesian
       government, though the Jakarta Globe said "the [Indonesian] government claimed not to
       be concerned by the website."

Main article: Information published by WikiLeaks


WikiLeaks posted its first document in December 2006, a decision to assassinate government
officials signed by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys."[35] In August 2007, The Guardian published a
story about corruption by the family of the former Kenyan leader Daniel arap Moi based on
information provided via WikiLeaks.[251] In November 2007, a March 2003 copy of Standard
Operating Procedures for Camp Delta detailing the protocol of the U.S. Army at the
Guantanamo Bay detention camp was released.[252] The document revealed that some prisoners
were off- limits to the International Committee of the Red Cross, something that the U.S. military
had in the past repeatedly denied.[253] In February 2008, WikiLeaks released allegations of illegal
activities at the Cayman Islands branch of the Swiss Bank Julius Baer which led to the bank
suing WikiLeaks and obtaining an injunction which temporarily shut down [254]
The site was instantly mirrored by supporters and later that month the judge overturned his
previous decision citing First Amendment concerns and questions about legal jurisdiction.[255][256]
In March 2008, WikiLeaks published what they referred to as "the collected secret 'bibles' of
Scientology," and three days later received letters threatening to sue them for breach of
copyright.[257] In September 2008, during the 2008 United States presidential election campaigns,
the contents of a Yahoo account belonging to Sarah Palin (the running mate of Republican
presidential nominee John McCain) were posted on WikiLeaks after being hacked into by
members of Anonymous.[258] In November 2008, the membership list of the far-right British
National Party was posted to WikiLeaks, after briefly appearing on a blog. [259] A year later, on
October 2009, another list of BNP members was leaked. [260]


In January 2009, WikiLeaks released 86 telephone intercept recordings of Peruvian politicians
and businessmen involved in the 2008 Peru oil scandal.[261] In February, WikiLeaks released
6,780 Congressional Research Service reports[262] follwed in March, by a list of contributors to
the Norm Coleman senatorial campaign[263][264] and a set of documents belonging to Barclays
Bank that had been ordered removed from the website of The Guardian.[265] In July, they
released a report relating to a serious nuclear accident that had occurred at the Iranian Natanz
nuclear facility in 2009.[266] Later media reports have suggested that the accident was related to
the Stuxnet computer worm.[267][268] In September, internal documents from Kaupthing Bank
were leaked, from shortly before the collapse of Iceland's banking sector, which led to the 2008–
2010 Icelandic financial crisis. The document shows that suspiciously large sums of money were
loaned to various owners of the bank, and large debts written off. [269] In October, Joint Services
Protocol 440, a British document advising the security services on how to avoid documents
being leaked was published by WikiLeaks. [270] Later that month, they announced that a super-
injunction was being used by the commodities company, Trafigura to gag The Guardian
newspaper from reporting on a leaked internal document regarding a toxic dumping incident in
the Ivory Coast.[271][272] In November, they hosted copies of e-mail correspondence between
climate scientists, although they were not originally leaked to WikiLeaks. [273] They also released
570,000 intercepts of pager messages sent on the day of the 11 September attacks.[274] During
2008 and 2009, WikiLeaks published the alleged lists of forbidden or illegal web addresses for
Australia, Denmark and Thailand. These were originally created to prevent access to child
pornography and terrorism, but the leaks revealed that other sites covering unrelated subjects
were also listed.[275][276][277]

In March 2010, WikiLeaks released a secret 32-page U.S. Department of Defense
Counterintelligence Analysis Report written in March 2008 discussing the leaking of material by
WikiLeaks and how it could be deterred.[278][279] In April, a classified video of the 12 July 2007
Baghdad airstrike was released, showing two Reuters employees being fired at, after the pilots
mistakenly thought the men were carrying weapons, which were in fact cameras. [280] In the week
following the release, "Wikileaks" was the search term with the most significant growth
worldwide in the last seven days as measured by Google Insights.[281] In June 2010, A 22- year-
old US Army intelligence analyst, PFC (formerly SPC) Bradley Manning, was arrested after
alleged chat logs were turned in to the authorities by former hacker Adrian Lamo, in whom he
had confided. Manning reportedly told Lamo he had leaked the "Collateral Murder" video, in
addition to a video of the Granai airstrike and around 260,000 diplomatic cables, to
WikiLeaks.[282] In July, WikiLeaks released 92,000 documents related to the war in Afghanistan
between 2004 and the end of 2009 to The Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel. The
documents detail individual incidents including friendly fire and civilian casualties.[283] At the
end of July, a 1.4 GB "insurance file" was added to the Afghan War Diary page, whose
decryption details would be released if WikiLeaks or Assange were harmed. [122] About 15,000 of
the 92,000 documents have not yet been released on WikiLeaks, as the group is currently
reviewing the documents to remove some of the sources of the information. WikiLeaks asked the
Pentagon and human-rights groups to help remove names from the documents to reduce the
potential harm caused by their release, but did not receive assistance. [284] Following the Love
Parade stampede in Duisburg, Germany on 24 July 2010, a local published internal documents of
the city administration regarding the planning of Love Parade. The city government reacted by
acquiring a court order on 16 August forcing the blog to remove the documents from its blog. [285]
On 20 August WikiLeaks released a publication titled Loveparade 2010 Duisburg planning
documents, 2007–2010, which comprised 43 internal documents regarding the Love Parade
2010.[286][287] Following on from the leak of information from the Afghan War, in October 2010,
around 400,000 documents relating to the Iraq War where released in October. The BBC quoted
The Pentagon referring to the Iraq War Logs as "the largest leak of classified documents in its
history." Media coverage of the leaked documents focused on claims that the U.S. government
had ignored reports of torture by the Iraqi authorities during the period after the 2003 war.[288]

Diplomatic cables release

Main article: United States diplomatic cables leak

On 28 November WikiLeaks and five major newspapers from Spain (El País), France (Le
Monde), Germany (Der Spiegel), the United Kingdom (The Guardian), and the United States
(The New York Times) started to simultaneously publish the first 220 [289] of 251,287 leaked
confidential—but not top secret—diplomatic cables from 274 embassies dated from 1966–
2010.[290] WikiLeaks plans to release the entirety of the cables in phases over several months. [290]

The contents of the diplomatic cables include numerous unguarded comments and revelations:
critiques and praises about the host countries of various US embassies, discussion and
resolutions towards ending ongoing tension in the Middle East, efforts and resistance towards
nuclear disarmament, actions in the War on Terror, assessments of other threats around the
world, dealings between various countries, US intelligence and counterintelligence efforts, and
other diplomatic actions. Reactions to the United States diplomatic cables leak include stark
criticism, anticipation, commendation, and quiescence.

Announcements on upcoming leaks

In May 2010, WikiLeaks said they had video footage of a massacre of civilians in Afghanistan
by the US military which they were preparing to release. [125][291]

In an interview with Chris Anderson on 19 July 2010, Assange showed a document WikiLeaks
had on an Albanian oil well blowout, and said they also had material from inside BP,[292] and that
they were "getting enormous quantity of whistle-blower disclosures of a very high calibre" but
added that they have not been able to verify and release the material because they do not have
enough volunteer journalists.[293]

In October 2010, Assange told a leading Moscow newspaper that "The Kremlin had better brace
itself for a coming wave of WikiLeaks disclosures about Russia."[294][295] Assange later clarified:
"we have material on many businesses and governments, including in Russia. It’s not right to say
there’s going to be a particular focus on Russia". [296]

In a 2009 Computer World interview, Assange claimed to be in possession of "5GB from Bank
of America", and in 2010 told Forbes magazine that WikiLeaks was planning another
"megaleak" for early in 2011, which this time would be from inside the private sector and
involve "a big U.S. bank". Bank of America's stock price fell by three percent as a result of this
announcement.[297][298] Assange commented on the possible impact of the release that ‖it could
take down a bank or two.‖[299][300]

In December 2010, Assange's lawyer, Mark Stephens, told The Andrew Marr Show on the BBC,
that WikiLeaks had information it considers to be a "thermo-nuclear device" which it would
release if the organisation needs to defend itself. [301]

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