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See also United States diplomatic cables WikiLeak, WikiLeaks leaks and WikiLeaks: List of mirror sites and

WikiLeaks is an international non-profit media organization that publishes submissions of otherwise unavailable documents from anonymous news sources and leaks. Its website, launched in 2006, is run by The Sunshine Press.[1] Within a year of its launch, the site claimed a database that had grown to more than 1.2 million documents.[2]

The organization 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.[1] Newspaper articles and The New Yorker magazine describe Julian Assange, an Australian Internet activist, as its director.[3]

WikiLeaks has won a number of awards, including the 2008 Economist magazine New Media Award.[4] In June 2009, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange won Amnesty International's UK Media Award (in the category "New Media") for the 2008 publication of "Kenya: The Cry of Blood â€“ Extra Judicial Killings and Disappearances",[5] a report by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights about police killings in Kenya.[6] In May 2010, the New York Daily News listed WikiLeaks first in a ranking of "websites that could totally change the news".[7]

In April 2010, WikiLeaks posted video from a 2007 incident in Baghdad in which Iraqi civilians and journalists were killed by U.S. 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.[8] In October, the group released a package of almost 400,000 documents called the Iraq War Logs in coordination with major commercial media organisations. In November, Wikileaks began releasing U.S. State department diplomatic cables.

WikiLeaks was launched as a user-editable "wiki" site and still uses MediaWiki as the content management system, but has progressively moved towards a more traditional publication model, and no longer accepts either user comments or edits.


The WikiLeaks website first appeared on the Internet in December 2006.[9][10] 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".[1] The creators of WikiLeaks have not been formally identified.[11] It has been represented in public since January 2007 by Julian Assange and others. Assange describes himself as a member of WikiLeaks' advisory board.[12] News reports in The Australian have called Assange the "founder of WikiLeaks".[13] According to Wired magazine, a volunteer said that Assange described himself in a private conversation as "the heart and soul of this organization, its founder, philosopher, spokesperson, original coder, organizer, financier, and all the rest".[14] As of June 2009, the site had over 1,200 registered volunteers[1] 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.[15] Despite appearing on the list, when contacted by Mother Jones magazine in 2010, Khamsitsang said that while he received an e-mail from WikiLeaks, he had never agreed to be an advisor.[16]

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 behavior in their governments and corporations."[1][17]

In January 2007, the website stated that it had over 1.2 million leaked documents that it was preparing to publish.[18] 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."[19][20]
Assange responded to the suggestion that eavesdropping 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)".[21] 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.[22]

The organization'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.[23]

The project has drawn comparisons to Daniel Ellsberg's leaking of the Pentagon Papers in 1971.[24] 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.[24] 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."[25]

On 24 December 2009, WikiLeaks announced that it was experiencing a shortage of funds[26] and suspended all access to its website except for a form to submit new material.[27] Material that was previously published was no longer available, although some could still be accessed on unofficial mirrors.[28][29] WikiLeaks stated on its website that it would resume full operation once the operational costs were covered.[30][31] WikiLeaks saw this as a kind of strike "to ensure that everyone who is involved stops normal work and actually spends time raising revenue".[32] While it was initially hoped that funds could be secured by 6 January 2010,[33] it was only on 3 February 2010 that WikiLeaks announced that its minimum fundraising goal had been achieved.[34]

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".[35] The account was restored on 25 January 2010.[36]

On 18 May 2010, WikiLeaks announced that its website and archive were back up.[37]

As of June 2010, WikiLeaks was a finalist for a grant of more than half a million dollars from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation,[38] but did not make the cut.[39] 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' â€“ but not WikiLeaks" and questioned whether Knight foundation was "really looking for impact".[39] A spokesman of the Knight Foundation disputed parts of WikiLeaks' statement, saying "WikiLeaks was not recommended by Knight staff to the board."[40] 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 sites.[40]

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.[41][42] He announced that the WikiLeaks submission system was again up and running, after it had been temporarily suspended.[41][43] Assange was a surprise speaker at a TED conference on 19 July 2010 in Oxford, and confirmed that WikiLeaks was now accepting submissions again.[44][45]

Upon returning to the U.S. from the Netherlands, on 29 July, Appelbaum was detained for three hours at the airport by U.S. agents, according to anonymous sources.[46] 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.[46] 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.[46] 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.[46]

Investigations, censorship, and alleged harassment[edit]

See also Electronic attacks on WikiLeaks

Police raid on German WikiLeaks domain holder's home[edit]

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.[47] The site was not affected.[48][49][50]

Chinese censorship[edit]

The government of the People’s Republic of China uses its Golden Shield Project to attempt to censor every web site with "wikileaks" in the URL, including the primary .org site and the regional variations .cn and .uk. However, the site is still accessible from behind the Chinese firewall through one of the many alternative names used by the project, such as "". The alternate sites change frequently, and WikiLeaks encourages users to search "wikileaks cover names" outside mainland China for the latest alternative names. Mainland search engines, including Baidu and Yahoo!, also censor references to "wikileaks".[51]

Potential future Australian censorship[edit]

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.[52][53] The blacklisting was removed 30 November 2010.[54]

Thai censorship[edit]

The Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) is currently censoring the website WikiLeaks in Thailand[55] and more than 40,000 other webpages[56] because of the emergency decree in Thailand imposed as a result of political instabilities (Emergency decree declared beginning of April 2010[57]). When trying to access the WikiLeaks website, internet users are redirected to this webpage.

Alleged harassment and surveillance[edit]

According to The Times, WikiLeaks and its members have complained about continuing harassment and surveillance by law enforcement and intelligence organizations, including extended detention, seizure of computers, veiled threats, “covert following and hidden photography.”[58]

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 Reykjavik 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."[58] 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."[59]

WikiLeaks has claimed that Facebook deleted their fan page, which had 30,000 fans.[60][61][62][63]

United States[edit]

Access to WikiLeaks is currently blocked in the United States Library of Congress.[64]


In August 2009, Kaupthing, a large bank, succeeded in obtaining a court order gagging Iceland’s national broadcaster, RUV, 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 RUV was prevented from broadcasting news of relevance.[65] Therefore, WikiLeaks has been credited with inspiring the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, a bill meant to reclaim Iceland's 2007 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.[66][67] Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a former volunteer for WikiLeaks and member the Icelandic parliament, is the chief sponsor of the proposal.


Full list of leaks articles

See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Wikileaks:About. WikiLeaks. Archived from source 14 March 2008. URL accessed on 3 June 2009.
  2. Wikileaks has 1.2 million documents?. WikiLeaks. Archived from source 16 February 2008. URL accessed on 28 February 2008.
  3. McGreal, Chris. Wikileaks reveals video showing U.S. air crew shooting down Iraqi civilians, The Guardian, 5 April 2010.
  4. Winners of Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award Announceddead link reported 22 April 2008
  5. Kenya: The Cry of Blood â€“ Extra Judicial Killings and Disappearances, Sep 2008dead link reported WikiLeaks.
  6. Amnesty announces Media Awards 2009 winners, 2 June 2009
  7. Reso, Paulina 5 pioneering Web sites that could totally change the news. Daily News. URL accessed on 8 June 2010.
  8. AP Interview: WikiLeaks to publish new documents. URL accessed on 8 August 2010. dead link reported
  9. "Reportedly spurred by the leak of the Pentagon papers, Assange unveiled WikiLeaks in December 2006" WikiLeaks' War on Secrecy: Truth's Consequences. URL accessed on 4 December 2010.
  10. "In December, 2006, WikiLeaks posted its first document" No Secrets. URL accessed on 1 December 2010.
  11. Paul Marks. How to leak a secret and not get caught. New Scientist. URL accessed on 28 February 2008.
  12. Agence France Press. Chinese cyber-dissidents launch WikiLeaks, a site for whistleblowers. The Age. URL accessed on 17 June 2010.
  13. Rudd Government blacklist hacker monitors police. The Australian author=Richard Guilliatt. URL accessed on 17 June 2010.
  14. WikiLeaks Founder on the Run, Trailed by Notoriety.
  15. WikiLeaks:Advisory Board. WikiLeaks. URL accessed on 16 June 2010. dead link reported
  16. Inside WikiLeaks’ Leak Factory. Mother Jones. URL accessed on 30 April 2010.
  17. Cyber-dissidents launch WikiLeaks, a site for whistleblowers. South China Morning Post. Archived from source 12 February 2007. URL accessed on 28 February 2008.
  18. Kearny. Wikileaks and Untraceable Document Disclosure. Now Public News. Archived from source 27 September 2007. URL accessed on 28 February 2008., Wikileaks.
  19. WikiLeaks and Julian Paul Assange. The New Yorker. URL accessed on 8 June 2010.
  20. Wiktionary definition of tranche. URL accessed on 22 October 2010.
  21. Wikileaks denies Tor hacker eavesdropping gave site its starte. The Register. URL accessed on 10 July 2010.
  22. Wikileaks Releases Secret Report on Military Equipment. The New York Sun. URL accessed on 28 February 2008.
  23. Leak secrets trouble free. Scenta. Archived from source 27 November 2007. URL accessed on 28 February 2008.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Scott Bradner "WikiLeaks: a site for exposure", Linuxworld, 18 January 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2007.
  25. Staff Reports. Whistleblower Website Coming. Free-Market News Network. URL accessed on 28 February 2008. dead link reported
  26. at 1.24 am 24 Dec 2009. Twitter. URL accessed on 30 April 2010.
  27. Wikileaks is overloaded. WikiLeaks. URL accessed on 31 December 2009. "To concentrate on raising the funds necessary to keep us alive into 2010, we have reluctantly suspended all other operations, but will be back soon."
  28. Wikileaks Mirror. WikiLeaks. URL accessed on 13 February 2010.
  29. Another Wikileaks Mirror. WikiLeaks. URL accessed on 13 February 2010.
  30. WikiLeaks is overloaded. WikiLeaks. URL accessed on 17 February 2010.
  31. Butselaar, Emily Dig deep for WikiLeaks. The Guardian. URL accessed on 30 January 2010.
  32. Interview with Julian Assange, spokesperson of Wikileaks: Leak-o-nomy: The Economy of Wikileaks.
  33. WikiLeaks. at 7:42 am 5 Jan 2010. Twitter. URL accessed on 30 April 2010.
  34. at 3 February 5.51 pm. Twitter. URL accessed on 30 April 2010.
  35. Paypal has again locked our.... WikiLeaks. Twitter. URL accessed on 26 January 2010.
  36. Paypal has freed up our.... WikiLeaks. Twitter. URL accessed on 26 January 2010.
  37. [1].
  38. No Secrets, by Raffi Khatchadourian, New Yorker, 7 June 2010.
  39. 39.0 39.1 Cohen, Noam Knight Foundation Hands Out Grants to 12 Groups, but Not WikiLeaks - Media Decoder Blog - URL accessed on 1 August 2010.
  40. 40.0 40.1 WikiLeaks questions why it was rejected for Knight grant Yahoo! News, 17 June 2010
  41. 41.0 41.1 Previous post Next post. Wikileaks Reopens for Leakers | Threat Level. URL accessed on 1 August 2010.
  42. McCullagh, Declan Feds look for WikiLeaks founder at NYC hacker event | Security – CNET News. URL accessed on 1 August 2010.
  43. Jacob Appelbaum WikiLeaks Next HOPE Keynote Transcript – 07/17/10
  44. Surprise speaker at TEDGlobal: Julian Assange in Session 12. URL accessed on 1 August 2010.
  45. Julian Assange – TED Talk – WikiLeaks. Geekosystem. URL accessed on 1 August 2010.
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 46.3 Mills, Elinor Researcher detained at U.S. border, questioned about WikiLeaks | InSecurity Complex – CNET News. URL accessed on 1 August 2010.
  47. Hausdurchsuchung bei Inhaber der Domain Archived from source 21 September 2009. URL accessed on 21 September 2009.
  48. Wikileaks raided by German police. URL accessed on 30 April 2010.
  49. Police raid home of domain owner over censorship listsdead link reported
  50. Police raid Wikileaks owner. URL accessed on 30 April 2010.
  51. (2008). Is Wikileaks blocked by the Chinese government?. WikiLeaks. Archived from source 16 February 2008. URL accessed on 28 February 2008.
  52. Moses, Asher Banned hyperlinks could cost you $11,000 a day. The Age. URL accessed on 16 March 2009.
  53. Australia secretly censors Wikileaks press release and Danish Internet censorship list, 16 Mar 2009. WikiLeaks. URL accessed on 16 March 2009.dead link reported
  54. Taylor, Josh Wikileaks removed from ACMA blacklist – Communications – News. URL accessed on 1 December 2010.
  55. Thailand blocks access to WikiLeaks website. Thai Visa. URL accessed on 25 August 2010.
  56. Barta, Patrick Thai Groups Denounce Website Censorship. The Wall Street Journal date=17 August 2010. URL accessed on 25 August 2010.
  57. Error on call to template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specified New York Times. URL accessed on 25 August 2010.
  58. 58.0 58.1 Matthew Campbell. Whistleblowers on US ‘massacre’ fear CIA stalkers. The Sunday Times.
  59. Thin Ice. CJR. URL accessed on 1 August 2010.
  60. Twitter / WikiLeaks: Facebook deletes WikiLeaks fanclub with 30k fans. Twitter. URL accessed on 22 April 2010.
  61. WikiLeaks claims Facebook deleted its page, 30000 fans. URL accessed on 23 April 2010.
  62. Wikileaks Claims Facebook Deleted Their Fan Page Because They "Promote Illegal Acts". Gawker. URL accessed on 21 April 2010.
  63. Wikileaks Fan Page Pulled Down for Being "Inauthentic," Says Facebook. techPresident. URL accessed on 22 April 2010.
  64. Raymond, Matt Why the Library of Congress Is Blocking Wikileaks. URL accessed on 3 December 2010.
  65. AP News, 2009, "Iceland Court Lifts Gag Order After Public Outrage,"
  66. Iceland's journalism freedom dream prompted by Wikileaks. BBC.
  67. Icelandic Modern Media Initiative.

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