Dec 8, 2010

WikiLeaks: a CIA act or non-profit organization

WikiLeaks is an international new media non-profit 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.
Within a year of its launch, the site claimed a database that had grown to more than 1.2 million documents.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. The Guardian newspaper describes Julian Assange, an Australian Internet activist, as its director.

WikiLeaks has won a number of awards, including the 2008 Economist magazine New Media Award.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 – Extra Judicial Killings and Disappearances",a report by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights about police killings in Kenya.In May 2010, the New York Daily News listed WikiLeaks first in a ranking of "websites that could totally change the news".

In April 2010, WikiLeaks posted video from a 2007 incident 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.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 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 online servers and different domain names following a number of denial-of-service attacks and its severance from different Domain Name System (DNS) providers.

History of WikiLeaks

The WikiLeaks website first appeared on the Internet in December 2006. 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".The creators of WikiLeaks have not been formally identified. It has been represented in public since January 2007 by Julian Assange and others. Assange describes himself as a member of WikiLeaks' advisory board.News reports in The Australian have called Assange the "founder of WikiLeaks". 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".As of June 2009, the site had over 1,200 registered volunteersand 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.
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.

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."

In January 2007, the website stated that it had over 1.2 million leaked documents that it was preparing to publish.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, "We have received over one million documents from thirteen countries."

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)".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.

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.

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

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

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".The account was restored on 25 January 2010.
On 18 May 2010, WikiLeaks announced that its website and archive were back up.

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,but did not make the cut.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".
A spokesman of the Knight Foundation disputed parts of WikiLeaks' statement, saying "WikiLeaks was not recommended by Knight staff to the board."
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.

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

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.
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. 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.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.

WikiLeaks team: five people full-time and 800 worked occasionally
Julian Assange, the main spokesperson for WikiLeaks
WikiLeaks team consisted of five people working full-time and about 800 people who worked occasionally, none of whom were compensated.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.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. Its only revenue stream is donations, but WikiLeaks is planning to add an auction model to sell early access to documents.
According to the Wau Holland Foundation, WikiLeaks receives no money for personnel costs, only for hardware, travelling and bandwidth.An article in wrote

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 remuneration to WikiLeaks' personnel, corroborating the statement of the site's former German representative Daniel Schmitt (real name Daniel Domscheit-Berg) on national television that all personnel works voluntarily, even its speakers

Site and Hosting of WikiLeaks

there has been public disagreement between founder and spokesperson Julian Assange and 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 organization due to internal conflicts over management of the site

WikiLeaks describes itself as "an uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking".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".
The servers are spread around the world with the central server located in Sweden.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.
It is forbidden according to Swedish law for any administrative authority to make inquiries about the sources of any type of newspaper.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."

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.

Some servers are hosted in an underground nuclear bunker in Stockholm.

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. Later, however, the website was "ousted"from the Amazon servers, without a public statement from the company. WikiLeaks then decided to install itself on the servers of OVH in France.

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

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.According to Assange, Switzerland and Iceland are the only countries where WikiLeaks would feel safe to operate.

Background of WikiLeaks

Its servers are located throughout Europe and are accessible from any uncensored web connection. The files it leaks are from countries around the world in which they may have various legal statuses.WikiLeaks headquarters is in Sweden because of its strong shield laws to protect confidential journalistic sources.

WikiLeaks has stated it does not request classified or confidential materials. However, on previous occasions WikiLeaks has requested recommendations and has published lists of "Most Wanted" documents from the public.They may be protected against the US Espionage Act of 1917 as news organizations are allowed to publish confidential military and national security information if they did not directly solicit it. After the Pentagon Papers were leaked in, the US Supreme Court ruled that “Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government”.

The war against WikiLeaks

Facebook deleted their fan page
WikiLeaks claimed in April 2010 that Facebook deleted their fan page, which had 30,000 fans.However, as of 7 December 2010 the group's Facebook fan page was available and had grown by 100.000 fans daily since December 1,to more than 1,000,000 fans. It is also the largest growth of the week.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."

Moneybookers ended its relationship with WikiLeaks

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."

Cables leak and WikiLeaks

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".
The site's 'info' DNS lookup remained operational at alternative addresses for direct access respectively to the Wikileaks and Cablegate websites.On the same day, severed its ties with WikiLeaks, to which it was providing infrastructure services, after an intervention by an aide of US Senator Joe Lieberman.
Amazon and WikiLeaks
Amazon denied acting under political pressure citing a violation of its terms of service.Lieberman, who later praised Amazon's decision and called for other companies to follow suit,also proposed new legislation targeting similar cases — Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination Act,also known as the the SHIELD Act.

PayPal and WikiLeaks
Two days later, 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."In the days following, hundreds of mirrors of the WikiLeaks site appeared and the Anonymous group of internet activists, called on supporters to attack the websites of companies who do not support WikiLeaks.

The Associated Free Press 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 places.

Swiss bank, PostFinance and WikiLeaks
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.
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".

WikiLeaks can no longer accept MasterCard
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."

Visa Inc suspending payments to WikiLeaks
The next day, Visa Inc. announced it was suspending payments to WikiLeaks, pending "further investigations".In a move of support for WikiLeaks, XIPWIRE established a way to donate to WikiLeaks, and waved their fees.

I don’t know after all of that what is the truth behind all of that, wikileaks  appeared some times as a one of secret services help some body for some times and usually we in this case fingering to CIA but some times you will be sure that wikileaks  is the great sun of Mr. devil ,other wise in Iraq war and war against terrorist it was in the wrong side and it was the way to many of anti USA in all the world to announce some news about U S army and this news were very bad and causes many difficult to U S army at lest in the media
wikileaks  now under attack and we don’t like any attack against freedom and any kind of media but wikileaks  promoted its self not as media site nor non profit organization that in many cases it was in the wrong side against all we believe in about uncle Sam       

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