Shawna Lynn Cox

WikiLeaks – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“Web address Slogan “We open governments””

“Created by Julian Assange Launched 4 October 2006; 9 years ago (2006-10-04)”

“WikiLeaks /?w?kili?ks/ is an international, non-profit, journalistic organisation, that publishes secret information, news leaks, and classified media from anonymous sources”

“Early releases included documentation of equipment expenditures and holdings in the Afghanistan war and a report informing a corruption investigation in Keny”

“April 2010, WikiLeaks published gunsight footage from the 12 July 2007 Baghdad airstrike in which Iraqi journalists were among those killed by an AH-64 Apache helicopter, known as the Collateral Murder vide”

SLC notes: watch Collateral Murder video

“Afghan War Diary, a compilation of more than 76,900 documents about the War in Afghanistan not previously available to the public”

“October 2010, the group released a set of almost 400,000 documents called the “Iraq War Logs” in coordination with major commercial media organisations”

“April 2011, WikiLeaks began publishing 779 secret files relating to prisoners detained in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.”

“November 2010, WikiLeaks collaborated with major global media organisations to release U.S. State department diplomatic “cables” in redacted forma”

“1 September 2011, it became public that an encrypted version of WikiLeaks’ huge archive of unredacted U.S. State Department cables had been available via BitTorrent for months and that the decryption key (similar to a password) was available to those who knew where to find it.”

SLC notes: how to communicate and hidden keys

“WikiLeaks blamed the breach on its former publication partner, the UK newspaper The Guardian, and that newspaper’s journalist David Leigh, who revealed the key in a book published in February 2011.”

“The Guardian argued that WikiLeaks was to blame since they had given the impression that the encrypted file was temporary, taking it offline seven months before the book was published”

“more complex story involving errors on both sides”

“The incident resulted in widely expressed fears that the information released could endanger innocent lives.”

“According to the magazine Wired, 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, organizer, financier, and all the rest”.”

SLC notes: Julian Assange Quote in Wired magazine – find web link

“WikiLeaks relies to some degree on volunteers and previously described its founders as a mixture of Asian dissidents, journalists, mathematicians, and start-up company technologists from the United States, Taiwan, Europe, Australia, and South Africa”

“WikiLeaks website, its goal is “to bring important news and information to the public… One of our most important activities is to publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth.””

“to ensure that journalists and whistleblowers are not jailed for emailing sensitive or classified documents. The online “drop box” is described by the WikiLeaks website as “an innovative, secure and anonymous way for sources to leak information to [WikiLeaks] journalists”

“n interview as part of the American television programme The Colbert Report, Assange discussed the limit to the freedom of speech, saying, “[it is] not an ultimate freedom, however free speech is what regulates government and regulates law. That is why in the US Constitution the Bill of Rights says that Congress is to make no such law abridging the freedom of the press. It is to take the rights of the press outside the rights of the law because those rights are superior to the law because in fact they create the law. Every constitution, every bit of legislation is derived from the flow of information. Similarly every government is elected as a result of people understanding things”.”

“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.””

SLC notes: quote

“The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution guarantees anonymity, at least in the context of political discourse”

“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”

“does not have any official headquarter”

“WikiLeaks describes itself as “an uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking””

“website is available on multiple servers and different domain names as a result of a number of denial-of-service attacks and its elimination from different Domain Name System (DNS) providers.”

“WikiLeaks was 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”

“Currently, WikiLeaks is hosted mainly by the Swedish internet service provider Bahnhof in the Pionen facility, a former nuclear bunker in Sweden”

SLC notes: hosted in Swedish nuclear bunker

“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 for any authorities to eliminate WikiLeaks; they place an onus of proof upon any complainant whose suit would circumscribe WikiLeaks’ liberty, e.g. its rights to exercise free speech online.”

“, “WikiLeaks maintains its own servers at undisclosed locations, keeps no logs and uses military-grade encryption to protect sources and other confidential information.””

“August 2010, the Swedish Pirate Party announced it would be hosting, managing, and maintaining many of WikiLeaks’ new servers without charge.”

“To preserve anonymity, WikiLeaks staff uses software like Tor and PGP, for communication.”

“WikiLeaks warned against fake PGP keys on keyservers and proposed as an alternative using a SSL-encrypted chat.”

“WikiLeaks strongly encouraged postings via Tor because of the strong privacy needs of its users.”

“According to Assange at the time, Switzerland and Iceland were the only countries where WikiLeaks would be safe to operate.”

“seeking political asylum in neutral Switzerland and establishing a WikiLeaks foundation to move the operation there.”

“WikiLeaks operates a Tor hidden service to access the website.”

“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.””

SLC notes: wiki quote

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

“28 November 2010, the US television broadcasting company 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.” 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.””

“29 July 2010 WikiLeaks added an “Insurance file” to the Afghan War Diary page”

“Verification of submissions”

SLC notes: steps to verify sources

“Assange has acknowledged that the practice of posting largely unfiltered classified information online could one day cause the website to have “blood on our hands.””

SLC notes: quote “blood on our hands”

“the potential to save lives, however, outweighs the danger to innocents”

“surveillance-resistant social network, Friends of WikiLeaks (FoWL), was initiated by sympathizers with the organization in May 2012 to perform advocacy”

“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.”

“s servers are located throughout Europe and are accessible from any uncensored web connection”

“headquarters in Sweden because it has one of the world’s strongest laws to protect confidential source-journalist relationships”

“The Washington Post reported that the department was considering charges under the Espionage Act of 1917, an action which former prosecutors characterised as “difficult” because of First Amendment protections for the press”

“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 method is also difficul”

“Any prosecution of Assange would require extraditing him to the United States, a procedure made more complicated and potentially delayed by any preceding extradition to Swede”

“”the original theft of the material by a junior US serviceman rather than any action by Mr Assange.””

“it is inappropriate to state that WikiLeaks is guilty of illegal activities.”

“On threats by various governments toward Julian Assange, legal expert Ben Saul argues that Assange is the target of a global smear campaign to demonise him as a criminal or as a terrorist, without any legal basis. The U.S. Center for Constitutional Rights has issued a statement emphasizing its alarm at the “multiple examples of legal overreach and irregularities” in his arrest”

“Wikileaks defense team is led by former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón and composed of more than sixty lawyers, including Amal Clooney, Gareth Pierce, Jennifer Robinson (United Kingdom), and Michael Ratner (United States)”

“WikiLeaks is a not-for-profit organization, funded largely by volunteers, and it is dependent on public donation”

“main financing methods include conventional bank transfers and online payment systems”

“Annual expenses have been estimated at about €200,000, mainly for servers and dealing with bureaucracy”

“might reportedly become €600,000 if work currently done by volunteers were to become paid”

“WikiLeaks’ lawyers often work pro bono, and in some cases legal aid has been donated by media organisations such as the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association.”

SLC notes: legal aid donated by media organisations

“WikiLeaks was not receiving any money for personnel costs, only for hardware, travelling and bandwidth”

“article in TechEye stated:

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] on national television that all personnel works voluntarily, even its speakers.”

“2010, Assange said the organization was registered as a library in Australia, a foundation in France, and a newspaper in Sweden, and that it also used two United States-based non-profit 501c3 organizations for funding purpose”

“December 2010 the Wau Holland Foundation stated that 4 permanent employees, including Julian Assange, had begun to receive salaries.”

“22 January 2010, the internet payment intermediary PayPal suspended WikiLeaks’ donation account and froze its asset”

“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 final approval”

“WikiLeaks commented via Twitter, “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”

“”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 websites.”

SLC notes: Journalist Jennifer 8. Lee

“During 2010, WikiLeaks received €635,772.73 in PayPal donations, less €30,000 in PayPal fees, and €695,925.46 in bank transfers. €500,988.89 of the sum was received in the month of December, primarily as bank transfers as PayPal suspended payments 4 December. €298,057.38 of the remainder was received in April.”

“He also noted that every new WikiLeaks publication brought “a wave of support”, and that donations were strongest in the weeks after WikiLeaks started publishing leaked diplomatic cables”

“15 June 2011, WikiLeaks began accepting donations in bitcoin.”

“WikiLeaks posted its first document in December 2006, a decision to assassinate government officials signed by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys.” In August 2007, the UK newspaper The Guardian published a story about corruption by the family of the former Kenyan leade”

“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 a group known as Anonymous”

SLC notes: group Anonymous

“October, Joint Services Protocol 440, a British document advising the security services on how to avoid documents being leaked, was published by WikiLeaks.”

“570,000 intercepts of pager messages sent on the day of the 11 September attacks”

SLC notes: citizen surveillance pager messages 9-11

“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”

“on 18 February. The cable, known as Reykjavik 13, was the first of the classified documents WikiLeaks published among those allegedly provided to them by US Army Private Chelsea Manning”

“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. After the mistaken killing, the video shows U.S. forces firing on a family van that stopped to pick up the bodies, constituting a war crime.”

SLC notes: video of journalists being killed and family van shot at – proof of war crimes

“June 2010, Manning was arrested after alleged chat logs were given to US authorities by former hacker Adrian Lamo, in whom she had confided. Manning reportedly told Lamo she had leaked the “Collateral Murder” video, in addition to a video of the Granai airstrike and about 260,000 diplomatic cables, to WikiLeaks”

SLC notes: source arrested

“documents detail individual incidents including “friendly fire” and civilian casualties”

“BBC quoted the US Dept. of Defense referring to the Iraq War Logs as “the largest leak of classified documents in its history.”

“Media coverage of the leaked documents emphasized claims that the U.S. government had ignored reports of torture by the Iraqi authorities during the period after the 2003 war.”

“28 November 2010, 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 simultaneously to publish the first 220 of 251,287 leaked documents labeled confidential – but not top-secret and dated from 28 December 1966 to 28 February 2010. WikiLeaks plans to release the entirety of the cables in phases over several months.”

“The contents of the diplomatic cables include numerous unguarded comments and revelations regarding: critiques and praises about the host countries of various US embassies; political manoeuvring regarding climate change; 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 varied. On 14 December 2010 the United States Department of Justice issued a subpoena directing Twitter to provide information for accounts registered to or associated with WikiLeaks. Twitter decided to notify its users. The overthrow of the presidency in Tunisia of 2011 has been attributed partly to reaction against the corruption revealed by leaked cables.”

“27 February 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing more than five million emails from the Texas-headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor”

“December 2011, WikiLeaks started to release the Spy Files”

“April 2011, files related to the Guantanamo prison were released”

“25 October 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Detainee Policies, more than 100 classified or otherwise restricted files from the United States Department of Defense covering the rules and procedures for detainees in U.S. military custody.”

“Placard in front of Embassy of Ecuador, London, 22 August 2012”

SLC notes: US flag poster in London. Image : secret laws, secret courts, secret surveillance, secret prisons, secret killing

“WikiLeaks Spy Files 3 project, which was a release of close to 250 documents from more than 90 surveillance companies”

“10 June 2015, WikiLeaks published the complete draft on the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Transparency for Healthcare Annex, along with each country’s negotiating position. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the text of the agreement regulates state schemes for medicines and medical devices and gives big multinational pharmaceutical companies more information and control over national decisions about the health sector.”

“23 June 2015, WikiLeaks published documents under the name of “Espionnage Élysée”, which showed that NSA spied on French government, including but not limited to the current President Francois Hollande and his predecessors Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac”

“29 June 2015, WikiLeaks published more NSA top secrets intercepts regarding France, detailing an economic espionage against French companies and associations.”

“29 July 2015, WikiLeaks published a top secret letter from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) Ministerial Meeting in December 2013 which illustrated the position of negotiating countries on “state-owned enterprises” (SOEs), and the set of restrictions and regulations against them, aiming to favor the transnational corporations.”

“July 2015, WikiLeaks published documents, which showed that NSA spied on many German telephone numbers of German federal ministries, including the Chancellor Angela Merkel, over years since 1990s”

“4 July 2015, WikiLeaks published documents which showed that 29 Brazilian government numbers were selected for secret espionage by the NSA. Among the targets there were also the President Dilma Rousseff, many assistants and advisors, her presidential jet and other key figures in the Brazilian government.”

“31 July 2015, WikiLeaks published secret intercepts and the related target list showing that NSA spied on Japanese government, including the Cabinet and Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi and Mitsui. The documents revealed that US espionage against Japan concerned broad”

“August 2011, Reuters announced that Daniel Domscheit-Berg had destroyed approximately 5GB of data cache from Bank of America, that Assange had under his control.”

“2013, the organisation assisted Edward Snowden (who is responsible for the 2013 mass surveillance disclosures) in leaving Hong Kong”

“Scott Shane of The New York Times stated that the WikiLeaks involvement “shows that despite its shoestring staff, limited fund-raising from a boycott by major financial firms, and defections prompted by Mr. Assange’s personal troubles and abrasive style, it remains a force to be reckoned with on the global stage.””

SLC notes: quote from NY Times on Edward Snowden evacuation

“submissions are regulated by an internal review process and some are published, while documents not conforming to the editorial criteria are rejected by anonymous WikiLeaks reviewers.”

SLC notes: submission review by anonymous reviewers before accepted for publishing

“”Anybody can post comments to it. […] Users can publicly discuss documents and analyse their credibility and veracity.””

“2010 reorganization, posting new comments on leaks was no longer possible.”

“25 September 2010, after being suspended by Assange for “disloyalty, insubordination and destabilization,” Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the German spokesman for WikiLeaks, told Der Spiegel that he was resigning, saying “WikiLeaks has a structural problem. I no longer want to take responsibility for it, and that’s why I am leaving the project.””

“Daniel Domscheit-Berg wanted greater transparency in the articles released to the public”

“Another vision of his was to focus on providing technology that allowed whistle-blowers to protect their identity as well as a more transparent way of communicating with the media, forming new partnerships and involving new people”

SLC notes: the splinter of Omega One from The Echelon

“While leaving, Daniel Domscheit-Berg copied and then deleted roughly 3,500 unpublished documents from the WikiLeaks servers, including information on the US government’s ‘no-fly list’ and inside information from 20 right-wing organizations, and according to a WikiLeaks statement, 5 gigabytes of data relating to Bank of America, the internal communications of 20 neo-Nazi organisations and US intercept information for “over a hundred internet companies.””

“According to the periodical The Independent (London), at least a dozen key supporters of WikiLeaks left the website during 2010.”

“Graffiti in Bilbao “We want to know.””

SLC notes: Graffiti in Bilbao “We want to know.” image for blog

“won a number of awards, including New Media Award in 2008 at the Index on Censorship Awards and Amnesty International’s UK Media Award in 2009”

“2010, the New York Daily News listed WikiLeaks first among websites “that could totally change the news,” and Julian Assange received the Sam Adams Award and was named the Readers’ Choice for TIME’s Person of the Year in 2010”

“UK Information Commissioner has stated that “WikiLeaks is part of the phenomenon of the online, empowered citizen.””

SLC notes: Wikileaks quote

“Sympathizers of WikiLeaks in the media and academia have commended it for exposing state and corporate secrets, increasing transparency, assisting freedom of the press, and enhancing democratic discourse while challenging powerful institutions.”

SLC notes: overwhelming citizen support by media and academia and good solid action quote

“several U.S. government officials have criticized WikiLeaks for exposing classified information and claimed that the leaks harm national security and compromise international diplomac”

“UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed concern over the “cyber war” against WikiLeaks, and in a joint statement with the Organization of American States the UN Special Rapporteur has called on states and other actors to keep international legal principles in mind”

“US state-run Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, WikiLeaks is motivated by “a theory of anarchy,” not a theory of journalism or social activism.”

SLC notes: good quote on opposing Wikileaks as a theory of anarchy not journalism


Release of US diplomatic cables was followed by the creation of a number of other organisations based on the WikiLeaks format.”

SLC notes: spin off organizations

WikiLeaks Word Cloud

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