August 2, 2010 by USA Post
Wikileaks, [wikipedia] Wikileaks was a website that published anonymous submissions and leaks of sensitive governmental, corporate, organizational, or religious documents, while attempting to preserve the anonymity and untraceability of its contributors. Within one year of its December 2006 launch, its database had grown to more than 1.2 million documents.
WikiLeaks or Wikileaks is an international organization based in Sweden that publishes anonymous submissions and leaks of otherwise unavailable documents while preserving the anonymity of sources. Its website, launched in 2006, is run by The Sunshine Press. The organization has described itself as having been founded by Chinese dissidents, as well as journalists, mathematicians, and start-up company technologists from the U.S., Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa. Newspaper articles and The New Yorker magazine (June 7, 2010) describe Julian Assange, an Australian journalist and Internet activist, as its director. Within a year of its launch, the site claimed a database that had grown to more than 1.2 million documents.
In April 2010, a video posted on a website called Collateral Murder established Wikileaks as a prime portal for unauthorized, accurate accounts, documents and video from distant battlefields. In July of the same year, Wikileaks released Afghan War Diary, a compilation of more than 90,000 documents about the War in Afghanistan not previously available for public review.
Wikileaks first appeared on the Internet in January 2007. The site states that it was “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”. As of June 2009[update], the site had over 1,200 registered volunteers 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. 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.
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.”
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