Infobox Website
name = Wikileaks
favicon =

caption =
url = []
commercial =
type = Whistleblower wiki-site
owner =
author =
revenue =
launch date = December 2006
registration = Private
current status = Active

Wikileaks is a website that publishes anonymous submissions and leaks of sensitive governmental, corporate, 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. [cite web | url= | title=Wikileaks has 1.2 million documents? | work=Wikileaks | accessdate=2008-02-28] . Running on modified MediaWiki software, Wikileaks is hosted by PRQ, an Internet service provider in Sweden. [cite news | author=David Gallagher | url= | title=Wikileaks Site Has a Friend in Sweden | work=The New York Times | accessdate=2008-03-01]


The site and its project were secret until their existence was disclosed in a January 2007 article after Wikileaks invited the editor of "Secrecy News" to serve on their advisory board. [cite news | author=Steven Aftergood | title=Wikileaks and untracable document disclosure | url= | work=Secrecy News | publisher=Federation of American Scientists | date=3 January 2007 | accessdate=2008-02-28] The site is being developed by Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and startup company technologists from the U.S, Taiwan, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. [ Wikileaks:About - Wikileaks ] ] 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." [cite news | author= | title=Cyber-dissidents launch WikiLeaks, a site for whistleblowers | url= | archiveurl= | work=South China Morning Post | archivedate=2007-02-12 | date=11 January 2007 | accessdate=2008-02-28] All current staff, developers, and employees of Wikileaks are unidentified as of January 2007.cite news | author=Paul Marks | title=How to leak a secret and not get caught | url= | work=New Scientist | date=13 January 2007| accessdate=2008-02-28] Wikileaks advisory board member Julian Assange stated the site was to go live in March 2007 but was unprepared for the media attention that its ahead-of-schedule disclosure generated.Fact|date=September 2008

There are no ties between Wikileaks and the Wikimedia Foundation. [cite news | author=Agence France Press | work=The Age | title=Chinese cyber-dissidents launch WikiLeaks, a site for whistleblowers | url= | date=2007-01-11 | accessdate=2008-02-28] The website has stated that they already have over 1,200,000 leaked documents that they are preparing to publish.cite web | author=Kearny | title=Wikileaks and Untraceable Document Disclosuree | url= | work=Now Public News | date=11 January 2007| accessdate=2008-02-28, "Wikileaks", December 29, 2006.] They also posted a 19 page analysis.H.H.Harpoon [ "Inside the Somali Civil War and the Islamic Courts"] , "Wikileaks" December 29, 2006.] 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. [cite news | author= | title=Wikileaks Releases Secret Report on Military Equipment | url= | work=The New York Sun | date=9 September 2007 |accessdate=2008-02-28]

Wikileaks aims to be "an uncensorable version of Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis." [cite news | author= | title=Website wants to take whistleblowing online | url= | work=CBC News | date=11 January 2007| accessdate=2008-02-28] Wikileaks developers have stated that there will be checks in place to keep the "completely anonymous" system from being flooded with false documents, pornography, and spam. All users will be able to comment on all documents, analyze them, and identify false material. Their stated goal is to ensure that whistle-blowers and journalists are not thrown into jail for emailing sensitive or classified documents, such as what happened to Chinese journalist Shi Tao, who was sentenced to 10 years in jail in 2005 after publicising an email from Chinese officials about the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.cite news | author= | title=Leak secrets trouble free | url= | work=Scenta | date=15 January 2007| accessdate=2008-02-28] Traffic following its disclosure increased from eight Google searches to over 1,000,000 in the first two weeks. [cite news | author= | title=Wikileaks To Allow Anonymous Government Document Posts | url= | work=All Headline News | date=15 January 2007| accessdate=2008-02-28]

The project has drawn comparisons to Daniel Ellsberg's leaking of the Pentagon Papers in 1971.Scott Bradner [;1264532314;fp;2;fpid;1 "Wikileaks: a site for exposure"] , Linuxworld, January 18, 2007. Retrieved January 18, 2007.] 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.Scott Bradner [;1264532314;fp;2;fpid;1 "Wikileaks: a site for exposure"] , Linuxworld, January 18, 2007. Retrieved January 18, 2007.] 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." [cite news | author=Staff Reports | title=Whistleblower Website Coming | url= | work=Free-Market News Network | date=18 January 2007| accessdate=2008-02-28]


According to the FAQ, "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." [cite web | author= | title=What is Wikileaks? How does Wikileaks operate? | url= | work=Wikileaks | year=2008 | accessdate=2008-02-28]

However, Wikileaks abandoned the wiki model following early criticism that it promoted "automated or indiscriminate publication of confidential records." [cite news | title=Wikileaks and untracable document disclosure | url= | work=Secrecy News | publisher=Federation of American Scientists | date=3 January 2007 | accessdate=2008-08-21] It is no longer possible for "anybody [to] post to it", as the original FAQ promised. Instead, submissions are regulated by an internal review process and some are published, while others are censored by anonymous Wikileaks reviewers. The revised FAQ now states that "Anybody can post comments to it." [cite web | author= | title=What is Wikileaks? How does Wikileaks operate? | url= | work=Wikileaks | year=2008 | accessdate=2008-08-21]

Wikileaks is based on several software packages, including MediaWiki, Freenet, Tor, and PGP. [cite web | author= | title= Is Wikileaks accessible across the globe or do oppressive regimes in certain countries block the site? | url= | work=Wikileaks | year=2008 | accessdate=2008-02-28]

Hosting, access and security

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". PRQ is owned by Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij who, through their involvement in The Pirate Bay, have significant experience in withstanding legal challenges from authorities. Being hosted by PRQ makes 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." An unidentified individual working for Wikileaks is quoted as saying "Wikileaks certainly trusts no hosting provider". Such arrangements have been called "bulletproof hosting". []

Chinese censorship

The Chinese government currently attempts 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 "" and "". 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". [cite web | author= | title=Is Wikileaks blocked by the Chinese government? | url= | publisher=Wikileaks | year=2008 | accessdate=2008-02-28] wikinewshas|news on this topic

Notable leaks

On 31 August 2007, "The Guardian" (Britain) featured on its front page a story about corruption by the family of the former Kenyan leader Daniel arap Moi. They claimed that their source of the information was Wikileaks. [cite news | author= | title=The looting of Kenya | url=,,2159757,00.html | work=The Guardian | date=31 Augues 2007| accessdate=2008-02-28]

Bank Julius Baer lawsuit

In February 2008, the domain name was taken offline after the Swiss Bank Julius Baer sued Wikileaks and the domain registrar Dynadot in a court in California, United States, and obtained a permanent injunction ordering the shutdown.cite press release | author= | under injunction | url= | publisher=Wikileaks | date=18 February 2008 | accessdate=2008-02-28] [ [ Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd. et al. v. Wikileaks et al.] ] Wikileaks had hosted allegations of illegal activities at the bank's Cayman Island branch. Wikileaks' U.S. ISP, Dynadot, complied with the order by removing its DNS entries. However, the website remained accessible via its numeric IP address, and online activists immediately mirrored Wikileaks at dozens of alternate websites worldwide. [ Judge reverses Wikileaks injunction - The INQUIRER ] ]

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a motion protesting the censorship of Wikileaks. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press assembled a coalition of media and press that filed an amicus curiae brief on Wikileaks' behalf. The coalition included major U.S. newspaper publishers and press organisations, such as: the American Society of Newspaper Editors, The Associated Press, the Citizen Media Law Project, The E.W. Scripps Company, the Gannett Company, The Hearst Corporation, the Los Angeles Times, the National Newspaper Association, the Newspaper Association of America, The Radio-Television News Directors Association, and The Society of Professional Journalists. The coalition requested to be heard as a friend of the court to call attention to relevant points of law that the court it believed the court had overlooked (on the grounds that Wikileaks had not appeared in court to defend itself, and that no First Amendment issues had yet been raised before the court). Amongst others, the coalition argued that:

"Wikileaks provides a forum for dissidents and whistleblowers across the globe to post documents, but the Dynadot injunction imposes a prior restraint that drastically curtails access to Wikileaks from the Internet based on a limited number of postings challenged by Plaintiffs. The Dynadot injunction therefore violates the bedrock principle that an injunction cannot enjoin all communication by a publisher or other speaker."

The same judge, Judge Jeffrey White, who issued the injunction vacated it on February 29, 2008, citing First Amendment concerns and questions about legal jurisdiction. [cite news | author=Philipp Gollner | work=Reuters| url= | title=Judge reverses ruling in Julius Baer leak case | date=29 February 2008 | accessdate=2008-03-01] Wikileaks was thus able to bring its site online again. The bank dropped the case on March 5, 2008. [cite web
title=Swiss Bank Abandons Lawsuit Against Wikileaks: The wiki had posted financial documents it said proved tax evasion by Bank Julius Baer's clients
] The judge also denied the bank's request for an order prohibiting the website's publication.

The Executive Director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Lucy Dalglish, commented:

"It's not very often a federal judge does a 180 degree turn in a case and dissolves an order. But we're very pleased the judge recognized the constitutional implications in this prior restraint."

Guantánamo Bay procedures

A copy of "Standard Operating Procedures for Camp Delta" – the protocol of the U.S. Army at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp – dated March 2003 was released on the Wikileaks website on 7 November 2007. [ [ "Sensitive Guantánamo Bay Manual Leaked Through Wiki Site"] , Wired November 14, 2007] The document, named "gitmo-sop.pdf", is also mirrored at "The Guardian." [ [ specific address] at "The Guardian."] Its release revealed some of the restrictions placed over detainees at the camp, including the designation of some prisoners as off-limits to the International Committee of the Red Cross, something that the U.S. military had in the past repeatedly denied.cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Guantanamo operating manual posted on Internet | date=2007-11-15 | publisher= | url = | work =Reuters | pages = | accessdate = 2007-11-15 | language = ]

On 3 December 2007, Wikileaks released a copy of the 2004 edition of the manual, [ [ "Camp Delta Operating Procedure (2004)"] ] together with a detailed analysis of the changes. [ [ "Changes in Guantanamo SOP manual (2003-2004)"] ]


On April 7 2008, Wikileaks reported receiving a letter (dated March 27) from the Religious Technology Centre claiming ownership of several recently leaked documents pertaining to OT Levels within the Church of Scientology. These same documents were at the centre of a 1994 scandal. The email stated:cquote|The Advanced Technology materials are unpublished, copyrighted works. Please be advised that your customer's action in this regard violates United States copyright law. Accordingly, we ask for your help in removing these works immediately from your service.-- Moxon and Kobrin [cite web
title=Church of Scientology collected Operating Thetan Documents, including full text of legal letter.

The letter continued on to request the release of the logs of the uploader, which would remove their anonymity. Wikileaks responded with a statement released on Wikinews stating: "in response to the attempted suppression, Wikileaks will release several thousand additional pages of Scientology material next week." [cite web
title=Church of Scientology warns Wikileaks over documents

Osama Bin Laden

Wikileaks has republished 10 years of messages and interviews with Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al-Qaeda [, Wikinews] . The documents were translated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the United States, and were originally published by the Federation of American Scientists blog Secrecy News [] .

The nearly three hundred page, 'official use only' packet from 2004, translated by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, a division of the CIA, includes interviews with bin Laden from various news agencies and also includes messages he sent directly to the U.S. from the periods of 1994 to 2004. [ [ Bin Laden's public statements, revealed] , NBC News, 12 September 2008]

One message includes bin Laden's denial of having anything to do with the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania (much as other messages also deny direct involvement besides inspiration in other terrorist attacks such as the African embassy bombings).

Hack of Sarah Palin's Yahoo account

In September 2008, during the 2008 United States presidential election campaigns, the contents of a private Yahoo account of Sarah Palin, the running mate of Republican presidential nominee John McCain, were posted on Wikileaks. The contents of the mail box seemed to suggest that she used the private Yahoo account to send work related messages in order to evade public record laws. [cite web|url=|publisher=Wired|title=Group Posts E-Mail Hacked From Palin Account -- Update] The hacking of the Vice Presidential candidate's Yahoo account was widely reported in mainstream news outlets. [cite web|url=|title=Hackers Access Palin's Personal E-Mail, Post Some Online|last=Shear|first=Michael D.|coauthors=Karl Vick|date=September 18, 2008||accessdate=2008-09-18] [cite web|url=|title=FBI, Secret Service Investigate Hacking of Palin’s E-mail|date=September 18, 2008||accessdate=2008-09-18] [cite web|url=|title=Sarah Palin's email account broken into by hackers |last=Swaine|first=Jon|date=18 Sep 2008||accessdate=2008-09-18] Despite Wikileaks' efforts to conceal his identity, the source of the Palin emails was publicly identified. [cite web | url= | title=Palin Email Hacker Found | work=Slashdot | accessdate=2008-09-21] The hacker attempted to conceal his identity by using the anonymous proxy service [] , but, because of the illegal nature of the access, the website administrator, Gabriel Ramuglia, was willing to assist the FBI in tracking down the source of the hacker. [cite web | url= | title=Memo to US Secret Service: Net proxy may pinpoint Palin email hackers | work=TheRegister | accessdate=2008-09-21]

Verification of submissions

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."Daniel Friedman [ "Web site aims to post government secrets"] , Federal Times, January 4, 2007.] The FAQ states that: "The simplest and most effective countermeasure is a worldwide community of informed users and editors who can scrutinize and discuss leaked documents. [ [] ]

ee also

* Berkman Center for Internet and Society
* Chilling effect
* Chilling Effects
* Classified information
* Cryptography
* Cryptome
* Data privacy
* Freedom of information legislation
* Information privacy
* Intellipedia
* Open government
* Secrecy
* Streisand effect
* Whistleblower


External links

Wikileaks domains

* - static IP for above (verify?)
* - As at 18 Sep 2008 the only working link from the countries employing censorship
* – alternative name to bypass the Great Firewall of China
* – alternative name to bypass the Great Firewall of China
* – alternative name to bypass the Great Firewall of China
* – alternative name to bypass the Great Firewall of China


*cite news
title=A Wiki for Whistle-Blowers
first=Tracy Samantha

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • WikiLeaks — Motto “We open governments.” …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wikileaks — ist ein Ende 2006 anonym ins Leben gerufenes Projekt, das nach dem Wiki Prinzip aufgebaut ist und unzensierbar[1] „für die massenweise und nicht auf den Absender zurückzuführende Veröffentlichung von geheimen Informationen und Analysen“[2] dienen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wikileaks — Wikileaks est un wiki de ressource et d analyse politique et sociétale, à la fois ouvert et sécurisé, dont la raison d être est de donner une audience aux fuites d information[1 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wikileaks — URL: …   Википедия

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  • WikiLeaks — UK US /ˈwɪkiliːks/ noun POLITICS, INTERNET ► an organization that publishes on the internet information from secret documents, emails, and recordings from governments, companies, political parties, etc.: »In 2010 Wikileaks began publishing a… …   Financial and business terms

  • WikiLeaks — Logo de WikiLeaks URL Noms de domaine[note 1]  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • WikiLeaks — Para las últimas filtraciones, véase Filtración de documentos diplomáticos de los Estados Unidos. WikiLeaks El logotipo es un reloj de arena en donde un planeta Tierra oscuro gotea …   Wikipedia Español

  • WikiLeaks — Интернет ресурс, специализирующийся на публикации секретных материалов Интернет ресурс, запущенный в 2006 году, на котором были преданы огласке многочисленные засекреченные или не предназначенные для широкой публики материалы. Истоки и основатели …   Энциклопедия ньюсмейкеров

  • WikiLeaks — Проверить информацию. Необходимо проверить точность фактов и достоверность сведений, изложенных в этой статье. На странице обсуждения идёт дискуссия на тему: задействована ли вики технология в программном обеспечении WikiLeaks сегодня …   Википедия

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