Wikileaks.org, the website founded in December 2006 as a place where whistleblowers can leak sensitive documents while remaining anonymous and untraceable, says on its default web page that the site is currently suspended until January 6,
2010 as the organization seeks additional funding.
That amount includes $532,000 sought from a News Challenge grant from the nonprofit Knight Foundation. The Wikileaks's Twitter feed, reported the site going to temporary inactive status on December 24, 2009. A message to visitors of the
Wikileaks.org website says that Wikileaks is overloaded. We need your support for more servers. The Wikileaks website appeal says that,
We have received hundreds of thousands of pages from corrupt banks, the US detainee system, the Iraq war, China, the UN and many others that we do not currently have the resources to release. You can change that and by
doing so, change the world.
The Knight proposal explains that Wikileaks plans to provide a link to local newspapers that publish stories based on documents published on the web site. And in what seems be a fascinating and valuable aspect of the localization goal, the grant
proposal says that Wikileaks will allow local newspapers to add a code snippet to the newspaper's website to allow for local users to upload documents to Wikileaks. They say of this feature,
Wikileaks.org, a whistleblower website that allows people to publish uncensored information anonymously, has suspended operations owing to financial problems.
Its running costs including staff payments are $600,000 (£377,000), but so far this year it has raised just $130,000 (£81,000).
The website claims to be non-profit and relies on donations. A statement on its front page says it is funded by human rights campaigners, investigative journalists, technologists and the general public . WikiLeaks does not accept money
from governments or corporations.
Investigative journalist Paul Lashmar said he had been startled by the effectiveness of WikiLeaks in publishing suppressed information. However he thought that the funding issue would not be easily resolved: (Web) users aren't
interested in how the people behind sites make their money, he said. The problem for the self-funding model is that sites like WikiLeaks will not find it easy to attract funding through advertising. At some point people who care about free
speech will realise that free speech has to be funded, otherwise it's not free.
Much to the annoyance of government departments and big business everywhere, whistleblower website Wikileaks has been saved.
In December it cease publishing leaked documents, concentrating on raising donations, this week they succeeded yet staff have still not been paid. That target of around £400,000 has not been reached.
Their main site is still dedicated to raising money and there is no indication when normal operations will resume.
In an update via Twitter late on Wednesday night, Wikileaks announced that it had reached its minimum target: Achieved min. fundraising goal. ($200k/600k); we're back fighting for another year, even if we have to eat rice to do it.
Wikileaks was a whistle blowing website that shone a light on how governments of the world have been running our lives. And it was not a pretty sight.
Julian Assange who ran Wikileaks, is surely a freedom of speech hero, however he broke many serious state secret laws and has been evading the authorities via diplomatic immunity afforded to him by the Ecuadorean embassy in London. This has now
been rescinded and Assange has been duly arrested. He is now in serious trouble and will surely end up being sent to the USA to answer the accusations.
It is hard to see that the prosecuting authorities will be convinced by ethics or morality of the ends justifying the means.