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.
Update: Minimum Achieved
6th February 2010. Based on article
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.