What Is WikiLeaks? In Simple Terms

By | 2010/12/08

Wikileaks is a website that is used for publishing sensitive materials. Sensitive materials can include national secrets, secrets kept by Governments of various countries and high-profile organizations. For example, in October 2010 the site released almost 400,000 secret US military logs detailing its operations in Iraq. This post is a beginners guide into understanding all about Wikileaks in simple layman’s terms.

What Is Wikileaks?

As mentioned before, Wikileaks is a website that is used for publishing sensitive documents and news. WikiLeaks established an editorial policy that accepted only documents that were “of political, diplomatic, historical or ethical interest”.

How Does It Work?

WikiLeaks Logo

WikiLeaks Logo

WikiLeaks was launched as a user-editable wiki site, where any person can submit sensitive data without the fear of being traced by Government agencies or organizations. However, a team of reviewers – volunteers from the mainstream press, journalists and Wikileaks staff – decides what is published.

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

What Is WikiLeaks’ Website?

WikiLeaks has been in the eye of the storm due to the controversial nature of content published by it. They really do not have any permanent website due to a number of denial-of-service attacks (by governments) and its severance from different Domain Name System (DNS) providers. Formerly, the website was www.wikileaks.org.

If you want to find a currently active Wikileaks site, then it is suggest that you do a Twitter search with #imwikileaks.

But you can try these links:

How Does WikiLeaks Remain Uncensored and Avoid Being Shut Down?

Governments around the world would like to take down WikiLeaks for once and for all, but it is not that easy. They are only able to block the website. But it can be bypassed using separate URL’s maintained by Wikileaks. There is nothing Governments can do except block the site and Wikileaks can never be completely taken off line. This is because:

WikiLeaks hosts itself 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”. The servers are spread around the world with the central server located in Sweden. Julian Assange has said that the servers are located in Sweden (and the other countries) “specifically because those nations offer legal protection to the disclosures made on the site”.  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 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.” Such arrangements have been called “bulletproof hosting.”

Who Is Julian Assange?

Julian Paul Assange founded the controversial WikiLeaks website in 2006 and serves on its advisory board. He is best known as the spokesperson and editor-in-chief for WikiLeaks.

Julian Assange

Julian Assange

Before working with the website, he was a physics and mathematics student as well as a computer programmer. He has lived in several countries and has told reporters he is constantly on the move. He makes irregular public appearances to speak about freedom of the press, censorship, and investigative reporting; he has also won three journalism awards for his work with WikiLeaks.

Why Is Julian Assange Arrested?

On 30 November 2010, Interpol placed Assange on its red notice list of wanted persons; at the same time, a European Arrest Warrant was issued for him. He was wanted for questioning on suspicion of sexual offences and was arrested by the London Metropolitan Police on 7 December by appointment, after a voluntary meeting with the police. Assange denies the accusations made against him.

What Are The Controversial Documents Released By Wikileaks?

Here is a list of few controversial and sensitive documents that were released by WikiLeaks:

Are Wikipedia and Wikileaks related?

No, they are both different entitities. Wikileaks is in no way affiliated to Wikipedia. It is a very common misconception due to both having the term “wiki” in their names.

Would you like to have any other questions answered regarding Wikileaks? You can ask them below.

8 thoughts on “What Is WikiLeaks? In Simple Terms

  1. Shiva @ Blogging Ideas

    Hi there Vivek, Nice article about Wikileaks. I think Wikileaks are doing a great job by disclosing the truth, I think all governments should have transparency in their working after all the governments are elected by the people, people should know the truth as to how the governments are working.

  2. backlinks

    thanks for the share dude, you quite imprevise me 😛

  3. Elia Shoultz

    The media is brainwashing us, the government doesnt want us to know the dirty deeds they are doing. Of course they want to punish wikileaks.

  4. Emily

    I think this is horrible. The government keeps information from the public for a reason, to keep the people in that country safe. I’m sure you don’t like it when people tell you how to do your job. Are you a government official? Only the people who do his/her job know how to do it. The information leaked is not good at all and Julian Assange is a creep. He raped someone, he has had a horrible past. I think this website should stop now.

  5. Chitransh

    awsum dude….vry vry vry helpful….a lot ov infrmation in a short article….superlyk!!

    tnx alot!

  6. praveen

    thanks bro…. this is really a good article. but bro tell me one thing that how does Julian Assange got these secret information ???

    reply pls….

  7. aditya

    can you please provide us some information about the indian money being kept in swiss bank?.


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