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 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.
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:
- Extrajudicial killings in Kenya
- A report of toxic waste dumping on the African coast
- Church of Scientology manuals
- Guantanamo Bay procedures
- Releasing more than 251,000 American diplomatic cables, mostly unclassified but including many labelled “Confidential” or “Secret”
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.