Alex Pasternack, Beijing, China writes on Treehugger (2007): “Perhaps the most recent evidence of smart mob reporting is WikiLeaks, a wiki site designed to allow anyone to post documents on the web without fear of being traced (news of the site was it seems, fittingly, leaked)”.
WikiLeaks says about itself : “We open governments”
For a general introduction on WikiLeaks check the Wikipedia info and watch Wikileaks’ Julian Assange discussing the ethics of corporate leaking and notice WikiLeaks Community Profile.WikiLeaks published the following announcement about their latest whistleblowing action :
“From 3AM on Wednesday November 25, 2009, until 3AM the following day (US east coast time), WikiLeaks released half a million US national text pager intercepts. The intercepts cover a 24 hour period surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington.
The messages were broadcasted “live” to the global community — sychronized to the time of day they were sent. The first message was from 3AM September 11, 2001, five hours before the first attack, and the last, 24 hours later.
Text pagers are usualy carried by persons operating in an official capacity. Messages in the archive range from Pentagon, FBI, FEMA and New York Police Department exchanges, to computers reporting faults at investment banks inside the World Trade Center
The archive is a completely objective record of the defining moment of our time. We hope that its entrance into the historical record will lead to a nuanced understanding of how this event led to death, opportunism and war”.
“Wikileaks is a multi-jurisdictional organization to protect internal dissidents, whistleblowers, journalists and bloggers who face legal or other threats related to publishing. Our primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we are of assistance to people of all nations who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their governments and corporations. We aim for maximum political impact. We have received over 1.2 million documents so far from dissident communities and anonymous sources”.
“We believe that transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government and stronger democracies. All governments can benefit from increased scrutiny by the world community, as well as their own people. We believe this scrutiny requires information. Historically that information has been costly – in terms of human life and human rights. But with technological advances – the internet, and cryptography – the risks of conveying important information can be lowered”.
“Wikileaks opens leaked documents up to stronger scrutiny than any media organization or intelligence agency can provide. Wikileaks provides a forum for the entire global community to relentlessly examine any document for its credibility, plausibility, veracity and validity. Communities can interpret leaked documents and explain their relevance to the public. If a document comes from the Chinese government, the entire Chinese dissident community and diaspora can freely scrutinize and discuss it; if a document arrives from Iran, the entire Farsi community can analyze it and put it in context. Sample analyses are available here”.
“What is Wikileaks? How does Wikileaks operate?
Wikileaks is an uncensorable version of Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis. It combines the protection and anonymity of cutting-edge cryptographic technologies with the transparency and simplicity of a wiki interface”.
“Wikileaks looks like Wikipedia. Anybody can post comments to it. No technical knowledge is required. Whistleblowers can submit documents anonymously and untraceably. Users can publicly discuss documents and analyze their credibility and veracity. Users can discuss the latest material, read and write explanatory articles on leaks along with background material and context. The political relevance of documents and their veracity can be revealed by a cast of thousands”.
“Wikileaks accepts classified, censored or otherwise restricted material of political, diplomatic or ethical significance. Wikileaks does not accept rumour, opinion or other kinds of first hand reporting or material that is already publicly available”.
“All staff who deal with sources are accredited journalists. All submissions establish a journalist-source relationship. Online submissions are routed via Sweden and Belgium which have first rate journalist-source shield laws. In Sweden, not only does the law provide protection against any official inquiry into journalists’ sources, but it allows a source whose identity has been revealed without permission to initiate criminal prosecutions against an unfaithful journalist who has breached his or her promise of confidentiality”.
“Wikileaks records no source identifying information and there are a number of submission mechanisms available to deal with even the most sensitive national security information”.
“Wikileaks is the winner of the 2008 Economist Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression award and the 2009 Amnesty International human rights reporting award (New Media)”.
“Wikileaks has a history breaking major stories in every major media outlet and robustly protecting sources and press freedoms. No source has ever been exposed and no material has ever been censored. Since formation in early 2007, WikiLeaks has been victorious over every legal (and illegal) attack, including those from the Pentagon, the Chinese Public Security Bureau, the Former president of Kenya, the Premier of Bermuda, Scientology, the Catholic & Mormon Church, the largest Swiss private bank, and Russian companies. WikiLeaks has released more classified intelligence documents than the rest of the world press combined”.