WikiLeaks-When the levee breaks


The recent flood of secret information has thrown international relations into chaos. Next few posts will document the global public relations nightmare governments are facing

The Friday Times, 10th December, 2010

Since 2006, thousands of classified military field reports have been published about the Afghan and Iraq wars including some 250,000 diplomatic cables from the State Department in Washington about communications concerning USA policy in Iran, Pakistan, Korea and many other places. The US Army has charged Pfc. Bradley Manning with disclosing a classified video of an American helicopter attack to WikiLeaks, as well as more than 150,000 classified diplomatic cables. According to the New York Times he is also the main suspect in the disclosure to WikiLeaks of more than 90,000 classified documents about the Afghan war.

By being everywhere, yet in no exact place, WikiLeaks seems to be beyond the reach of any institution or government that hopes to silence it. WikiLeaks publishes its material on its own site is housed on a few dozen servers around the globe, including places like Sweden, Belgium and the United States that the organization considers friendly to journalists and document leakers.

Since several major Internet companies cut off services to WikiLeaks in recent days, activists have created hundreds of mirror sites, Web sites that host exact copies of another site’s content, making censorship difficult. In fact a collective called “Anonymous”, an informal but notorious group of hackers and activists declared war on Sunday 7 December, against enemies of Mr Assange, calling on supporters to attack sites companies that do not support WikiLeaks and to spread the leaked material online. While the site has been subjected to cyberattacks and abandoned by Internet companies like PayPal, an online payment service that had accepted donations for the site, and Amazon, which had rented it server space. By late Sunday, there were at least 208 WikiLeaks mirror sites up and running.

“Cut us down and the stronger we become,” said a message on the WikiLeaks Twitter feed on 7 December.

 


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