Publishes and Comments on Leaked Documents Alleging
Government and Corporate Misconduct
Publishes and Comments on Leaked Documents Alleging Government and Corporate Misconduct
WikiLeaks is a non-profit media organization dedicated to bringing
important news and information to the public.
They provide an innovative,
secure and anonymous way for independent sources around the world to
leak information to our journalists.
WikiLeaks publish material of ethical,
political and historical significance while keeping the identity of their
sources anonymous, thus providing a universal way for the revealing of
suppressed and censored injustices.
WikiLeaks is an international non-profit organization that publishes submissions of private, secret, and classified media from anonymous news sources, news leaks, and whistleblowers.
Its website, launched in 2006 under The Sunshine Press organization, claimed a database of more than 1.2 million documents within a year of its launch.
WikiLeaks describes its founders as a mix of Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians, and start-up company technologists from the United States, Taiwan, Europe, Australia, and South Africa.
Julian Assange, an Australian Internet activist, is generally described as its director.
The site was originally launched as a user-editable wiki (hence its name), but has progressively moved towards a more traditional publication model and no longer accepts either user comments or edits.
In April 2010, WikiLeaks published gunsight footage from the 12 July 2007 Baghdad airstrike in which Iraqi journalists were among those killed by an Apache helicopter, as the Collateral Murder video.
In July of the same year, WikiLeaks released Afghan War Diary, a compilation of more than 76,900 documents about the War in Afghanistan not previously available to the public.
In October 2010, the group released a package of almost 400,000 documents called the Iraq War Logs in coordination with major commercial media organizations.
This allowed every death in Iraq, and across the border in Iran, to be mapped.
In November 2010, WikiLeaks began releasing U.S. State department diplomatic cables.
In April 2011, WikiLeaks began publishing 779 secret files relating to prisoners detained in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
WikiLeaks has received praise as well as criticism. The organization has won a number of awards, including The Economist's New Media Award in 2008 and Amnesty International's UK Media Award in 2009.
In 2010, the New York Daily News listed WikiLeaks first among websites "that could totally change the news", and Julian Assange received the Sam Adams Award and was named the Readers' Choice for TIME's Person of the Year in 2010.
The UK Information Commissioner has stated that "WikiLeaks is part of the phenomenon of the online, empowered citizen".
In its first days, an Internet petition calling for the cessation of extra-judicial intimidation of WikiLeaks attracted over six hundred thousand signatures.
Supporters of WikiLeaks in the media and academia have commended it for exposing state and corporate secrets, increasing transparency, supporting freedom of the press, and enhancing democratic discourse while challenging powerful institutions.
At the same time, several U.S. government officials have criticized WikiLeaks for exposing classified information and claimed that the leaks harm national security and compromise international diplomacy.
Several human rights organizations requested with respect to earlier document releases that WikiLeaks adequately redact the names of civilians working with international forces, in order to prevent repercussions.
Some journalists have likewise criticised a perceived lack of editorial discretion when releasing thousands of documents at once and without sufficient analysis.
In response to some of the negative reaction, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed her concern over the "cyber war" against WikiLeaks, and in a joint statement with the Organization of American States the UN Special Rapporteur has called on states and other actors to keep international legal principles in mind.