The war on WikiLeaks and why it matters
A newly leaked CIA report prepared earlier this month (.pdf) analyzes how the U.S. Government can best manipulate public opinion in Germany and France -- in order to ensure that those countries continue to fight in Afghanistan. The Report celebrates the fact that the governments of those two nations continue to fight the war in defiance of overwhelming public opinion which opposes it -- so much for all the recent veneration of "consent of the governed" -- and it notes that this is possible due to lack of interest among their citizenry: "Public Apathy Enables Leaders to Ignore Voters," proclaims the title of one section.
But the Report also cites the "fall of the Dutch Government over its troop commitment to Afghanistan" and worries that -- particularly if the "bloody summer in Afghanistan" that many predict takes place -- what happened to the Dutch will spread as a result of the "fragility of European support" for the war. As the truly creepy Report title puts it, the CIA's concern is: "Why Counting on Apathy May Not Be Enough":
The Report seeks to provide a back-up plan for "counting on apathy," and provides ways that the U.S. Government can manipulate public opinion in these foreign countries. It explains that French sympathy for Afghan refugees means that exploiting Afghan women as pro-war messengers would be effective, while Germans would be more vulnerable to a fear-mongering campaign (failure in Afghanistan means the Terrorists will get you). The Report highlights the unique ability of Barack Obama to sell war to European populations (click on images to enlarge):
It's both interesting and revealing that the CIA sees Obama as a valuable asset in putting a pretty face on our wars in the eyes of foreign populations. It is odious -- though, of course, completely unsurprising -- that the CIA plots ways to manipulate public opinion in foreign countries in order to sustain support for our wars. Now that this is a Democratic administration doing this and a Democratic war at issue, I doubt many people will object to any of this. But what is worth noting is how and why this classified Report was made publicly available: because it was leaked to and then posted by WikiLeaks.org, the site run by the non-profit group Sunshine Press, that is devoted to exposing suppressed government and corporate corruption by publicizing many of their most closely guarded secrets.
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I spoke this morning at length with Julian Assange, the Australian citizen who is WikiLeaks' Editor, regarding the increasingly aggressive war being waged against WikiLeaks by numerous government agencies, including the Pentagon. Over the past several years, WikiLeaks -- which aptly calls itself "the intelligence agency of the people" -- has obtained and then published a wide array of secret, incriminating documents (similar to this CIA Report) that expose the activities of numerous governments and corporations. Among many others, they posted the Standard Operating Manual for Guantanamo, documents showing how corrupt offshore loans precipitated the economic collapse in Iceland, the notorious emails between climate scientists, documents showing toxic dumping off the coast of Africa, and many others. They have recently come into possession of classified videos relating to civilian causalities under the command of Gen. David Petraeus, as well as documentation relating to civilian-slaughtering airstrikes in Afghanistan which the U.S. military had agreed to release, only to change their mind.
All of this has made WikiLeaks an increasingly hated target of numerous government and economic elites around the world, including the U.S. Government. As The New York Times put it last week: "To the list of the enemies threatening the security of the United States, the Pentagon has added WikiLeaks.org, a tiny online source of information and documents that governments and corporations around the world would prefer to keep secret." In 2008, the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Center prepared a secret report -- obtained and posted by WikiLeaks -- devoted to this website and detailing, in a section entitled "Is it Free Speech or Illegal Speech?", ways it would seek to destroy the organization. It discusses the possibility that, for some governments, not merely contributing to WikiLeaks, but "even accessing the website itself is a crime," and outlines its proposal for WikiLeaks' destruction as follows (click on images to enlarge):
As the Pentagon report put it: "the governments of China, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Vietnam and Zimbabwe" have all sought to block access to or otherwise impede the operations of WikiLeaks, and the U.S. Government now joins that illustrious list of transparency-loving countries in targeting them.
The Pentagon report also claims that WikiLeaks has disclosed documents that could expose U.S. military plans in Afghanistan and Iraq and endanger the military mission, though its discussion is purely hypothetical and no specifics are provided. Instead, the bulk of the Pentagon report focuses on documents which embarrass the U.S. Government: information which, as they put it, "could be manipulated to provide biased news reports or be used for conducting propaganda, disinformation, misinformation, perception management, or influence operations against the U.S. Army by a variety of domestic and foreign actors." In other words, the Pentagon is furious that this exposing of its secrets might enable others to engage in exactly the type of "perception management" which the aforementioned CIA Report proposes the U.S. do with regard to the citizenry of our allied countries.
All of this is based in the same rationale invoked by President Obama and the Democratic Congress when they re-wrote the Freedom of Information Act last year in order to suppress America's torture photos. It's the same rationale used by all governments to conceal evidence of their wrongdoing: we need to suppress our activities for your own good. WikiLeaks is devoted to subverting that mentality and, relatively speaking, has been quite successful in doing so.
For that reason, numerous governments and private groups would like to see them destroyed. Corporations have sued to have the site shut down. And in addition to this 2008 Pentagon report, WikiLeaks has acquired, though not yet posted, other U.S. Government classified reports on its activities, including a U.S. Marine Intelligence Report and an analysis prepared by the U.S. military base in Germany, both of which speak of WikiLeaks as a threat. Moreover, the FBI has refused to provide any information about its investigations and other activities aimed at WikiLeaks, citing, in response to FOIA requests, national security and other excuses for concealing it.
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In my interview this morning with Assange, he described multiple incidents that clearly signal a recent escalation of surveillance and other forms of harassment directed at WikiLeaks. Many of those events are detailed in an Editorial they just published, which, he explained, was part of an effort to publicize what is being done to them in order to provide some safety and buffer. A good summary of those events is provided by Gawker. As but one disturbing incident: a volunteer, a minor, who works with WikiLeaks was detained in Iceland last week and questioned extensively about an incriminating video WikiLeaks possesses relating to the actions of the U.S. military. During the course of the interrogation, the WikiLeaks volunteer was not only asked questions about the video based on non-public knowledge about its contents (i.e., information which only the U.S. military would have), but was also shown surveillance photos of Assange exiting a recent WikiLeaks meeting regarding the imminent posting of documents concerning the Pentagon.
That WikiLeaks is being targeted by the U.S. Government for surveillance and disruption is beyond doubt. And it underscores how vital their work is and why it's such a threat.
WikiLeaks editors, including Assagne, have spent substantial time of late in Iceland because there is a pending bill in that country's Parliament that would provide meaningful whistle blower protection for what they do, far greater than exists anywhere else. Why is Iceland a leading candidate to do that? Because, last year, that nation suffered full-scale economic collapse. It was then revealed that numerous nefarious causes (corrupt loans, off-shore transactions, concealed warning signs) were hidden completely from the public and even from policy-makers, preventing detection and avoidance. Worse, most of Iceland's institutions -- from its media to its legislative and regulatory bodies -- completely failed to penetrate this wall of secrecy, allowing this corruption to fester until it brought about full-scale financial ruin. As a result, Iceland has become very receptive to the fact that the type of investigative exposure provided by WikiLeaks is a vital national good, and there is real political will to provide it with substantial protections.
If that doesn't sound familiar to Americans, it should. At exactly the time when U.S. government secrecy is at an all-time high, the institutions ostensibly responsible for investigation, oversight and exposure have failed. The American media are largely co-opted, and their few remaining vestiges of real investigative journalism are crippled by financial constraints. The U.S. Congress is almost entirely impotent at providing meaningful oversight and is, in any event, controlled by the factions that maintain virtually complete secrecy. As I've documented before, some alternative means of investigative journalism have arisen -- such as the ACLU's tenacious FOIA litigations to pry documents showing "War on Terror" abuses and the reams of bloggers who sort through, analyze and publicize them -- but that's no match for the vast secrecy powers of the government and private corporations.
The need for independent leaks and whistle-blowing exposures is particularly acute now because, at exactly the same time that investigative journalism has collapsed, public and private efforts to manipulate public opinion have proliferated. This is exemplified by the type of public opinion management campaign detailed by the above-referenced CIA Report, the Pentagon's TV propaganda program exposed in 2008, and the ways in which private interests covertly pay and control supposedly "independent political commentators" to participate in our public debates and shape public opinion.
Last month, I was on a panel at the New School's Conference on how information is controlled in a democracy, and also on the panel were Daniel Ellsberg, who risked his liberty to leak the Pentagon Papers, and The New York Times' David Barstow, who won the Pulitzer Prize for exposing the Pentagon's propaganda program. Ellsberg described how massive is the apparatus of secrecy in the National Security State, and Barstow made the vital point -- which I summarized in the clip below when speaking later that day at NYU Law School -- that the public and private means for manipulating public opinion are rapidly increasing at exactly the same time that checks on secrecy (such as investigative journalism) are vanishing:
Aside from the handful of organizations (the ACLU, the NYT) with the resources and will to engage in protracted FOIA litigations against the government, one of the last avenues to uncover government and other elite secrets are whistle blowers and organizations that enable them. WikiLeaks is one of the world's most effective such groups, and it's thus no surprise that they're under such sustained attacks.
This is how Assange put it to me this morning in explaining why he believes his organization's activities are so vital and why he's willing to make himself a target in order to do it:
This information has reform potential. And the information which is concealed or suppressed is concealed or suppressed because the people who know it best understand that it has the ability to reform. So they engage in work to prevent that reform . . . .
There are reasons I do it that have to do with wanting to reform civilization, and selectively targeting information will do that -- understanding that quality information is what every decision is based on, and all the decisions taken together is what "civilization" is, so if you want to improve civilization, you have to remove some of the basic constraints, which is the quality of information that civilization has at its disposal to make decisions. Of course, there's a personal psychology to it, that I enjoy crushing bastards, I like a good challenge, so do a lot of the other people involved in WikiLeaks. We like the challenge.
The public and private organizations most eager to maintain complete secrecy around what they do -- including numerous U.S. military and intelligence agencies -- are obviously threatened by WikiLeaks' activities, which is why they seek to harass and cripple them. There are numerous ways one can support WikiLeaks -- donations, volunteer work, research, legal and technical assistance -- and that can be done through their site. There aren't many groups more besieged, or doing more important work, than they.
Wikileaks (officially WikiLeaks) is a website that publishes anonymous submissions and leaks of sensitive governmental, corporate, organizational, or religious documents, while attempting to preserve the anonymity and untraceability of its contributors. Within one year of its December 2006 launch, its database had grown to more than 1.2 million documents.
Because of fundraising problems, Wikileaks temporarily suspended all operations other than submission of material in December 2009. Materials that were previously published are no longer available, although some can still be accessed on unofficial mirrors. Wikileaks originally stated on its website that it would resume full operation once the operational costs were covered, and on 3 February Wikileaks announced that its minimum fundraising goal had been achieved.
Wikileaks has won a number of new media awards for its reports.
Wikileaks went public in January 2007, when it first appeared on the web. The site states that it was "founded by Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and start-up company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa". The creators of Wikileaks were unidentified as of January 2007[update], although it has been represented in public since January 2007 by non-anonymous speakers such as Julian Assange, who had described himself as a member of Wikileaks' advisory board and was later referred to as the "founder of Wikileaks". As of June 2009[update], the site had over 1,200 registered volunteers and the advisory board consisted of Assange, Phillip Adams, Wang Dan, CJ Hinke, Ben Laurie, Tashi Namgyal Khamsitsang, Xiao Qiang, Chico Whitaker, and Wang Youcai.
Wikileaks states that its "primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to people of all regions who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their governments and corporations."
In January 2007, the website stated that it had over 1.2 million leaked documents that it was preparing to publish. The group has subsequently released a number of other significant documents which have become front-page news items, ranging from documentation of equipment expenditures and holdings in the Afghanistan war to corruption in Kenya.
Their stated goal is to ensure that whistle-blowers and journalists are not jailed for emailing sensitive or classified documents, as happened to Chinese journalist Shi Tao, who was sentenced to 10 years in 2005 after publicising an email from Chinese officials about the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
The project has drawn comparisons to Daniel Ellsberg's leaking of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. In the United States, the leaking of some documents may be legally protected. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution guarantees anonymity, at least in the area of political discourse. Author and journalist Whitley Strieber has spoken about the benefits of the Wikileaks project, noting that "Leaking a government document can mean jail, but jail sentences for this can be fairly short. However, there are many places where it means long incarceration or even death, such as China and parts of Africa and the Middle East."
The site has won a number of significant awards, including the 2008 Economist magazine New Media Award, and in June 2009, Wikileaks and Julian Assange won Amnesty International UK's Media Award 2009 (in the category "New Media") for the 2008 publication of "Kenya: The Cry of Blood - Extra Judicial Killings and Disappearances", a report by the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights about police killings in Kenya.
Suspension of activity
On 24 December 2009, Wikileaks announced that it was experiencing a shortage of funds and suspended all access to its website except for a form to submit new material. Wikileaks sees this is as a kind of strike "to ensure that everyone who is involved stops normal work and actually spends time raising revenue". While it was initially hoped that funds could be secured by 6 January 2010, it took until 3 February for Wikileaks to achieve their minimum fundraising goal. Wikileaks originally stated on its website that it would resume full operation once the operational costs were covered. However, as of 29th March, the site remains suspended, with no indication of when it will return.
On 22 January 2010, PayPal suspended Wikileaks' donation account and froze its assets. Wikileaks claimed that this had happened before, and was done for "no obvious reason". The account was restored on 25 January 2010.
The Wikileaks team consists of five people who work full-time and about 800 people who work occasionally. None are paid. Wikileaks has no official headquarters. The expenses per year are about $600,000 (approximately $200,000 if the staff is unpaid), mainly for servers and bureaucracy. Wikileaks does not pay for lawyers, as hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal support have been donated by media organisations such as the Associated Press, The Los Angeles Times, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Its only revenue stream is donations, but Wikileaks is planning to add an auction model.
The "about" page originally read: "To the user, Wikileaks will look very much like Wikipedia. Anybody can post to it, anybody can edit it. No technical knowledge is required. Leakers can post documents anonymously and untraceably. Users can publicly discuss documents and analyze their credibility and veracity. Users can discuss interpretations and context and collaboratively formulate collective publications. Users can read and write explanatory articles on leaks along with background material and context. The political relevance of documents and their verisimilitude will be revealed by a cast of thousands."
However, WikiLeaks established an editorial policy that accepted only documents that were "of political, diplomatic, historical or ethical interest". This coincided with early criticism that no editorial policy would drive out good material with spam and promote "automated or indiscriminate publication of confidential records." It is no longer possible for "anybody [to] post to it", as the original FAQ promised. Instead, submissions are regulated by an internal review process and some are published, while documents not fitting the editorial criteria are rejected by anonymous Wikileaks reviewers. The revised FAQ now states that "Anybody can post comments to it."
Wikileaks is based on several software packages, including MediaWiki, Freenet, Tor, and PGP.
Hosting, access, and security
Wikileaks describes itself as "an uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking". Wikileaks is hosted 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". PRQ is owned by Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij who, through their involvement in The Pirate Bay, have significant experience in withstanding legal challenges from authorities. Being hosted by PRQ makes 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".
The Chinese government currently attempts to censor every web site with "wikileaks" in the URL, including the primary .org site and the regional variations .cn and .uk. However, the site is still accessible from behind the Chinese firewall through one of the many alternative names used by the project, such as "secure.sunshinepress.org". The alternate sites change frequently, and Wikileaks encourages users to search "wikileaks cover names" outside mainland China for the latest alternative names. Mainland search engines, including Baidu and Yahoo, also censor references to "wikileaks".
Potential future Australian censorship
Search Wikinews Wikinews has related news: Portions of Wikileaks, Wikipedia blocked in Australia
On 16 March 2009, the Australian Communications and Media Authority added URLs to particular pages on Wikileaks to their blacklist, after blacklists from other countries were uploaded. These pages will be blocked for all Australians if the mandatory internet filtering censorship scheme is implemented as planned.
Verification of submissions
Search Wikinews Wikinews has news on this topic:
* Huge interest takes Wikileaks offline
* Church of Scientology's 'Operating Thetan' documents leaked online
* Wikileaks spokesperson discusses recent court case with Wikinews
* Representative for ACLU tells Wikinews their opinion on lifting of Wikileaks court injunction
* Wikileaks.org restored as injunction is lifted
* Wikileaks claims ‘abuse of process’ in court case that resulted in wikileaks.org being take offline
* Rights groups: Forcing Wikileaks.org offline raises 'serious First Amendment concerns'
* 'Wikileaks.org' taken offline in many areas after fire, court injunction
WikiLeaks states that it has never released a misattributed document. Documents are assessed before release. In response to concerns about the possibility of misleading or fraudulent leaks, Wikileaks has stated that misleading leaks "are already well-placed in the mainstream media! [Wikileaks] is of no additional assistance." The FAQ states that: "The simplest and most effective countermeasure is a worldwide community of informed users and editors who can scrutinize and discuss leaked documents."
Daniel arap Moi family corruption
On 31 August 2007, The Guardian (Britain) featured on its front page a story about corruption by the family of the former Kenyan leader Daniel arap Moi. The newspaper stated that their source of the information was Wikileaks.
Bank Julius Baer lawsuit
Main article: Bank Julius Baer vs. Wikileaks lawsuit
In February 2008, the Wikileaks.org domain name was taken offline after the Swiss Bank Julius Baer sued Wikileaks and the wikileaks.org domain registrar, Dynadot, in a court in California, United States, and obtained a permanent injunction ordering the shutdown. Wikileaks had hosted allegations of illegal activities at the bank's Cayman Island branch. Wikileaks' U.S. ISP, Dynadot, complied with the order by removing its DNS entries. However, the website remained accessible via its numeric IP address, and online activists immediately mirrored Wikileaks at dozens of alternate websites worldwide.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a motion protesting the censorship of Wikileaks. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press assembled a coalition of media and press that filed an amicus curiae brief on Wikileaks' behalf. The coalition included major U.S. newspaper publishers and press organisations, such as: the American Society of Newspaper Editors, The Associated Press, the Citizen Media Law Project, The E.W. Scripps Company, the Gannett Company, The Hearst Corporation, the Los Angeles Times, the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the Newspaper Association of America, The Radio-Television News Directors Association, and The Society of Professional Journalists. The coalition requested to be heard as a friend of the court to call attention to relevant points of law that it believed the court had overlooked (on the grounds that Wikileaks had not appeared in court to defend itself, and that no First Amendment issues had yet been raised before the court). Amongst other things, the coalition argued that:
"Wikileaks provides a forum for dissidents and whistleblowers across the globe to post documents, but the Dynadot injunction imposes a prior restraint that drastically curtails access to Wikileaks from the Internet based on a limited number of postings challenged by Plaintiffs. The Dynadot injunction therefore violates the bedrock principle that an injunction cannot enjoin all communication by a publisher or other speaker."
The same judge, Judge Jeffrey White, who issued the injunction vacated it on 29 February 2008, citing First Amendment concerns and questions about legal jurisdiction. Wikileaks was thus able to bring its site online again. The bank dropped the case on 5 March 2008. The judge also denied the bank's request for an order prohibiting the website's publication.
The Executive Director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Lucy Dalglish, commented:
"It's not very often a federal judge does a 180 degree turn in a case and dissolves an order. But we're very pleased the judge recognized the constitutional implications in this prior restraint."
Guantánamo Bay procedures
A copy of Standard Operating Procedures for Camp Delta – the protocol of the U.S. Army at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp – dated March 2003 was released on the Wikileaks website on 7 November 2007. The document, named "gitmo-sop.pdf", is also mirrored at The Guardian. Its release revealed some of the restrictions placed over detainees at the camp, including the designation of some prisoners as off-limits to the International Committee of the Red Cross, something that the U.S. military had in the past repeatedly denied.
On 3 December 2007, Wikileaks released a copy of the 2004 edition of the manual, together with a detailed analysis of the changes.
On 7 April 2008, Wikileaks reported receiving a letter (dated 27 March) from the Religious Technology Centre claiming ownership of several recently leaked documents pertaining to OT Levels within the Church of Scientology. These same documents were at the centre of a 1994 scandal. The email stated:
“ The Advanced Technology materials are unpublished, copyrighted works. Please be advised that your customer's action in this regard violates United States copyright law. Accordingly, we ask for your help in removing these works immediately from your service.
-- Moxon and Kobrin
The letter continued on to request the release of the logs of the uploader, which would remove their anonymity. Wikileaks responded with a statement released on Wikinews stating: "in response to the attempted suppression, Wikileaks will release several thousand additional pages of Scientology material next week", and did so.
Hack of Sarah Palin's Yahoo account
In September 2008, during the 2008 United States presidential election campaigns, the contents of a Yahoo account belonging to Sarah Palin (the running mate of Republican presidential nominee John McCain) were posted on Wikileaks. The contents of the mailbox seemed to suggest that she used the private Yahoo account to send work-related messages in order to evade public record laws. The hacking of the account was widely reported in mainstream news outlets. Although Wikileaks was able to conceal the hacker's identity, the source of the Palin emails was eventually publicly identified in another way; the hacker attempted to conceal his identity by using the anonymous proxy service ctunnel.com, but, because of the illegal nature of the access, ctunnel website administrator Gabriel Ramuglia assisted the FBI in tracking down the source of the hack. The hacker was revealed to be David Kernell, a 20-year-old economics student at the University of Tennessee and the son of Democratic Tennessee State Representative Mike Kernell from Memphis.
BNP membership list
After briefly appearing on a blog, the membership list of the far-right British National Party was posted to Wikileaks on 18 November 2008. The name, address, age and occupation of many of the 13,500 members were given, including several police officers, two solicitors, four ministers of religion, at least one doctor, and a number of primary and secondary school teachers. In Britain, police officers are banned from joining or promoting the BNP, and at least one officer was dismissed for being a member. The BNP was known for going to considerable lengths to conceal the identities of members. On 19 November, BNP leader Nick Griffin stated that he knew the identity of the person who initially leaked the list on 17 November, describing him as a "hardliner" senior employee who left the party in 2007. On 20 October 2009, a list of BNP members from April 2009 was leaked. This list contained 11,811 members.
In January 2009, over 600 internal United Nations reports (60 of them marked "strictly confidential") were leaked.
On 7 February 2009, Wikileaks released 6,780 Congressional Research Service reports.
In March 2009, Wikileaks published a list of contributors to the Norm Coleman senatorial campaign and a set of documents belonging to Barclays Bank that had been ordered removed from the website of The Guardian.
Climate Research Unit e-mails
Main article: Climatic Research Unit hacking incident
In November 2009, controversial documents, including e-mail correspondence between climate scientists, were leaked from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia to various sites; one prominent host of the full 120MB archive was Wikileaks.
Internet censorship lists
Wikileaks has published the lists of forbidden or illegal web addresses for several countries.
On 19 March 2009, Wikileaks published what was alleged to be the Australian Communications and Media Authority's blacklist of sites to be banned under Australia's proposed laws on Internet censorship. Reactions to the publication of the list by the Australian media and politicians were varied. Particular note was made by journalistic outlets of the type of websites on the list; while the Internet censorship scheme submitted by the Australian Labor Party in 2008 was proposed with the stated intention of preventing access to child pornography and sites related to terrorism, the list leaked on Wikileaks contains a number of sites unrelated to sex crimes involving minors. When questioned about the leak, Stephen Conroy, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy in Australia's Rudd Labor Government, responded by claiming that the list was not the actual list, yet threatening to prosecute anyone involved in distributing it. On 20 March 2009, Wikileaks published an updated list, dated 18 March 2009; it more closely matches the claimed size of the ACMA blacklist, and contains two pages which have been independently confirmed to be blacklisted by ACMA.
Wikileaks also contains details of Internet censorship in Thailand, including lists of censored sites dating back to May 2006.
Bilderberg Group meeting reports
Since May 2009, Wikileaks has made available reports of several meetings of the Bilderberg Group. It includes the group's history and meeting reports from the years 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1963, and 1980.
2008 Peru oil scandal
On January 28, 2009, Wikileaks released 86 telephone intercept recordings of Peruvian politicians and businessmen involved in the "Petrogate" oil scandal. The release of the tapes lead the front pages of five Peruvian newspapers.
Toxic dumping in Africa: The Minton report
In September 2006, commodities giant Trafigura commissioned an internal report about a toxic dumping incident in the Ivory Coast, which (according to the United Nations) affected 108,000 people. The document, called the Minton Report, names various harmful chemicals "likely to be present" in the waste — sodium hydroxide, cobalt phthalocyanine sulfonate, coker naphtha, thiols, sodium alkanethiolate, sodium hydrosulfide, sodium sulfide, dialkyl disulfides, hydrogen sulfide — and notes that some of them "may cause harm at some distance". The report states that potential health effects include "burns to the skin, eyes and lungs, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of consciousness and death", and suggests that the high number of reported casualties is "consistent with there having been a significant release of hydrogen sulphide gas".
On September 11, 2009, Trafigura's lawyers, Carter-Ruck, obtained a secret "super-injunction" against The Guardian, banning that newspaper from publishing the contents of the document. Trafigura also threatened a number of other media organizations with legal action if they published the report's contents, including the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation and The Chemical Engineer magazine. On September 14, 2009, Wikileaks posted the report.
On October 12, Carter-Ruck warned The Guardian against mentioning the content of a parliamentary question that was due to be asked about the report. Instead, the paper published an article stating that they were unable to report on an unspecified question and claiming that the situation appeared to "call into question privileges guaranteeing free speech established under the 1689 Bill of Rights". The suppressed details rapidly circulated via the internet and Twitter and, amid uproar, Carter-Ruck agreed the next day to the modification of the injunction before it was challenged in court, permitting The Guardian to reveal the existence of the question and the injunction. The injunction was lifted on October 16.
Wikileaks has made available an internal document from Kaupthing Bank from just prior to the collapse of Iceland's banking sector, which led to the 2008–2009 Icelandic financial crisis. The document shows that suspiciously large sums of money were loaned to various owners of the bank, and large debts written off. Kaupthing's lawyers have threatened Wikileaks with legal action, citing banking privacy laws. The leak has caused an uproar in Iceland and may result in criminal charges against the individuals involved.
9/11 pager messages
On November 25, 2009, Wikileaks released 570,000 intercepts of pager messages from the day of the September 11 attacks. Among the released messages are communications between Pentagon officials and New York City Police Department.
U.S. Intelligence report on Wikileaks
On March 15, 2010, Wikileaks released a secret 32 page U.S. Department of Defense Counterintelligence Analysis Report from March 2008. The document described some prominent reports leaked on the website which related to U.S. security interests and described potential methods of marginalizing the organization. Wikileaks editor Julian Assange said that some details in the Army report were inaccurate and its recommendations flawed, and also that the concerns of the US Army raised by the report were hypothetical. The report discussed deterring potential whistleblowers via termination of employment and criminal prosecution of any existing or former insiders, leakers or whistleblowers. Reasons for the attack include notable leaks such as U.S. equipment expenditure, human rights violations in Guantanamo Bay and the battle over the Iraqi town of Fallujah.
Police raid on German Wikileaks domain owner's home
The home of Theodor Reppe, owner of the German Wikileaks domain name, Wikileaks.de, was raided on 24 March 2009 after WikiLeaks released the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) censorship blacklist. The site was not affected.
* Chilling Effects
* Digital rights
* Freedom of information
* Streisand effect
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100. ^ Wikileaks raided by German police
101. ^ Police raid home of Wikileaks.de domain owner over censorship lists
102. ^ Police raid Wikileaks owner