Posts Tagged ‘WikiLeaks’

WikiLeaks Clamps Down on Leakers

Posted: May 11, 2011 in WikiLeaks

Not kidding… Check out this report from Wired:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange now makes his associates sign a draconian nondisclosure agreement that, among other things, asserts that the organization’s huge trove of leaked material is “solely the property of WikiLeaks,” according to a report Wednesday.

“You accept and agree that the information disclosed, or to be disclosed to you pursuant to this agreement is, by its nature, valuable proprietary commercial information,” the agreement reads, “the misuse or unauthorized disclosure of which would be likely to cause us considerable damage.”

The confidentiality agreement (.pdf), revealed by the New Statesman, imposes a penalty of 12 million British pounds– nearly $20 million — on anyone responsible for a significant leak of the organization’s unpublished material. The figure is based on a “typical open-market valuation” of WikiLeaks’ collection, the agreement claims.

Does anybody working at WikiLeaks even have $20 million that they can be sued for?

Julian Assange has written an essay for the New Statesman newspaper, which is previewed here:

In an exclusive essay for the New Statesman, the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, argues that WikiLeaks is a return to the days of the once popular radical press. He also discusses why the New York Times dislikes the whistle-blowing website, and reveals the biggest threat to WikiLeaks today.

“WikiLeaks is part of an honourable tradition that expands the scope of freedom by trying to lay ‘all the mysteries and secrets of government’ before the public,” writes Assange, who compares WikiLeaks to the pamphleteers of the English Civil War and the radical press of the early twentieth century. “We are, in a sense, a pure expression of what the media should be: an intelligence agency of the people, casting pearls before swine.”

WikiLeaks, however, has other problems, writes Assange: “How do we deal with an extrajudicial financial blockade by Bank of America, Visa (including Visa Europe, registered in London), MasterCard, PayPal, Western Union, the Swiss PostFinance, Moneybookers and other finance companies, all keen to curry favour with Washington?”

The WikiLeaks Model

Posted: April 1, 2011 in WikiLeaks

In all the controversy about Wikileaks, a story that has been overlooked is how they have created a new model for disseminating information, and how others have taken that model and given it their own twist.

Start with UniLeaks, which focuses on receiving and publishing materials from higher education.

Then check out AnonLeaks, which hacked into the private email accounts of four employees of cybersecurity firm HB Gary and published thousands of emails.

And finally, check out PornWikiLeaks, which posted the real names, dates of birth, and HIV status of thousands of porn stars. The information came from a database from a California health clinic that does most of the STD testing in the porn industry. Read Gawker’s reports on this subject here and here.

The bottom line is that while WikiLeaks was designed specifically to reveal government secrets, their model has been applied for purposes which even they probably couldn’t have anticipated. As the PornWikiLeaks case especially shows, this has all kinds of potential recriminations for invasion of privacy issues, even for private medical information which is normally not in the public domain. Who and what WikiLeaks inspires in the months and years ahead may well be as interesting and as important as their next document dump.