Saturday, February 13, 2010

Recent History and Near Future of Wikileaks

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 (Wikipedia: Wikileaks).

Recently, Wikileaks has announced that it needs money before it can continue publishing leaked content, so it is asking for donations. They have raised $130,000 but need $200,000 for operational costs and another $400,000 if the staff are going to get paid.

In the near future, Wikileaks could become more powerful than it already is. First, Iceland is considering passing a collection of laws which will make it an ideal location for Wikileaks to call their home. Second, the video in the previous link has someone from Wikileaks talking about an idea for them to generate their own revenue. Instead of publishing leaked content immediately on their website, Wikileaks will sell the "first rights" to a traditional news company. This company will get to see the leak content first in order to write the first story about it. When that story is published (or maybe shortly after), Wikileaks will make the leaked content available on their website.

I think that this sounds like a great idea. It provides news outlets with good content and stories, generates revenue for Wikileaks, and maintains the confidence of whistle blowers that their identities will remain anonymous.

I would like to wish the best of luck to Wikileaks as they start this next phase.

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