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Wikileaks Raises Enough to Keep the Lights On

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Wikileaks, a non-profit agency that exposes government and corporate secrets by publishing documents through its web site, said on Twitter that it’s managed to raise enough money to continue operating, but not enough to pay its staff. The site suspended operations recently, saying it didn’t have enough funding to pay its expenses. It also asked for donations, claiming it required at least $200,000 just to pay its costs, and as much as $600,000 if it were to begin paying its volunteer staff. At last check, the note was still on the Wikileaks site, but the Twitter message said the minimum amount had been raised.


Wikileaks, which is run by a non-profit entity called The Sunshine Press, has been described by The Guardian as “the brown paper envelope for the digital age.” In one recent case, the service published documents relating to the Trafigura scandal in Britain, documents that a corporation involved in the scandal tried to prevent newspapers from publishing. It also recently released 500,000 pager messages relating to the 9/11 attacks in New York.

The site says it has defended itself against over 100 legal attacks to date. In 2008, a California judge forced the site to remove itself from DNS records due to a complaint by a Cayman Islands-base corporation. Although the founders of the site kept their identities secret for some time after Wikileaks was founded in 2006, it is known that they include Australian hacker Julian Assange and Australian broadcaster Phillip Adams.

The Wikileaks Twitter stream says that the organization is working on a proposal to “transform Iceland into world centre for investigative media,” in part because awareness of government corruption and incompetence has been heightened by the recent meltdown of the country’s banking industry. In the video embedded below, from the 26th Chaos Communications Congress, an annual hacker conference in Berlin, two members of Wikileaks discuss their proposal to create an information “data haven” in Iceland, or what they call a “Switzerland of bits”:

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user griegophoto.

7 Responses to “Wikileaks Raises Enough to Keep the Lights On”

  1. Wikileaks WAS NEVER a non profit organization!

    They state on their website to be a non profit organization, but as a matter of fact, it was not an organization at all, but a private business of Julian Assange. Later, Assange has incorporated a private limited company SUNSHINE PRESS PRODUCTIONS EFH in Iceland, where Julian Assange is 94% shareholder. The company is subject to corporate tax rate of 18% and is not registered as non profit organization.

    The business purpose of his WikiLeaks company, aka SUNSHINE PRESS PRODUCTIONS EHF in Icelandic reads:

    Tilgangur félagsins er framleiðsla, útgáfa og dreifing fjölmiðlaefnis, myndefnis, prentaðs máls og margmiðlunarefnis, hönnun og hýsing vefsiðna, smásala og heildsala, rekstur fasteigna og lánastarfsemi og skyldur rekstur.

    And translation in English:

    The company’s purpose is the production, editing and distribution of media content, video content, language and print media, web design and hosting industry, retailers and wholesalers, real estate and business lending and related activities.

    Full documents of the FOR PROFIT company may be found here:

    Non profit organizations are REGISTERED, DO NOT HAVE SHAREHOLDERS and provide TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTANCY.

    Wikileaks is nothing of that.

    Wikileaks lies on its website: to be non profit organization, but admits to be project of SUNSHINE PRESS PRODUCTIONS EFH, which is the number one option to receive “donations”.

    None of those donations are tax deductible, neither the world, neither Iceland. They are subject to corporata tax rate of 18% just as any other business income.

    Stealing information and selling it for profit to corrupt corporations is one thing.

    Having genuine humanitarian purpose and lawful requests for transparency is another thing. And there are so many true non profit organizations doing it right.

    Julian Assange and his Wikileaks are public scam and fraud.

    Not worth a cent.

  2. Ben Weinstein-Raun

    As an American I can attest to the fact that Americans could not care less about respect. It’s the end result of a century of perceived dominance on the world stage, and it has permeated our culture, from grade school to business. Elsewhere (with the possible exception of Australia), reverence is important, and it seems that unless we realize that importance we’ll continue to be the butt of the world’s dislike, ranging from harmless jokes to terrorism (not that terrorism is our fault; it isn’t, though had we taken a different approach toward the Middle East we might not have a problem with terrorism there), no matter how progressive and un-Bush our president is.

  3. Chuck N.

    I think you should just deal with it, the internet has been poking fun of america ever since the eurofags (lol) got online and i don’t hear anyone around here (america) whining about being disrespected.

  4. Im a citizen in Iceland and I dont think you will get very far by literally making fun of the Iceland situation at this conference – if you are not showing respect you wont get anything through here in regard to legislations. Right now this video is distributing rapidly in Reykjavik and I dont think the public is in general happy about the arrogance by these two guys – even if they got aired in Silfur Egils on sunday some months ago and they are trying to be funny at some hackers conference.