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Wikileaks Suspends Publishing Of Cables Due To "Financial Blockade"

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the gotta-pay-for-dem-oracle-licenses-somehow dept.

Politics 316

lee1 writes "Wikileaks has had to cease publishing classified files due to what the organization calls a 'blockade by US-based finance companies' that, according to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has 'destroyed 95% of our revenue.' Assange also opined that 'A handful of US finance companies cannot be allowed to decide how the whole world votes with its pocket.' According to Assange the group was taking 'pre-litigation action' against the financial blockade in Iceland, Denmark, the UK, Brussels, the United States, and Australia. They have also filed an anti-trust complaint with the European Commission."

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Wikileaks done in by its own leak (-1, Troll)

concealment (2447304) | more than 2 years ago | (#37817868)

Public opinion swung hard against Wikileaks after the accidental release of the un-redacted cables. That leak put many people in harm's way, including a lot of people trying to help overthrow oppressive regimes or criminal enterprises. If we are able to ask "who watchers the watchers?" we have to ask "who watches the watchers of the watchers?" and the answer is that, in Wikileaks' case, big problems of credibility exist.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37817944)

Given that the financial blockade was well in place before that release, the chronology of your account seems more than a trifle suspect...

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818592)

Given that the financial blockade was well in place before that release, the chronology of your account seems more than a trifle suspect...

Perhaps, but the end result is still that, with public opinion swinging against them, it's less likely some white knight will come to their rescue.

Maybe their whole idea of "piss off the companies who can do the only significant money transfers to keep us in business by leaking sensitive information about them" could have been thought out a wee bit better...

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (3, Interesting)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37817984)

Public opinion swung hard against Wikileaks after the accidental release of the un-redacted cables. That leak put many people in harm's way, including a lot of people trying to help overthrow oppressive regimes or criminal enterprises. If we are able to ask "who watchers the watchers?" we have to ask "who watches the watchers of the watchers?" and the answer is that, in Wikileaks' case, big problems of credibility exist.

And, still, his point is valid. It's not public opinion that's starving Wikileaks at the moment, it's small number of big finance companies that have cut them off. What he is asserting is that financial blockade is akin to setting up barriers at polling places - what remains to be seen is if the world will agree with him.

I suspect the majority popular vote would support Assange's assertion (financial blockade should not be used to suppress free speech), but the final decision will be against him.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818214)

Before people will be able to render an opinion, they need to also face an uncomfortable truth: That the people who control the world's money also have a non-impartial agenda which they will assert when it suits them to do so.

This isn't a "political" issue as much as it is a personal one. Note that the flow of money to Wikileaks was not inhibited until they decided to leak things about banks. That's when they started to choke Wikileaks' money flow.

After the people are made to recognize this fact, that's when they can make an opinion about whether this is good or bad.

The rulers of the world are exposing themselves through their actions. And the activities of late are showing who controls the government... hint: it's not the people.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818782)

Note that the flow of money to Wikileaks was not inhibited until they decided to leak things about banks.

Agreed. Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union == the U.S. government.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37817996)

Public opinion swung hard against Wikileaks after the accidental release of the un-redacted cables. That leak put many people in harm's way, including a lot of people trying to help overthrow oppressive regimes or criminal enterprises. If we are able to ask "who watchers the watchers?" we have to ask "who watches the watchers of the watchers?" and the answer is that, in Wikileaks' case, big problems of credibility exist.

Eh what? You affirm the info they release was accurate and that the only problem with it was that it wasn't partially censored ("redacted") to protect someone or another who's probably not so innocent themselves (gov't sponsored thugs, foreign dignitaries, informants, etc).

But what they released was true. This word "credibility" ... I don't think it means what you think it means.

Maybe you think they should have more restraint but it isn't a matter of credibility.

As for myself, I say fuck 'em. You sign up with shady organizations like the CIA or most military contractors or the Taliban or whatever, I have no sympathy when your chickens come home to roost. Next time don't associate with liars and murderers and their cloak-and-dagger bullshit and you won't be so afraid of the truth and the whole truth.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (0)

tangelogee (1486597) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818572)

Next time don't associate with liars and murderers and their cloak-and-dagger bullshit and you won't be so afraid of the truth and the whole truth.

One could argue that Wikileaks does the same thing...In order to obtain the truth from untruthful people, you will ultimately have to tell a few lies yourself. Assange is no better than the people and entities he is outing.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818800)

Next time don't associate with liars and murderers and their cloak-and-dagger bullshit and you won't be so afraid of the truth and the whole truth.

One could argue that Wikileaks does the same thing...In order to obtain the truth from untruthful people, you will ultimately have to tell a few lies yourself. Assange is no better than the people and entities he is outing.

Can you name a confirmed lie Assange has told? I do not mean that for a challenge -- I am ignorant about this and want to know if there is proof of such a thing.

And ethically .. assuming you know for sure Assange does use deception as a weapon just like those he exposes ... by turning their own machinations against them, you do not think Assange is better than those he is outing? That maybe what he does is some kind of necessary evil like government or taxes? Is he not beating them at their own game and in the process exposing what is wrong with the game and its rules? Do you view it otherwise?

The way he keeps pissing off powerful corrupt people makes me think he is part of the solution, on the side of the common man so to speak.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (0)

tangelogee (1486597) | more than 2 years ago | (#37819044)

I am not saying Assange in particular, but Wikileaks as an organization. Did they disclose the people that are leaking the information to them, such as Manning? How is that any different than a government refusing to release the sources of their information? a lie by omission is still a lie.

I would argue that Assange is not doing this so much for the good of the people, but for the good of his ego.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818160)

I've often wondered that too.....

Who does "watcher" those watchers. Who'd a thunk it?

noone (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818764)

for, these watchers are not the kind of watchers that can destroy cities like in the movie.

these are not watchers, these are observers, and talkers. and what they are talking, is what they are finding that we are specifically and nefariously prevented from finding out - what is done against us behind our backs by powerful corporations and governments.

in this filth-ridden, corrupt times, it is a dire necessity to have such a function in society. and that does not need to be 'watched', but encouraged.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818308)

I think you will find, your own public opinion has swung, and that opinion is yours alone. In all honesty the only "opinion" i have changed is that of the guardian's editors *cough* david leigh *cough* for breaking confidentiality agreements, and of course the Shit-Berg (whatshisname?). The two main culprits of the wikileaks-leak are not even part of the organization anymore, and have been reverting to childish interviews trying to smear julian and his colleagues, almost as if they are having tantrums over it.

In regards to the USG. If you have nothing to hide, then why try to hide information about it? Any harm done is the result of american politics. Wikileaks should have released the cables un-redacted in the first place.

As for the article, they have every right to go ahead and take legal action, by the looks of it they should win the case.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (5, Interesting)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818384)

Considering it was a rogue newspaper bungling the encryption key and forcing their hand so that the bad guys weren't the only ones that had access, I very much doubt the egg on Wikileaks's face was truly their own.

Someone fucked up, wikileaks got blamed for making the best of a bad situation, and some secret operative somewhere in the guardian is probably giving the agency he works for a jolly laugh of "eeeeeeeeggcellent"

Intelligence networks have been trying like clockwork to get Wikileaks shut down ever since their parent governments started getting embarrassed by the leaks.

Infiltrating a news organization and spilling an already compromised key for the sole purpose of embarrassing and discrediting wikileaks would be very useful and if that's what really happened I would not be the least bit surprised.

Oh, and if I suddenly stop posting on slashdot...feel free to get even more suspicious.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818466)

Or not, because everything you said is partisan, and your own opinion, and many of us don't see it this way.

Still, you keep asserting your world view is everyone's world view if it makes you feel better about yourself.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (4, Informative)

anagama (611277) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818492)

The other take on that is that it will probably save thousands upon thousands of lives. Thanks to Wikileaks, Obama's request for immunity from crimes for US troops was rejected and his desire to prolong the Iraq war thwarted, aided in part by release of a cable showing US war crimes.

That cable was released by WikiLeaks in May, 2011, and, as McClatchy put it at the time, "provides evidence that U.S. troops executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a 5-month-old infant, then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence, during a controversial 2006 incident in the central Iraqi town of Ishaqi." The U.S. then lied and claimed the civilians were killed by the airstrike. Although this incident had been previously documented by the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the high-profile release of the cable by WikiLeaks generated substantial attention (and disgust) in Iraq, which made it politically unpalatable for the Iraqi government to grant the legal immunity the Obama adminstration was seeking. Indeed, it was widely reported at the time the cable was released that it made it much more difficult for Iraq to allow U.S. troops to remain beyond the deadline under any conditions.

In other words, whoever leaked that cable cast light on a heinous American war crime and, by doing so, likely played some significant role in thwarting an agreement between the Obama and Maliki governments to keep U.S. troops in Iraq and thus helped end this stage of the Iraq war (h/t Trevor Timm).

http://www.salon.com/2011/10/23/wikileaks_cables_and_the_iraq_war/singleton/ [salon.com]

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (0)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818710)

Out of curiosity, what is your signature referring to?

And I'm curious how I never once before heard that the cables have evidence of murdering civilians? All the previous reports I've seen state that the big evidence was the "collateral murder" video. I've watched that repeatedly, and don't see any evidence of "murder".

A reporter is seen walking with an armed group in a DMZ. Carrying weapons in there is illegal, and asking to be shot. You see the reporter with a camera. Later someone points an RPG at the helicopter. Some claim this is the camera that is seen earlier, except the reporter wasn't the one standing there, and the RPG is much larger than the camera seen earlier.

The troops in the helicopter call and ask permission to engage before engaging. A van comes onto the scene and tries to take people away. If you drive into a situation where people are being shot and aid them, you are placing yourself in the line of fire. And while the whole incident was covered by several reporters (who love reporting on deaths of reporters), none mentioned kids being in the van, which Wikileaks claims. In fact, there is zero evidence anywhere that children were in the van. And if there were, there deaths would at the very least partially be responsible for the driver who put them in harm.

When you're in warfare in which the enemy doesn't wear a uniform, and can attack from anywhere, it is hard to determine who is the enemy. But you had armed people who pointed an RPG at the helicopter, and then a group aiding them. That supposedly was definitive proof of murder. I'm just not seeing it.

If the leak had other definitive proof of murder, I'd be curious to see it.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (2)

EnergyScholar (801915) | more than 2 years ago | (#37819022)

Factual error: the US Soldier who carried one of the wounded children away (visible in long version of the video!) later identified himself and went public with this fact.

Now, a theoretical situation: You are a father, with two children in you van, in your home city, which happens to occupied by a foreign army. You come upon a scene of death and mayhem in the middle of your home city, and see a wounded man (you don't know he's a reporter) crawling from the scene. Do you A.) Drive away and not render aid, because it's too dangerous ? or B.) Decide to risk yourself and your children to render first aid to the wounded? In the event you choose B, do you think it is acceptable for the occupying army to then kill you? That's what happened ...

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37819136)

Can you provide a link to the soldier carrying kids away? Because all the news stories when the incident occurred said there were no kids.

And as a parent, I wouldn't endanger the lives of my kids to aid a stranger.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (1)

ladoga (931420) | more than 2 years ago | (#37819162)

Later someone points an RPG at the helicopter. Some claim this is the camera that is seen earlier, except the reporter wasn't the one standing there, and the RPG is much larger than the camera seen earlier.

The lens pointed at helicopter around the corner looks like Canon 500mm F4. Google it out if you can't tell the differrence between RPG and Canons gray/white professional lenses. (Hint: RPGs are thin, long and have very distinctive conical shaped charge at the end)

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (-1, Troll)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818584)

It was so accidental that Assange said in an interview that if people wanted names redacted, then they needed to give him more money. And it was so accidental that Amnesty International blasted Assange for repeated leaks where he didn't redact civilian volunteer names, leading to civilian volunteers coming under death threats.

Amnesty International calls out government corruption and human rights violations. They don't demand money from people. They act with good conscience. Assange operates with zero transparency. He has been saying for at least a year that he is sitting on tons of documents tied to Bank of America and the financial collapse, but won't release them unless you give him more money.

Let's stop treating Assange like a hero. If you just want to support the ideals of calling out government abuse, then support institutions like Amnesty International.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (2, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818812)

Amnesty International blasted Assange for repeated leaks where he didn't redact civilian volunteer names, leading to civilian volunteers coming under death threats.

THAT NEVER HAPPENED

WikiLeaks won Amnesty International 2009 Media Award. That's what the organization thinks of the other organization. What did happen, and you're misremembering it the way t was designed to be misremembered, is that one individual that worked for AI made a comment blasting Assange. That individual did not represent the organization. And the death threats were the same hypothetical threats that were U.S. official FUD all along, nothing real.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (4, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818884)

Except it did.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703428604575419580947722558.html?KEYWORDS=julian+assange+rights+groups [wsj.com]

Amnesty International went after Assange in 2010, a year after that award when they learned how he put civilians in danger. And yet in every interview on the matter, Assange insists he did nothing wrong. In this article, he blasts others for being lazy, when he was the lazy one who didn't bother redacting names. And if you bother taking two seconds to Google such matters, you'll find several quotes where he says he won't redact civilian names unless people give him $200,000.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (1, Insightful)

EnergyScholar (801915) | more than 2 years ago | (#37819046)

Agreed, that never happened. Poster was repeating a Fox News falsehood.

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (5, Informative)

EnergyScholar (801915) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818600)

This author must dispute two statements of fact in the above post:

  • Incorrect statement one: "That leak put many people in harm's way, including a lot of people trying to help overthrow oppressive regimes or criminal enterprises." On what basis do you make that claim, besdies the fact that Fox news repeated it a lot? The un-redacted cables had already been widely distributed between five different journalistic outlets. This means, of course, that various intelligence agencies had also got hold of them. Thus, anyone with Intelligence Community (IC) connections, which includes large criminal organizations, ALREADY able to get to the un-redacted cables. When the un-redacted cables were generally released this only allowed regular people with no IC connections to ALSO look at them. As an example, if you were an Afghani feeding intelligence about the Taliban to the US government, and you happened to be mentioned in a Cable, you had no way to determine whether or not your name was mentioned, because you could only see the redacted cables, even though the Pakistani Intelligence Agencies, which has been thoroughly infiltrated by the Taliban, DOES have access to the cables. The release of the un-redacted cables allows you to see that you are, or are not, mentioned in the cables, and take appropriate action. The un-redacted were ALREADY available to all the big players.
  • What big problems of credibility exist? Has Wikileaks ever lied, or provided demonstrably false information? On what basis do you make that assertion, besides hearing it on Fox news? Sounds to me like you are parroting Fox News ...

FYI: the un-redacted cable release came from a confluence of several events:

  1. Wikileaks posted an original, encrypted version of the cable on the wikileaks site and pointed a Guardian reporter at it
  2. Wikileaks privately told the Guardian reporter the secret password to decrypt the file
  3. Someone else grabbed a copy of the encrypted file and it floated around on the 'net
  4. The Guardian published the secret password in a book
  5. The combination of the encrypted un-redacted cables file, and the guardian-published key, allowed anyone to get the entire set of cables

Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (1, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818956)

Has Wikileaks ever lied, or provided demonstrably false information?

Yes, they posted a video that was clearly manipulated to the point of not even being close to 'the truth'. I know, I saw both the full version and the edited version, there is no mistake.

The video showed they have an agenda and they'll manipulate facts into lies in order to further their agenda. From that point on, everything else they do and have done is tainted. If you're too stupid to start thinking for yourself, nothing we can do about that, but we're still going to point out that your a moron.

Media Campaign (1)

mrops (927562) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818698)

Seems the Media campaign against got to you, puppet!

what public opinion ? (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818736)

Probably only those who are in usa ? i dont see public opinion swinging against them anywhere in europe, or middle east, china or japan ...

The world is recoiling from centralization (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37817876)

Since all the major credit card companies are based in the United States, they are free to push their national interests through financial attacks. Let's not forget the numerous and notorious failures of Paypal. There is a slow but steady drive to decentralize everything that has become concentrated enough to control these aspects of our lives.

Re:The world is recoiling from centralization (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818034)

Both credit card companies and Palpal are criminals, peddling cards to freshmen on school companies, freezing accounts out of purely political motivation, etc. They should just keep things simple and use Bitcoin - its exchange rate may have declined over time but that doesn't matter if you stay within the currency. It is simple to use and has become immensely popular.

Re:The world is recoiling from centralization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818318)

Agreed!:

a.) There should be legislation against peddling credit cards to freshmen on school campuses. This is simple irresponsible - kids should learn that they can't spend money they don't have.

b.) Yes, Bitcoin is awesome! Now people finally start treating it not as a vehicle for speculation anymore but are actually using it to buy things. I use quite often now and got some excellent deals on various goods. For buying/selling things on craigslist it seems to become also very popular. Also, I'd assume that a good number of those who want to donate to Wikileaks are already familiar with Bitcoin.

Re:The world is recoiling from centralization (2)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818514)

As far as I'm concerned bitcoin has been swamped by hackers and techies that swooped in after the feds swooped out.

I trust my bank only because the FDIC and FED are watching it like a hawk. I know human nature.

But I would not trust a bitcoin bank, because as far as being regulated goes it's about as trustworthy as a corporation in EVE Online.

When bitcoins can be protected just as effectively as real cash, give me a call.

Re:The world is recoiling from centralization (2)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818626)

"I trust my bank only because the FDIC and FED are watching it like a hawk."

That's going to do nothing with over 70 trillion in toxic assets being moved by banks into FDIC-backed stuff.

Your account is about to become non-existent once those banks default on all those toxic assets. You won't even have a place to stand in line to get a few paltry dollars - the banks get first dibs on payback.

Which means you need to pull your money out now.

Re:The world is recoiling from centralization (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818886)

Even if I were inclined to pull my money out where would I put it?

Re:The world is recoiling from centralization (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818096)

The solution to all of this is very simple, but sadly the general population, and many of the journalists who are paid to corral their thoughts, is even more simple. If half of all the people who follow the Wikileaks account adopted Bitcoin, even to the level of five dollars, and then sent that five dollars to them, the problem of banks, PayPal, credit cards and other organizations blocking the flow of money to them would disappear.

Instead, you have people who line up to say that the dollar is money, that Bitcoin is crashing, etc etc, all the while ignoring the fact that the power to spend is being consolidated into the hands of a small number of companies that can and will cut you off from the world for no reason other than that they receive a phone call, or that you buy and sell laptops.

Until people decide that enough is enough, understand what money is and how money services like Bitcoin need to work, i.e. without any interference from the State whatsoever, this stifling situation is going to get worse and worse until you cannot spend a penny without the consent and knowledge of the state.

Hmmm that sounds familiar doesn't it?

Re:The world is recoiling from centralization (1)

beltsbear (2489652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818254)

I just did two bitcoins to them. Let's see if Visa, MC, Paypal can stop that! They seriously need to let out those B of A leaks, those are the ones that I want to see.

Re:The world is recoiling from centralization (1)

Truekaiser (724672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818854)

When that one person left to form openleaks he deleted them off wiki-leaks servers.

BoA Leaks (5, Interesting)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37817896)

Publish them already. I simply cannot believe that in all of the Wikileaks organization, not a single copy or backup had been made. There's got to be something, especially with a bundle of files so damaging that they managed to turn one of your own against you. I just can't handle the idea of that level of competence in a modern internet organization tasked with anonymizing its sources. It's too scary.

Re:BoA Leaks (3, Insightful)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818268)

Mod parent up - Now is the time to publish any and all of the leaks they have on financial institutions. Fight back!

Re:BoA Leaks (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818946)

Mod parent up - Now is the time to publish any and all of the leaks they have on financial institutions. Fight back!

He can't. His stash of information is like a gun with one bullet. He can shoot, but if he doesn't kill his enemy dead then he's finished--and he's facing multiple enemies. So he's dangerous only as long as he doesn't pull the trigger and I seriously doubt that he's got any information that could neutralize his opponents. Embarrass, yes; neutralize, no. But then the banks would just be even more pissed off and, with no fear of further embarassment, would strangle him and Wikileaks financially until he's homeless and living under a bridge (or in jail). So he's in a very poor strategic position and won't be getting out of it unless he can find some major ally who will come to his defense. And he's pissed off just about everyone with enough power to really help him.

No, they've got Assange right where they want him. He's isolated, effectively muzzled, trapped in a corner, and the financial institutions can wait him out indefinitely without ever facing any serious negative backlash.

It is not so simple (5, Insightful)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818650)

The corporate media and the fickle public will NEVER digest a huge leak -- it has to be slowly leaked out over time so if we hear anything we hear the SAME bit of leak information at the same time everywhere and not too much that it gets skipped over.

If you dump it all out on a friday, you'll only hear about some diplomat screwing some presidents wife for the next few weeks and maybe a couple things the station doesn't mind reporting. Then the whole thing dies down and they don't talk about the rest of it anymore. Something like that happens all the time; especially on friday media dumps. (most people don't read the paper; tv, radio are not watched friday night or much on the weekend either.)

Re:It is not so simple (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37819004)

So basically what you're saying is they have to manipulate it into something other than what it is for people to care?

Re:BoA Leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818688)

Backup policy changes somewhat when the data in question turns every machine it touches into a felony.

Re:BoA Leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37819024)

There is a trade off between making information widely available within your organization so you don't lose information, and then restricting information within your information as tightly as possible so you don't have leaks. If Wikileaks is losing information, that indicates that they are more serious about protecting their sources than they are about not losing information. Doesn't sound like a bad decision to me.

$3.5 million? (5, Insightful)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37817902)

Reuters:

WikiLeaks would need $3.5 mln over the next 12 months to maintain its current levels of operations, he said.

Either they've signed up for the world's most expensive hosting plan, or Assange and his friends are running up quite a nightclub tab.

Re:$3.5 million? (4, Insightful)

JTsyo (1338447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818062)

yea, if they can't keep the site going might as well just release a torrent.

Re:$3.5 million? (2)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818110)

I don't know, that'd be about 80-odd people at $40k. It's not impossible to think he has a small workforce and overheads to run an office or something similar. $3.5M really isn't that much money if you have a few employees too.

Re:$3.5 million? (2)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818422)

$3.5 million is a lot of money if you live in your mom's basement and pay no rent.

Re:$3.5 million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818862)

I doubt he is in his moms basement....

Re:$3.5 million? (3, Interesting)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818828)

I'd bet the staff is more like 4 lawyers at 800k and 2 employees working pro bono.

Re:$3.5 million? (4, Insightful)

tangelogee (1486597) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818944)

Funny how that's not open to the public. Why don't they practice what they preach, and let everyone see everything about Wikileaks?

Re:$3.5 million? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818280)

I'm fairly certain the bulk of expenses would be related to legal fees

Re:$3.5 million? (2)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818576)

It's not cheap hosting a site so politically incorrect that every government and corporation with its reputation on the line will fight by fair or foul to get it shut down.

Re:$3.5 million? (2)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37819026)

Except for a few government parties that are willing to host it free of charge for you ...

If you can't beat 'em, starve 'em (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37817906)

With the U.S. government now controlling all the major credit card companies and banks, I guess they really are the world emperors and overlords. And I, for one, would like to welcome our new Yank overlords.

Re:If you can't beat 'em, starve 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818016)

What financial institution would EVER support a group like this????

Re:If you can't beat 'em, starve 'em (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818078)

Would you rather have the UN control it all? You fucking statist imbecile.

Re:If you can't beat 'em, starve 'em (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818208)

False dichotomy. It does not have to be all or nothing.

Re:If you can't beat 'em, starve 'em (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818578)

It does if a powerful government with guns that wants to fight over it says it does.

There's a reason you don't piss off 800 pound gorillas you know.

Re:If you can't beat 'em, starve 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818288)

to be AC 3...

1. the finacial institutions don't have to support wikileaks... they just have to do their job in a legal manner. unwarranted financial blockade is illegal. but then i'm sure there are those who would be happy not to receive their paychecks SOLELY because the bank decideds it doesn't like you. get real.

2. if the US is to controll it all you better be sure i'd rather the UN did. or, you know, we could just keep political issues in the political realm and financial issues in the finanicial realm and not fuck everything up... i guess i should call you an imbecile now...

Re:If you can't beat 'em, starve 'em (4, Insightful)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818668)

I thought it was the corporations that control the government? I guess we can switch narratives whenever it's convenient.

Re:If you can't beat 'em, starve 'em (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818870)

I think it mostly is. But that isn't to say that the corporations don't sometimes cooperate with the government.

Re:If you can't beat 'em, starve 'em (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818950)

I've also heard many times that the Chinese now own all our major banks or some such.

As always, the truth lies somewhere in between the extremes...

Re:If you can't beat 'em, starve 'em (0)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818848)

You having a lysdexic moment?

The bullies win (0)

kentrel (526003) | more than 2 years ago | (#37817928)

For now. Speech is only free as in beer, where the beer is made from hops grown on Pandora.

Finance companies shouldn't run the media (5, Interesting)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#37817946)

It's weird that the financial companies can control the media in such a way.

I thought that credit card companies had some legal obligation to transfer money from A to B, unless the money was actually criminal money? But last time I checked, Assange was accused (not convicted) of rape. And the Wikileaks organization as a whole wasn't accused of anything in a legal court. Or am I missing something?

Re:Finance companies shouldn't run the media (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818130)

I thought that credit card companies had some legal obligation to transfer money from A to B, unless the money was actually criminal money? But last time I checked, Assange was accused (not convicted) of rape. And the Wikileaks organization as a whole wasn't accused of anything in a legal court. Or am I missing something?

Yeah, you're missing the part where the corporations have an obligation to transfer money to lawmakers for the sake of "national security".

Finance companies control legislation. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818408)

When a powerful multinational corporation does something that's not legal, it will be made legal afterwards.

Example #1: Citibank bought Travelers, knowingly violating the Glass-Steagal act. Result, Glass-Steagal was repealed (Joe Biden voting against, oddly enough) with the current, totally predictable results.

Example #2: Telcos performed warrantless wiretaps for the Bush administration without proper authorization. They (hilariously) claimed to be doing so out of patriotism, but when the FBI missed a billing cycle the telcos suddenly stopped having this vaunted "patriotism" that somehow justified trampling US laws. Result, congress granted telcos immunity from prosecution (both McCain and Obama rushing back to DC from the campaign trail to cast votes in favor).

They do what they want, and then they buy enough government to make it legal. The only time there is any issue is when two zaibatsus have conflicting goals - the people don't matter any more, which is what OWS is about.

Re:Finance companies shouldn't run the media (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818284)

It is weird. What is stopping Wikileaks from publishing? All it takes is an Internet connection somewhere.

This isn't about principle or money. It's about Assange fighting for the Wikileaks brand name.

Re:Finance companies shouldn't run the media (4, Insightful)

HereIAmJH (1319621) | more than 2 years ago | (#37819122)

This isn't about principle or money. It's about Assange fighting for the Wikileaks brand name.

No, it's about money. It's Assange saying "if you want to see the leaked documents from xxxx, I need my pound of flesh." It's how they do fund raising.

If it was about getting the information to the public, they'd simply post a torrent. If it was about Wikileaks getting credit they could just put banner files in the archives like the warez groups do. But that doesn't give Assange money to fly around the world or support his agendas.

This is Assange promoting Assange.

Brussels is not a country (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37817964)

FYI

not yet (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37817970)

I have got an impression that Wikileaks haven't reach yet the status of al-Qa'ida, Taliban or al-Shabaab, but they pretty close to that in the ranks of Iran and Syria.

If I were Julian I would keep my movements to heavily populated areas avoiding shires of England.

F Wiki Leaks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37817972)

I don't support wikileaks but what's stopping them from publishing what they have? SO much for information being free. It's free as long as they get their pockets lined. F wiki leaks!

They published too much (2)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818010)

The original goal of Wikileaks was to publish documents where secrecy were misused to hide criminal acts. By releasing everything indiscriminately they took upon themselves a load they can not bear.

Wait a second.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818048)

You threaten to publish the secret, evil, nefarious ways of financial institutions, claim to have a hard drive full of incriminating information, and now these same financial institutions now won't deal with you?

Why... I never. How demonic indeed!

mod parent UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818232)

How I wish I had mod points...

Re:Wait a second.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818520)

They might not be the same financial institutions. I suspect far more it's government pressure.

Re:Wait a second.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818560)

So ...
You threaten to publish the secret, evil, nefarious ways of gov institutions, claim to have a hard drive full of incriminating information, and now these same gov institutions now won't deal with you?

Why... I never. How demonic indeed!

Re:Wait a second.... (1, Insightful)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818542)

A few points here.
- One) Yes you're right. Why should they deal with him?!?!
- Two) I'm worried that secret, evil, nefarious people are in control. If only we had a way to undermine them and make it a better world.
- Three) Why are there no NON-secret, evil, nefarious people in power that he can turn to?

Re:Wait a second.... (4, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818680)

The 'financial blockade' predates the threat to publish stuff about Bank of America. When the leaks about Iraq were published, the US government, with Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) leading the way, worked with PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, and other financial institutions to cut off funding that went through any US-based corporation.

Note that Wikileaks had not (and still hasn't) done anything illegal in the United States: Publishing classified information that was handed to you is protected under the First Amendment, as decided in the Pentagon Papers case.

Re:Wait a second.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37819116)

Your argument is factually correct and fundamentally flawed.

The banks did not bite the hand that feeds them, and wikileaks did.

Re:Wait a second.... (2, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37819146)

Note that Wikileaks had not (and still hasn't) done anything illegal in the United States

Well, good for them that legality is all that matters and public opinion has nothing to do with it.

Their behavior is what fucked them over, not any government. They made it clear they wanted attention and money, not to show the injustices done in the world. What they are doing is nothing like the Pentagon Papers.

this is how the market works (1)

tizan (925212) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818170)

No ?
The market has no want for truth ...thus not financed !

Re:this is how the market works (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818354)

are you retarded?

not a free market however (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818388)

The governments pressured the bank cards not to transfer funds. In the modern age you cant run an internet enterprise on physical cash.

BTC? Stamps? Gift Cards? (3, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818272)

Take bitcoins to transfer cash. Doesn't seem overly complicated. I can turn $50 into BTC without much time or effort, send it to them, and they can turn it into euros or whatever they need with little effort.
Don't they have a postal mail address where they can accept innumerable forms of psuedo-currency like gift cards, postal stamps, etc?
Handling $3.5 million might be a bit labor intensive, maybe they need a slightly smaller budget?

Re:BTC? Stamps? Gift Cards? (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818414)

I think this may be the first relevant BitCoin post I've seen here.

Re:BTC? Stamps? Gift Cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818494)

Yes, you can turn $50 into BTC today, and on Wednesday they can easily cash it in for $25 :)

Re:BTC? Stamps? Gift Cards? (2)

elewton (1743958) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818816)

That's why anyone using Bitcoin seriously at the moment should use an exchange to instant sell their Coins for a more stable currency, and buy Bitcoins only exactly when they want to transfer them.

Holding Bitcoins is for speculators.

Re:BTC? Stamps? Gift Cards? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#37819100)

Given that there is a $5000/day limit on the Bitcoin exchange, I don't think that's going to be a viable way to launder the money. The whole point of that limit is to prevent people from moving money too fast and showing people the inevitable crash (and why it's crashing veeerrry sloooowly) so the early "investors" get a steady paycheck until the money runs out. If Assange were to try to use it, he would end up losing a fairly hefty percentage of every dollar/euro/pound he put in it due to the constant downward pressure on the coin and the overhead from the various middlemen all trying to prop up their own bank accounts.

Easy solution (1, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818532)

Pay 'em in Bitcoins.

Torrents? (2)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818594)

Isn't that pretty much free?

Quite. This is how politics is shaped. (1, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818712)

A handful of companies can make sure that you get the media attention, or not. a handful of other companies can decide whether you get the funds to be able to get the media attention, or not. So it goes.

This is why all the representative democracies on the planet are failing. Because the only ones that can be seen and elected, are those that the powerful few private interests allow people to see.

Wikileaks has been a prime example that exhibited how crooked our media/finance system, and how they are able to limit everyone's alleged liberties at their private whim - You are only as free as the size of your wallet, and then again only if you are compatible with those who would allow/bar you from using your wallet.

No one can operate at the level without allies (2, Insightful)

AmElder (1385909) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818822)

Wikileaks has taken on the two most powerful kinds of organisations in the world, the pillars of the international political system and the global marketplace. It directly damaged the interests of the government of the world most powerful sovereign state (still the USA) and made noises about hurting corporate financial institutions. That's a tall order for any organisation.

Wikileaks put itself in a particularly hard spot because it hasn't played well with others. It took an 'our way or the highway' approach to disclosure. It also released information that no one was asking for, so it didn't make allies with its disclosures. Moreover, it didn't support or enable calls for specific kinds of disclosure from existing organisation. Now it's isolated and atrophying because no one can operate at that level without allies for long.

Don't worry if they win (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37818880)

the "Conservative" SCOTUS will strike it down.

Further proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818922)

that Assange is only in it for his own interests.

i dont understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37818976)

can someone explain what this financial blockade is? I can't figure it out. I read both articles and its so vague that it doesn't make any sense. All I hear is a 'financial blockade' is hurting our donations. I am lost. What are these companies supposedly doing to prevent people from giving him money. I am lost. Are they block fund transfers? They can pay with a cashiers check.

Poor Books Sales are the actual problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37819060)

Mr Assange has become a complete spin doctor. His actual problem is that he planned to bank roll Wikileaks with the profits from his book sales, and truthfully the book isn't selling. Also, Mr Assange and the other leaders of Wikileaks believe that their would be a ground swell of donation after leaking bank records. Which also has not happened.

Mr Assange your actual problem is that your business model failed. Donations and books sales are not what you projected, and now you're attacking the banks for freezing your assets (approximately 100,000 Euros in total), and PayPal for canceling your PayPal account for "violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity." This is due to PayPal not wanting to be indited on United States RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1961) changes.This has nothing to due with the banks, but the illegal activity that Wikileaks promotes.

So, are Wikileaks admitting defeat or greed? (5, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#37819096)

The Man cut the money hose to stop us leaking, so we'll show him... why, by golly, we'll not leak anything until we get more money in our pockets.

Yes, well done, very convincing.

Action (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 2 years ago | (#37819152)

According to Assange the group was taking 'pre-litigation action'....

We call that voting with your money. Perfectly moral and legal.
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