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WikiLeaks Tests Donation Pop-Ups For Leaked Material

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the warning-do-not-approach-trial-balloon dept.

Businesses 67

WikiLeaks has for years relied on donated time and money to publish the scoops that it has; now, concealment writes "As of Wednesday night, the secret-spilling site now shows a 'paywall' to any visitor who clicks on one of its leaked documents, including the 13,374 emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor that it published earlier in the day along with the teaser that the messages regarded presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The pop-up message that blocks access to the site's content shows a video parodying Barack Obama's stump speeches and asking visitors to instead 'vote for WikiLeaks' by making a donation to the site or buying its promotional gear like tote bags and hoodies."

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67 comments

It will take workers revolution (-1, Offtopic)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 2 years ago | (#41619385)

Cheese googole cheese caper potato dr RUG

Wikileaks is doing a great service but only when the workers smash the rule of the bourgeoisie and take power will we uncover all the bloody secrets of the imperialist thieves and mass murderers.

Cheese googole cheese caper potato dr elboew

Laura, I love you more than ever!

Re:It will take workers revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41619457)

It's so cute you believe stuff like that.

Screw that... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 2 years ago | (#41619709)

If I'm going to donate to any such site, it's gonna be to Cryptome [cryptome.org] , who has managed to do the gov't leaks thing since 1996.

Unlike Assange, the guy has been doing this the whole time without being an attention whore.

I mean, shit - Cryptome takes donations too, but instead of a stupid hat or t-shirt, you get a DVD with their entire site archive on it.

You know, something *useful*...

Re:Screw that... (4, Interesting)

EasyTarget (43516) | about 2 years ago | (#41620029)

of course what you don't get is any useful information..

Cryptome make a big play of 'hosting things the gvmt tries to hide', but in reality it's mostly badly rendered maps of roads running through area51, unintelligible court transcripts about topics only total paranoiacs worry about, the occasional commercially sensitive dataset, etc.. Nothing of any global note, certainly nothing nearly as useful as the consular docs or stratfor stuff.

I watched how it reacted when Wikileaks got the real scoops, and it was obvious that cryptomes owner would never actually wobble the status-quo, and seemed indignant that anybody else would, especially if infringing on 'his' territory.

My sneaking suspicion is that cryptome was/is run with the full co-operation of your military-cia-fbi-industrial overlords to provide an outlet for paranoid and the tin-foil brigade, without actually doing anything that might hold them to public account.

Re:Screw that... (1)

Zed Pobre (160035) | about 2 years ago | (#41620201)

My sneaking suspicion is that cryptome was/is run with the full co-operation of your military-cia-fbi-industrial overlords to provide an outlet for paranoid and the tin-foil brigade, without actually doing anything that might hold them to public account.

While this isn't entirely unreasonable a response, my irony meter pegged for a moment at hearing you come up with a conspiracy theory that cryptome is just run to placate people clinging to conspiracy theories.

Re:Screw that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41622433)

Insightful, mod up. Conspiracies keep military, spies, governments, contractors and their supine technoids dining on tubs of dingleberries, backbiting, infighting, bitch-slapping and plotting youth wastage.

Re:Screw that... (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#41620739)

Yeah.... Cryptome is about as edgy and 'secret revealing' as Fox News....

Re:Screw that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41622313)

Cryptome is an unintended ancestor of Fox News, most of the others bastards died. The other parent is secret but whores around Langley, VA.

Re:Screw that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41622285)

Easy Target is a generous, highly intelligent and discerning critic. Cryptome is grateful for whatever support can get without begging (for funds).

Hmmm... (-1)

kiriath (2670145) | about 2 years ago | (#41619433)

"We're all about freedom of information, but it is not necessarily free... you know how it goes..."

Re:Hmmm... (4, Insightful)

LaminatorX (410794) | about 2 years ago | (#41619459)

It's hard to pay for hosting with frozen assets.

Re:Hmmm... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41619527)

Check the blockchain for Wikileaks' bitcoin wallet. I think they'll be able to continue paying for their web hosting.

Fixer-upper: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41619465)

May be fixed thusly, if one is not partial to paywalls:

http://cryto.net/wikileaks.html

Re:Fixer-upper: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41619729)

May be fixed thusly, if one is not partial to paywalls:

http://cryto.net/wikileaks.html

What paywall at wikileaks.org? The imaginary one made of unobtainium (the bullshit element)? Just when you think slashdot shills can't sink any lower they start tunnelling.

What are they thinking?!? (4, Interesting)

jerpyro (926071) | about 2 years ago | (#41619489)

I have to wonder who at Wikileaks thought that this would be a good idea.

I suspect that the reason they're not getting as many donations as they used to is because if wikileaks got labeled an enemy of the state then people who had donated would be targets. Putting up a paywall isn't going to motivate people to take that risk.

Part of the point of wikileaks is to get maximum exposure for the information, and adding a barrier to entry is going to go against their cause.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (0, Flamebait)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 years ago | (#41619531)

Do you really have to ask who at wikileaks made this decision? Is there anyone with any power to do that other than the obvious answer? Can it be any more clear how dedicated the site is to the promotion of one individual's ego over the stated mission?

Re:What are they thinking?!? (0)

atriusofbricia (686672) | about 2 years ago | (#41619573)

Do you really have to ask who at wikileaks made this decision? Is there anyone with any power to do that other than the obvious answer? Can it be any more clear how dedicated the site is to the promotion of one individual's ego over the stated mission?

Hush you. Wikileaks can do no wrong. Neither can He Who Shall Not Be Named.

That said, yeah, you're right.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41619979)

"Neither can He Who Shall Not Be Named."

George W. Bush ?

Re:What are they thinking?!? (1)

Migraineman (632203) | about 2 years ago | (#41620355)

Wikileaks can do no wrong. Neither can SHE Who Shall Not Be Named.

FTFY. She's going to have my ass if she catches me commenting on /. again ...

Re:What are they thinking?!? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 2 years ago | (#41619585)

I think he's under some stress and may need money to build a really long tunnel.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (4, Insightful)

tobiah (308208) | about 2 years ago | (#41619681)

No kidding, Assange is playing a tight game. He stays in the news, out of jail, and relevant while challenging the very biggest dictators and criminals on Earth with little more than an internet connection.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620011)

Uh... no.

He is just pissing off SOME of them. The ones he isn't pissing off are the ones that he is running to for protection.

Had Assange actually honked off Russia, Pakistan, or China, he would have long since disappeared. However, the West is an easy target because the culture is fundamentally open. Him trying to release PLA cables would have gotten him to wake up in pieces, Larry Niven style.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (2)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#41620779)

Looking at the histories of US, Chinese, and Russian military and intellgence agencies, I would not call the 'west' and easy target in the last. There might be some differences in how the US treats its own citizens, they have a history of doing some pretty cold stuff to forign nationals, esp when there is a buisness interest involved.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#41622011)

Looking at the histories of US, Chinese, and Russian military and intellgence agencies, I would not call the 'west' and easy target in the last. There might be some differences in how the US treats its own citizens, they have a history of doing some pretty cold stuff to forign nationals, esp when there is a buisness interest involved.

Examples? Citations?

Who exactly have we "offed" for business interests?

Re:What are they thinking?!? (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#41622553)

Most of the worst offenses had to do with US importers trying to get produce and other goods out of South American countries, at least the ones I am familiar since they are old enough to have actually gotten out there. The US (military) was pretty brutal in getting rid of activists and governments that did not give advantagous trade deals to US companies.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (1)

kumanopuusan (698669) | about 2 years ago | (#41635171)

I'm not much of an America basher, but they're probably talking about things like the Banana Wars [wikipedia.org] . It's not exactly "offing" anyone in particular. This is less about CIA assassination and more about landing marines.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620049)

Julian is not relevant. Nor is he challenging anyone, let alone dictators and criminals.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (1, Informative)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | about 2 years ago | (#41619881)

I have to wonder who at Wikileaks thought that this would be a good idea.

Who rated this interesting? Did they miss the button for "sack of lying shit"?

Funny how only three people seem to have checked and noticed there is no paywall - not even in Google's cache.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620053)

Maybe the rest posted before it was taken down. The whole wikileaks/Assange campaign, including the feigned anger from the authorities, is starting to look suspiciously like a honeypot to pull people away from the more credible cryptome.org and similar sites.

I'm posting anonymously to avoid needless burning of karma for telling the uncomfortable truth about this bullshit.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (3)

jerpyro (926071) | about 2 years ago | (#41620173)

I would say that "Sack of lying shit" is a little overboard. Great job being melodramatic.
I read TFA, posted a reaction, and whether the paywall has been removed had no bearing on my posting, merely that a paywall existed at all.

So calm down, don't jump to conclusions, and stick to a productive discussion rather than being an armchair quarterback.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (1)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | about 2 years ago | (#41627675)

I would say that "Sack of lying shit" is a little overboard.

How about "wrong and recalcitrant" "dissembler", "loose with the truth", "teller of tall tales", "fantasist". You've got the wrong end of offended.

and whether the paywall has been removed had no bearing on my posting, merely that a paywall existed at all.

No paywall - ever. Weasel much (apologies to the furry kind).

don't jump to conclusions

The assertion of a paywall was made - I tested it and found it untrue. I checked that it had never been true.
Eat your own dog food

and stick to a productive discussion

Deliberately distorting the truth is what you call "constructive"? What sort of "thing" are you constructing?
paywall [google.com]
Would you like me to spoon feed you and show you how Google cache works? Or would you prefer to weasel around with "but that doesn't mean there wasn't one earlier"?

rather than being an armchair quarterback.

Words to live by. Now would be a good time to start.
and - that's not me you're describing - but it speaks volumes of you.
Hint: not a paywall, never was a paywall.

The greatest derangement is to believe something simply because you wish it to be true.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41670663)

Give us a break and shut the fuck up. The only deranged individual here is yourself. Get over yourself, quit trying to play "intelligent". You aren't convincing and you come off as a moron.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620463)

Who rated this interesting? Did they miss the button for "sack of lying shit"?

Who rated this informative? Did they miss the button for "knee jerk stupidity"?

It was there. You can still see it here [wikileaks.org] .

Just because they took it down isn't a good reason to call people a "sack of lying shit". Actually, there's no good reason to do that. Why not treat people fairly? How did it feel when I responded to you the same way? I've noticed that most name calling jerks don't take that very well.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (4, Informative)

pscottdv (676889) | about 2 years ago | (#41620539)

I clicked this link [wikileaks.org] on the front page of wikileaks.org and was immediately confronted with a paywall that matched the description in the article. That's great if you don't see a paywall where you are from, but that doesn't make those that do see it a "sack of lying shit".

Re:What are they thinking?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41623207)

That's not a pay-wall, that's a direct link to a page asking for donations. Not saying that there never was a pay wall, but giving a direct link to a donation page and then calling it a paywall is pretty strange.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41623419)

Please disregard post, I'm an idiot.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (1)

Raenex (947668) | about 2 years ago | (#41622075)

Funny how only three people seem to have checked and noticed there is no paywall - not even in Google's cache.

I just checked and noticed there is no paywall... while running NoScript. When I used a browser with JavaScript enabled, I saw the paywall popup.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (1)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | about 2 years ago | (#41627587)

Funny how only three people seem to have checked and noticed there is no paywall - not even in Google's cache.

I just checked and noticed there is no paywall... while running NoScript. When I used a browser with JavaScript enabled, I saw the paywall popup.

A paywall is when you can't proceed beyond it without paying. There is no paywall. Never was a paywall. Period.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (1)

Raenex (947668) | about 2 years ago | (#41627773)

There is/was a paywall, but it is/was very leaky. They could have made it a nagwall by saying "Click here to proceed without paying", but they didn't do that. An uninformed user going to the site would have assumed they had to pay to proceed.

Also, when you called the poster a "sack of lying shit", you said "three people seem to have checked and noticed there is no paywall - not even in Google's cache", but made no argument about semantics. Now you're moving the goalposts after having been wrong about the existence of whatever you want to call the popup that prompted the article.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41620183)

The reason they don't get donations is that their accounts were frozen.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (1)

guises (2423402) | about 2 years ago | (#41620311)

I have to wonder who at Wikileaks thought that this would be a good idea.

I don't see why this would confuse you, most newspapers are doing this nowadays. It's great when the news is free, and it would be wonderful if Wikileaks could fund itself through donations like they used to, but with the blockade set up by the payment processors they're in terrible need of money and, given that this is the approach that every other news organization is taking, this seems like the obvious route for them.

Your statement about fear of persecution is also valid, for sure, but without the banks doing what they did Wikileaks would be rolling in donations from all the publicity they had over the diplomatic cables. I don't know if they've resolved that blockade fully, but by merely delaying their ability to accept donations the banks have accomplished a great deal in suppressing Wikileaks.

Re:What are they thinking?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41622087)

I suspect that the reason they're not getting as many donations as they used to is because if wikileaks got labeled an enemy of the state then people who had donated would be targets. Putting up a paywall isn't going to motivate people to take that risk.

Yeah, no, not that
I think they have donation issues because payment portals (you know paypal, amazon, etc) have dropped them after they have unofficially declared enemy of the state (a while ago)

Can't donate if the standard donation methods are SHUT DOWN. And that was not even an official declaration, just a couple of high officials saying that wikileaks are the evilz.

From the "investing in AA cannons" Dept (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#41619743)

Does anybody else think this is a STUPID idea???

Slashdot - brought to you by Barclays and BAM? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41619797)

No paywall for anyone willing to check

For those too lazy The files supposedly hidden behind a paywall [wikileaks.org]

Re:Slashdot - brought to you by Barclays and BAM? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620071)

Were you too lazy to click on the file links? As the Forbes article indicates, you may visit the site as normal, but clicking on files will direct you to the "paywall".
Do I have any opinion on wikileaks due to this? No. We need information, from wherever it comes.

The usual problem (1)

Catbeller (118204) | about 2 years ago | (#41619871)

As always, the usual problem, always changing. After donating, we get on the USA shit list for the rest of our lives, spend quality time with the TSA at airports with laptop copying and/or confiscation, and mysterious entities investigating our friends. Employers and schools secretly inquiring about our backgrounds see security flags. Intimidation doesn't require actual actions against us. The threat alone is what causes donations and support to dry up.

Cuter ways to do it (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 2 years ago | (#41619919)

Assuming they really need the cash, and aren't just trolling for Tweets, a Wikipedia-style "Personal Appeal" would have done more wonders. Assange looks cuter than Wales.

Mole? (1)

J'raxis (248192) | about 2 years ago | (#41619993)

So whose idea was this at WikiLeaks, and which government agency was paying them to sow this kind of discord, eh?

Blockable (5, Informative)

Meneth (872868) | about 2 years ago | (#41620007)

AdBlock Plus can block the popups using these filters:

wikileaks.org###boost

wikileaks.org###entry

Re:Blockable (1)

kiriath (2670145) | about 2 years ago | (#41620075)

lol...

Pwnt

good (1)

fwtgwetyer (2749053) | about 2 years ago | (#41620139)

Well,it's very good.I quite agree with your point of view. http://www.saleukwatches.com/ [saleukwatches.com]

Information wants to be free (for a fee) (2)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41620195)

There seems to be a lot of this going around.

Pirate Party Leader Fights Illegal Downloads of Her Book [outsidethebeltway.com]

The fact is that life costs money, and we all want to do what we love as day jobs, because there isn't enough time to fully do anything else. Thus writers, musicians, artists, software writers, etc. need to get paid.

I think the idea of "information wants to be free" applies to information, not information products. The knowledge about how to play a guitar, or write code for a specific operating system, should not be kept away from those who can use it. That doesn't mean they should be entitled to free downloads of all software, music, books, etc.

Re:Information wants to be free (for a fee) (1)

RobinH (124750) | about 2 years ago | (#41620407)

That wasn't really a fair article. If you read it carefully, it was her publisher that went after the people sharing the book on the internet, not her. Why should she care anyway, she's presumably already been paid by the publisher, probably gets very little "per book sold", and the free publicity is worth more to her than the royalties. For all we know, it could have been her sharing copies for free.

Re:Information wants to be free (for a fee) (1)

devleopard (317515) | about 2 years ago | (#41621363)

In many publishing contracts, the author gets up front money that is a deposit against royalties. If the book doesn't sell enough copies, the author must return some of the money.

Mastercard Parody (1)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#41620223)

While portions of the paywall video such as the false dichotomy of left/right make sense, I do not believe that voting with a wallet is "the only thing that matters".
This version [youtube.com] seems a preferable form of advertisement. And it's not blocking any files.

Not quite a paywall (5, Informative)

arielCo (995647) | about 2 years ago | (#41620509)

More like "nag screen":

Update: WikiLeaks has confirmed that the pop-up is intentional, but pointed out via Twitter that visitors can skirt the paywall by sharing a link to the donation pop-up instead of paying, or simply waiting several minutes, as I found.

Of course, this is anathema to the "I want it for FREE and I want it NOW" crowd. My guess is that anyone with the patience to actually read through the Stratfor reports doesn't mind waiting several minutes.

Re:Not quite a paywall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41621739)

Or just temporarily disable javashit

Stratfor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620743)

Why is Wikileaks posting Stratfor emails? I never understood the Stratfor hack. They're a paid geo-politics analysis company, and anyone can have access to the stuff they write about by paying their subscription fee, which is not substantial, about $130/year or so. Yes, they also do private analysis consulting. But Anonymous and Wikileaks are making them out to be some sort of shadow government/private CIA, when in reality they're just a bunch of analysts; they're good analysts and they have good contacts and data, but anyone can get their analyses with a paid fee. Can anyone explain this to me?

Re:Stratfor (1)

john.r.strohm (586791) | about 2 years ago | (#41621267)

Stratfor annual subscription is US$349/year, according to their website as of a few minutes ago.

I think that's about 3.5x what I used to pay for my Av Leak subscription, which I dropped a long time ago.

Re:Stratfor (1)

Fned (43219) | about 2 years ago | (#41621649)

They're a paid geo-politics analysis company, and anyone can have access to the stuff they write about by paying their subscription fee, which is not substantial, about $130/year or so.

I looked and looked and I couldn't find a subscription package that gave access to their internal emails.

Re:Stratfor (1)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#41622931)

Trapwire [publicintelligence.net] -- It wasn't something many people knew about until the Stratfor leaks

Kudos to those who spidered the site previously (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41621073)

That's forward thinking. I did because there's a fair bit on there concerning English Family Law.

Direct link to video (1)

michaelwigle (822387) | about 2 years ago | (#41622891)

Here's a direct link to the video on Youtube [youtube.com] .

Is this criminal inducement? (1)

wilson_c (322811) | about 2 years ago | (#41624869)

Are there any lawyers who can comment on whether offering money might constitute inducement to criminal behavior? It seems like that might implicate in WikiLeaks in criminal behavior when simply taking receipt of sensitive information does not.

Re:Is this criminal inducement? (1)

wilson_c (322811) | about 2 years ago | (#41624893)

Nevermind. I completely misread the story. My question isn't at all relevant. Next time I'll RTFA closely.

No US organization stands up for WikiLeaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41628805)

Not really related to the paywall, but I found it very interesting that WikiLeaks still don't have a single organization in the US that will accept donations on their behalf.

They can accept donations in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

I really hope this is not because of a chilling effect in the US. That would really be a tragedy for freedom in the US.

http://shop.wikileaks.org/donate#dcheque

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