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Holmgren, Jay


    WikiLeaks.org is an information sharing website, "founded by Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and start-up company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa" for the purpose of keeping companies and governments open. According to The NewYorker the idea for WikiLeaks started when a computer programmer activist noticed his server he owned that hosted secret transmissions that were being intercepted by the Chinese government and the activist decided to out the Chinese for doing this. The orignal target of WikiLeaks was reported to be former Soviet Bloc countries and opressive regimes in Asian and Africa. Thus far it seems that the majority of the over 1.2 million documents released pertain to the United States of America and their allies.
        WikiLeaks.org has been in the news much of late. Whether it is good or bad is the subject of much debate and most likely has no correct answer. What is behind WikiLeaks is the technology that has made public acess to information this past decade eaiser than ever. With the advent of online information sharing and databases, the ability to post sensitive material anonamously has increased immeasurably. This has led to much controversy as many of the items posted on WikiLeaks have been obtained illegally. The controversy is that while the material was obtained illegally, the reposting of that material once obtained is legal in most countries. 
        WikiLeaks started as a Wiki based site which allows users to add and edit material on the site. WikiLeaks states that all of the information on their site is verified and does not allow unverified information to be published. Because of the volume and amount of traffic to the site, as of December 2010, WikiLeaks is no longer based on a Wiki platform. The site acts as a sort of database becuase you can go on and seach for different articles or files that have been leaked and use different filters or parameters. Despite its popularity and media attention, the main WikiLeaks site is currently offline primerily because of the volume of attacks on the site. The site has also been struggling to find permenent host servers and funding issues. 
         Many countries governments have been moving to censor WikiLeak so that their private citizens cannot access the site. This is made incredibly difficult because the site has gained a following from many technologically savy people who have set up a few hundred mirror sites. Thes

WikiLeaks Afgan War Release

e make blocking access to the information on WikiLeaks nearly impossible. Several governments are also currently building criminal cases against the WikiLeaks founders. A complete list of mirror sites is available here. Currently the U.S. Justice Department is considering prosecuting WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, who currently has some problems of his own stemming from rape allegations. The U.S. has also issued a memo forbidding government employees from accessing the site. 
 WikiLeaks has further ensured its exhistance by running on dozens of servers worldwide in countries that have strict whistle-blower laws and freedom of information laws. What started as an information sharing website has now grown into a battle of information rights and privacy issues. In America, many believe that the government is attempting to take away peoples First Amendment right.