Wikileaks Requests Website Visitors Donate Cash

Dennis Faas's picture

Controversial document-sharing site Wikileaks is now asking visitors for donations before they are allowed to view files. The move has reportedly angered some supporters, including the high-profile 'hacktivist' group Anonymous.

Wikileaks holds millions of leaked government and corporate documents and makes them available for public viewing.

The organization's database allegedly includes a quarter of a million diplomatic cables from US embassies. Its holdings and its use of them make Wikileaks, quite possibly, the most controversial website on the Internet right now.

Wikileaks Facing Financial Challenges

In recent months, however, the organization has attracted unwelcome attention. Most of this attention involves allegations about the personal life of its founder, Julian Assange, who has faced a lengthy diplomatic stand-off over attempts to extradite him to Sweden for trial.

The site has suffered ongoing financial problems since Mastercard, PayPal, and Visa began refusing to process payments from people trying to support Wikileaks.

Those refusals led hacktivist groups (such as Anonymous) to try and bring down those companies' websites, as a protest. Wikileaks later published documents Anonymous had obtained by hacking into a controversial security firm.

Promotional Video Blocks Documents: Pay to Remove

Hoping to raise more funds, Wikileaks has now altered its site so that attempting to view documents brings up a promotional video requesting donations.

The only ways to close the video and see the documents: donate to Wikileaks or share a link to the video on Facebook or Twitter.

Critics of this strategy argue that it completely contradicts the entire principle of the site: information should be freely available without any restrictions. According to reports, one Anonymous representative tweeted: "This, dear friends, will lose you all allies you still had. Please die in a fire."

Other website visitors who say they've risked being arrested to acquire files for Wikileaks have expressed outrage over the fact that these files are now being used to generate income. (Source:

Wikileaks says the fundraising is of critical importance and insists that, without new donations, the site cannot continue to operate.

Those upset by the video blockage have reportedly found a way to circumvent it and access Wikileaks' files directly. Reports also indicate people have begun copying documents from Wikileaks for posting elsewhere. (Source:

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