Wikileaks.org, the non-profit website run by The Sunshine Press reached a key funding milestone. The site for corporate and government whistleblowers, had to suspend operations in early January 2010 due to lack of funds. It successfully reached the milestone of gathering two-thirds of its annual operating budget last Friday (Twitter announcement) and has been relentless since.
It has reopened its submission mechanism, and in the last few days has published insider scoops on Iceland’s bank scandals, court documents from a toxic waste dumping case, and today, a potentially damaging 2008 U.S. government memo about the danger of Wikileaks.
The memo warns:
“The possibility that current employees or moles within DoD or elsewhere in the U.S. government are providing sensitive or classified information to Wikileaks.org cannot be ruled out”
That is a valid statement since someone actually leaked this memo, and then it goes on to propose:
“The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistlblowers [that] could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the Wikileaks.org Web site.”
It seems that the case of Wikileaks is illustrating how Social Media is changing the world. Privacy, censorship, libel, jurisdiction, and of course state of the media are all at play here. The State of the Media Annual Report from the Pew Research Center was also released today, and it highlighted many issues that make Wikileaks such a key player in the media and government and corporate transparency. The research showed that news media is still quite far from finding a monetization model, and users are mostly unwilling to pay for news. This would have a detrimental effect on investigative journalism.
However, it seems what Social Media takes away, it can give back with Wikileaks.
To support Wikileaks please visit their donations page.
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