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"An Uncensorable System for Mass Document Leaking" (December 2006)

Julian Assange

The Wikileaks logo

In December 2006 Julian Assange and others founded Wikileaks, a website, with no official headquarters, that published anonymous submissions and leaks of sensitive governmental, corporate, or religious documents, while attempting to preserve the anonymity and untraceability of its contributors. Within one year of its foundation the site grew to 1,200,000 documents.

"The site states that it was 'founded by Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and startup company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa". The creators of Wikileaks were unidentified as of January 2007, although it has been represented in public since January 2007 by non-anonymous speakers such as Julian Assange, who had described himself as a member of Wikileaks' advisory board and was later referred to as the 'founder of Wikileaks.' "

"Wikileaks describes itself as 'an uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking'. Wikileaks is hosted by PRQ, a Sweden-based company providing 'highly secure, no-questions-asked hosting services'. PRQ is said to have 'almost no information about its clientele and maintains few if any of its own logs'. PRQ is owned by Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij who, through their involvement in The Pirate Bay, have significant experience in withstanding legal challenges from authorities. Being hosted by PRQ makes it difficult to take Wikileaks offline. Furthermore, 'Wikileaks maintains its own servers at undisclosed locations, keeps no logs and uses military-grade encryption to protect sources and other confidential information.' Such arrangements have been called 'bulletproof hosting' (Wikipedia article on Wikileaks, accessed 11-25-2009).

"WikiLeaks was originally launched as a user-editable wiki site, but has progressively moved towards a more traditional publication model, and no longer accepts either user comments or edits. The site is available on multiple online servers and different domain names following a number of denial-of-service attacks and its severance from different Domain Name System (DNS) providers" (Wikipedia article on Wikileaks, accessed 12-08-2010).