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I don’t like to admit this, but if you are like me and don’t watch the news or pay attention to anything not related to your own life, then you know little-to-nothing about the infamous Wikileaks scandal!

WikiLeaks logo

Wired.com

Let’s quickly break it down into what it is, why it’s in the news and what you need to know in order to be informed!

What is Wikileaks?

According to several sources, Wikileaks is a “whistle-blowing website that features sensitive/classified/secret government/news information not readily available to the public.”

The Swedish-based site came out in 2006 and has been involved in scandal basically from the start. The site attempts to protect its contributors by keeping them anonymous.

With it’s mission statement being its “…exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East…” (voanews.com), it is no wonder it is causing such a stir.

Straight from the horses mouth:

WikiLeaks is a non-profit media organization dedicated to bringing important news and information to the public. We provide an innovative, secure and anonymous way for independent sources around the world to leak information to our journalists. We publish material of ethical, political and historical significance while keeping the identity of our sources anonymous, thus providing a universal way for the revealing of suppressed and censored injustices.

Why is it in the News?

Every year since its inception, this website has been in the news ruffling feathers amongst governments and officials alike.

Aside from leaking information over the years such as video footage from Iraq, confidential articles from the Afghan Diary documenting the war, and 400,000 documents called the Iraq War Logs, the site “recently exposed some 250,000 cables which reveal secret diplomatic backroom plans and frank assessments of world leaders.” (mamamia.com.au).

Who is Julian Assange?

He is the founder of Wikileaks. He is an Australian reformed computer-hacker.

What Now:

Julian Assange was arrested in Britain and charged with “sexually assaulting two women” which he claims to be a campaign against him and Wikileaks to try and stop him from posting classified information.

Insurance Policy

He claims to have an “insurance policy,” which he uploaded to the site in July as a backup plan in case anything were to happen to him or the site. He claims the information to be a “nuclear option,” containing “key parts” of secret US government cables (csmonitor.com).

OTHER FACTS:

– Wikileaks is NOT related to Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation.

– The site has never revealed any of its sources.

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