Anonymous declares war on Wikileaks

Anonymous declares war on Wikileaks

Summary: Hacktivist collective Anonymous has withdrawn support for whistleblower site Wikileaks.

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TOPICS: Security
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anonymous threatens wikileaks paywall

In its latest attempt to gain funding, Wikileaks has erected a paywall for users who wish to access the Global Information files. Hacktivist group Anonymous does not approve.

The whistleblower website, a proverbial dumping ground for classified documents from the U.S. and beyond, has been in financial trouble for some time. The controversial nature of the site has resulted in both Mastercard and Visa withdrawing payment support, as well as a stop placed on donations sent via PayPal.

In 2010, the loose hacktivist collective sprung to the site's defense when the payment parties barred Wikileaks. Those days may now be long past.

What's the issue? A paywall -- coding that prevents an online user from accessing a website or service without paying for it first. Implemented October 10, if you attempt to access the Global Information files, you are faced with such a system. Proudly declaring "In this election, vote with your wallet - vote Wikileaks', you are required to donate before being granted access. Interestingly, you can pay by Mastercard or Visa.

anonymous threatens wikileaks paywall

We have to keep in mind it is only this portion of the site which is behind a paywall, and not Wikileaks itself. However, Anonymous has taken issue with this step to raise money, and has released a statement in return.

After an angry exchange on Twitter between Anonymous and Wikileaks, the paywall was removed for a short period of time. However, it returned on the 11th -- prompting the hackers to retaliate, believing they have been "betrayed" by such "rabid scrounging for money". The group's statement argues that "Anonymous has been a steadfast ally of both WikiLeaks and Assange", and many Anonymous members have been charged or arrested for their support -- but no Wikileaks staff members have ever been charged or imprisoned:

"To this day, not ONE single WikiLeaks staff are charged or incarcerated. However, Anonymous has 14 indicted (facing 15 years) for online protests defending WikiLeaks - and one (Jeremy Hammond) in prison and facing 20 years for allegedly supplying the Stratfor GI Files. Not to mention the heroic Bradley Manning who now rots in Ft. Leavenworth Prison facing life.

Despite that fact, WikiLeaks has chosen to dishonor and insult Anonymous and all information activists by prostituting the Stratfor Files and other disclosures that Hammond and Manning stand accused of supplying."

Assange defended the scheme, saying that "these donations go to fund WikiLeaks' publishing and infrastructure costs and our legal costs to fight the financial blockade." In addition, Wikileaks has tweeted ways to get around the paywall -- such as disabling Javascript -- but it's not enough to satisfy its former controversial supporter.

"Regardless of any workarounds, the fact remains that a meretricious page is placed for the majority of visitors that cannot be closed. The obvious intention is to force donations in exchange for access. This is a filthy and rotten, wholly un-ethical action - and Anonymous is enraged."

The hacking collective insists it will not attack any of the Wikileaks web assets, as the site is considered a media outlet. According to the group, any future attacks on the site attributed to them is a "lie", but what they can and will do is withdraw support not only for the whistleblower site, but for Julian Assange -- who is currently taking refuge in the London-based Ecuadorian embassy.

"No longer will Anonymous risk prison to defend WikiLeaks or Julian Assange from their enemies. No longer will Anonymous risk prison to supply material for WikiLeaks disclosures. Anonymous turns it's back on WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks has with it's actions this past 48 hours betrayed Anonymous, and thus has lost it's biggest and most powerful supporter."

Image credit: ZDNet/Charlie Osborne/ People's Liberation Front

Topic: Security

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21 comments
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  • Copy/paste fail

    Hey, you've lifted this article wholesale - word for word - from The Drum.

    So I'm gonna copy/paste my comment under that article here too. Here it is:

    This is a very untruthful article. Payment is NOT mandatory, people can simply tweet or Facebook the campaign page to get round the pop-up page, or simply wait a while until it disappears. Wikileaks tweeted this within a couple of hours of the "row":

    A tweet, share, wait or donate campaign is not a "paywall". You can read about our blockade and funding systems here: http://shop.wikileaks.org/donate

    If the "journalist" writing this article couldn't even find that, perhaps they need to go back to journalism sckool.
    Mariko48
    • meep

      Care to link to the page that was copied word for word?
      bad_horsi3
      • Yep

        I'd like to see the link also.
        Bill4
      • The Drum

        I did find it afterall: http://www.thedrum.com/news/2012/10/12/wikileaks-paywall-infuriates-supporters
        Bill4
    • Truth

      Mariko48 should explain what he thinks is "very untruthful". Everything in the article appears to be easily verifiable (except the original author). Mariko48 believes offering workarounds on Facebook and Tweeter corrects the morally misleading PAYWALL, which makes no mention of the fact that it is a voluntary donation.

      Also, Visa and Mastercard do NOT support this project. Wikileaks has finally found an obscure French bank as they process transactions through the European entities of Visa/Mastercard.

      Turn Wikileaks over to the community and it will never need funding again and the information there can never again be hidden from the public. Wikileaks is good, but it is owned and run by greedy capitalist who want to profit from other peoples moral actions.
      howkewlisthat
      • Truth ???????

        @howkewlisthat
        "Turn Wikileaks over to the community and it will never need funding again and the information there can never again be hidden from the public."
        We already have fox news and abc news, etc.
        kc63092@...
      • What Does A Socialist Know About "Truth", Anyway?

        "Turn Wikileaks over to the community and it will never need funding again and the information there can never again be hidden from the public. Wikileaks is good, but it is owned and run by greedy capitalist who want to profit from other peoples moral actions."

        Totalitarian twit.
        Marxist Hypocrisy 101
    • Does not look like word to word to me.

      The author quoted the article...but not word for word.
      aretaksonic
  • Copy paste fail

    Hey, you've lifted this article wholesale - word for word - from The Drum.

    So I'm gonna copy/paste my comment under that article here too. Here it is:

    This is a very untruthful article. Payment is NOT mandatory, people can simply tweet or Facebook the campaign page to get round the pop-up page, or simply wait a while until it disappears. Wikileaks tweeted this within a couple of hours of the "row":

    A tweet, share, wait or donate campaign is not a "paywall". You can read about our blockade and funding systems here: http://shop.wikileaks.org/donate

    If the "journalist" writing this article couldn't even find that, perhaps they need to go back to journalism sckool.
    Mariko48
  • credit cards can be used again

    even after the US Gov declared Wikileaks to be 'aiding' terror groups ??

    ofcourse wikileaks wants to make money, why the heck do you think it started in the first place ?? thats right, Assanage does nothing if not for the money it will make him.. same with wikileaks.. or google.
    Aussie_Troll
    • If he was in it for the money...

      ...I think he would have done things a lot differently and he would not now be residing at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

      A combination of self promotion and politics seems to be the most likely motive behind Wikileaks. Personally, I don't want to live in a glass house and don't think most other people want to either.
      John L. Ries
  • War?

    That's not the sense I got from the article. Rather, this appears to be a simple withdrawal of support.
    John L. Ries
  • "Not to mention the heroic Bradley Manning who now rots in Ft. Leavenworth"

    I don't think they know what "heroic" actually means.
    Hallowed are the Ori
    • Anonymous declares war on Wikileaks

      goodbye free speech and welcome big brother... we need your protection.

      “The government being the people's business, it necessarily follows that its operations should be at all times open to the public view. Publicity is therefore as essential to honest administration as freedom of speech is to representative government. "Equal rights to all and special privileges to none" is the maxim which should control in all departments of government.”
      "Give me liberty or give me death."
      “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself.”
      "Freedom is never free."
      “It is by the fortune of God that, in this country, we have three benefits: freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and the wisdom never to use either.”
      “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”

      So much quotations, but nobody seems to care nor understand them. I think wikileaks is doing some of them if not all of them for the democratic-loving americans who still believe in the founding fathers' legacy enshrined in the us constitution...
      kc63092@...
      • Transparency

        Transparency is one thing, but every government needs to keep some secrets so you can't just throw everything open. What would have happened if newspapers (as such) had published that George Washington was planning to cross the Delaware on Christmas Eve? How about a nice headline story in the New York Times on June 4, 1944 stating that D-Day would be on the 6th?
        boomchuck1
  • Good Move Anonymous

    Felt like I was being spammed (due to my previous donation) when I kept getting emails from Wiki-Leak with similar message to what's currently on their paywall.

    No problem with the paywall; I easily get around such BS stuff on the internet with AdBlock.
    MrElectrifyer
  • Anonymous is not at War with WikiLeaks

    Anonymous Response to the government sponsored descent betweem them http://anonukire.tumblr.com/post/33700568413/anonukire-winston-16-10-2012
    Minillulz
    • Anonymous UK and Ireland press release

      http://tmblr.co/ZX90ZvVOfLEy
      Minillulz
  • Anonymous

    They act like a bunch of children. 'Oh, you hurt my feelings! I'm going to take my ball and go home...'
    boomchuck1
  • Sigh.

    Anonymous are generally a bunch of turds. I often agree with them on the subject at hand which they have issues with, but I rarely agree with their tact at handling the situation. Normally their actions effect the general public in a negative and inconsiderate way, such as lame DDoS attacks against paypal etc.

    At the end of the day, what wikileaks decides to do is their own business. To "Declare war" just sounds as pathetic as it really is.

    Anonymous should do something useful, like phone up xfactor and vote for the talented people to win.
    Z-eu