Wikileaks gets ZDNet readers' support

Wikileaks gets ZDNet readers' support

Summary: ZDNet UK readers have broadly supported Wikileaks in a poll, with a majority saying the whistleblower site is right to publish confidential documents. We present the UK results of a global poll of over 11,000 ZDNet readers

TOPICS: Government, Security

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    Over 70 percent of UK readers thought that if Wikileaks is blocked by one country, an organisation in another country should host the site.

    Wikileaks lost its domain name at the beginning of December, after DNS provider pulled its DNS services. For a short space of time, Wikileaks websites could only be accessed via numerical IP addresses, until Wikileaks moved its main site to a Swiss host. As a result of Wikileaks's difficulties, hundreds of mirror sites sprang up.

    The majority of ZDNet readers around the world consistently said that Wikileaks should remain accessible by being hosted in different countries. ZDNet Germany readers were the most supportive, with 89 percent saying Wikileaks should be accessible online, while 53 percent of ZDNet Japan readers agreed. In the US, 57 percent of readers said that Wikileaks should remain accessible.

    Organisations have come under attack from pro-Wikileaks supporters. PayPal, MasterCard and Visa have all had customer-facing sites taken offline by distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

    Only a minority of readers think that DDoS is a legitimate form of protest. In the UK, 37 percent said that DDoS is legitimate. In France, 45 percent of readers believed it is legitimate to attack sites as part of a protest, while in the US the figure is 30 percent.

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    According to our poll, most organisations are not planning to rethink their security strategies in the light of the publication of sensitive documents on Wikileaks. The US government has had a major security review since the publication of documents this summer, and the UK government is also checking its security procedures.

    In the ZDNet UK poll, only a minority of respondents — just under 19 percent — say their organisations are rethinking security in the light of Wikileaks' activities. In the US, the figure is 40 percent, while in Japan a quarter of respondents said their organisations were concerned about information security in the light of the leaks.

Topics: Government, Security

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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  • I thought the question "Do you think Wikileaks is motivated by politics?" was open to misunderstanding and ambiguity as people understand the word "politics" differently and associate either good or bad with it automatically.

    For example, if you were asking was WikiLeaks motivated by the desire for political change (i.e. more freedom and transparancy), my answer would be yes; however, if you were asking was WikiLeaks motivated by their own political bias, I'd probably say "no"; or if you were asking was WikiLeaks "[using] intrigue or strategy in obtaining any position of power or control" or "[dealing] with people in an opportunistic, manipulative, or devious way" ( I'd definitely say "no".