Wikileaks appeared in 2006 and people often describe it as a nongovernmental organization, made of various global classified media, most of which bear anonymous identities. However, the initial facilitators of wikileaks are self-proclaimed Chinese nonconformists assisted by various parties from five different continents, who had personal reasons for supply of questionably deficient information through distribution millions of documents from various countries globally.
According to Miller-Jones (17, 2010), by January 2010, wikileaks was made up of five permanent employees and approximately eight hundred different volunteers from different countries worldwide. The identities of majority of these wikileaks volunteers are still anonymous.
Existence of Wikileaks
Tracing the existence of Wikileaks indicates that this is a strong organization made of various resourceful people from various locations globally. In line with reports from Star of New York Times (1, 2011), the Wikileaks was co-founded by Julian Assange and his attorney Jennifer Robinson.
Julian Assange is a fugitive in United Kingdom of Australian origin with various warrants of arrests from different countries placed against him for sex-related crimes (Radermecker and Guichaoua, 5, 2011). A Stockholm court wants him for charges involving suspicion of rape, illegal intimidation and other sexual assaults.
In 30th November 2010, he was placed among the top wanted suspects on the INTERPOL list for sexual-related crimes. Organized Crime Agencies from UK placed requests to Sweden, who acted in accordance with the appeal and followed suit to issue a warrant of arrest (Radermecker and Guichaoua, 5, 2011).
Close analysis of a case filed under office of Australia’s Attorney General against Julian Assange, authorities still indicate high possibilities of cancelling his passport and charging him for bleaching criminal laws by releasing unsubstantiated information through the US diplomatic cables.
Wikileaks is rightfully registered to John Shipton, Kristinn Hrafnsson is Wikileaks spokes person. Jacob Appelbaum, an IT specialist and a media consultant in U.S., also has a very close connection to Wikileaks. Although the status of Kristinn and Jacob are not certain, the five permanent employees of Wikileaks are arguably, Julian Assange, his attorney Jennifer Robinson, John Shipton, Kristinn Hrafnsson and Jacob Appelbaum.
The organization has very strong volunteers including Theodar Reppe the host of wakipedia.de who is also a media consultant in U.S. James Ball and Jennifer 8. Lee identified as U.S. nationals, freelance journalists as well as media consultants. David House and Daniel Mathews are also U.S nationals who volunteer to the organization and are both freelance journalists (Domscheit-Berg, 2, 2011).
According to Miller-Jones (29, 2010), contributions and support of specialist like Glenn Greenwald are very strong such that their refrain from the organization would easily lead to the collapse of Wikileaks. Both the employees and top volunteers of Wikileaks are strong professionals who have some form of liberal minds but who can easily change exploits to preserve their professionalism over fame and personal reasons.
Wikileaks uses various global web hosts such as the famous PeRiQuito abbreviated PRQ server in Sweden owned by Pirate Bay co-founders, the Amazon of the U.S. and OVH of France hosting its focal site on IP address 088.080.013.160. Despite this global publicity, Wikileaks still boasts as untraceable or undistinguishable system with massive sources of global information leaks. The main repository for the documents is in Sweden under the PRQ web host indentified through 088.080.002.032 address.
Various global volunteers have private ownership of other Wikileaks’ domains or sub-domains. The main mirror site of Wikileaks exists in Switzerland hosted by the ImproWare AG web host addressed 087.102.255.157. The recent disconnection of Wikileaks from Amazon web server a U.S. company has forced them to depend on services of Bahnhof AB web host based in Sweden, whose location is literally “A cold War bomb shelter” as shown in the picture below (Leigh and Harding, 4, 2011).
Immediate transfer from the Amazon host in U.S to Bahnhof AB web host is an indication that those managing Wikileaks are determined and conscious of its undertakings and is ready to protect its anonymous identity especially of the volunteers by constantly shifting its host internationally.
Wikileaks Survival Tactics
Wikileaks is able to conceal its identity by incorporating its activities in various global incorporations. Their listing is also under various countries’ registered firms who provide full protection under different laws. According to reports from Star (1, 2011), some of the known firms include “an Australian based library, a newspaper print based in Sweden, a France foundation, and two anonymous tax exempted non-profit making organization based in United States.” The Wikileaks founders and managers also ensure protection by choosing safe and significant places where laws are protective enough, for instance the recent releases occurred from Iceland where laws on freedom of speech are extremely protective.
Wikileaks Strengths and Weaknesses
The ability to maintain a wide range of volunteers submitting information without any form of coordination or supervision means that there are enough supplies of leaks. Wikileaks also have a wide infrastructure made of many organizations who willing submit information. This is an indication that it is very hard or pointless for governments to bother in stopping the distribution of information.
Once a web host is shut down, they are able to get a new host immediately and continue supplying information. Contrary, Wikileaks is not financially stable various governments are able to collaboratively block some sources of fund from supporters. People are fearful of possible security attacks when they submit information to the known Wikileaks servers such as the Sweden server.
There are high doubts and fear among volunteers over the issues of personal security when communicating with Wikileaks, probably the reason why many volunteers are refraining from its activities since the exposure. The exposure of founder Julian Assange has also fractured the organization since he is implicated in various sexual-related crimes and many people would not wish to be associated with him, to avoid negative impressions.
Julian has also formed a form of attack to the U.S. government by selectively releasing demurring information about the government (Radermecker and Guichaoua, 5, 2011). The high publicity that Wikileaks is receiving is not a good since the information attack on various organizations and governments may generate pressure for a counter-attack.
Governments are failing to stop the leaks of information because they lack enough time to come up with the appropriate infrastructure that can support this form of highly dynamic network. Wikileaks threats require some comprehensive scrutiny of information and implementation of capable infrastructure as well as expertise to counter cyber threats, frauds, and have skills of analyzing the destiny and sources of information and exploitation of the social form of media.
Wikileaks is made of a network of people with a mission of delivering a mass of document leaks. It is therefore not one person or an organization but a combination of social media made by people who are enthusiastic to persistently place threats. This means that even if the governments managed to put good investigative teams or agencies to shut down Wikileaks, the document supplies will continue and find other ways of protesting government acts.
Various technology experts such as HBGary Federal agencies, Palantir and Berico expertise have been put in place to combat Wikileaks’ information releases, which is widely accused of lacking sufficient proof and proper editorial discretion policies.
Domscheit-Berg, D. (2011). Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange at the ` World’s Most Dangerous Website. New York, NY: Crown Publishing Group.
Leigh, D & Harding L. (2011). WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy. New York, NY: PublicAffairs Publishers.
Miller-Jones, E.R. (2010). Wikileaks. Mauritius: Fastbook publishers.
Radermecker, S & Guichaoua, V. (2011). Julian Assange – WikiLeaks: Warrior for Truth. Montreal, Canada: Cogito Media Group.
Star, A. (2011). Open Secrets: WikiLeaks, War and American Diplomacy. New York, NY: New York Times Company.