Anonymous breaks up with WikiLeaks over paywall

Anonymous just told their longtime protégé, WikiLeaks, where to go. It seems like it was just yesterday that they were the BFFs, leaking documents and trying to get out of rape scandals toppling governments, but alas, that is no more.

So, what’s behind the sudden change of heart? Money, of course! WikiLeaks has decided to take a page from the New York Times’ playbook and put their Global Intelligence files behind a paywall.  That means that next time you try to check out WikiLeaks’ massive cache of internal Stratfor emails, you’ll be met by a banner requiring you to make a donation first. To be fair, you can set your own price, but a paywall is still a paywall, and Anonymous isn’t happy about it.

An angry exchange between Wikileaks and Anonymous supporters over Twitter led to the paywall being briefly removed, but the next day it was back, prompting Anonymous  to say that they will drop all support of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange because of the incident:

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.

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.

On the up side, Anonymous says that they won’t be attacking WikiLeaks or any of its assets, since it considers them to be media outlets. But why is WikiLeaks risking the loss of one of its biggest supporters over a donation campaign? According to a post written on October 3rd (strangely, it took a while for the paywall to draw Anonymous’ ire), Julian Assange, besides taking credit for ending the Iraq War and creating the Arab Spring, urges supporters to ‘vote with their wallet’ this election by giving their cash to WikiLeaks or Julian Assange’s legal fund.

We’re really not sure how that’s going to affect the election, but maybe topical campaigns are more interesting than the generic ‘give me moneyz?’ At any rate, we’d love to hear your thoughts below, and we can’t wait to see how all of this turns out.

Source: ZDNet | WikiLeaks

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The chickens have finally come to roost at Julian Assange's personality cult. Their useful idiots at Anonymous have been taken advantage of one too many times.

BTW, here's the biggest rub: It says the paywall will appear once a day. Which means, no matter how much you donate, it will ALWAYS appear daily.

Anonymous can't break up with anyone because they're just a bunch of randoms with no decision maker ...

It's a ludicrous and impossible 'group' since it's not a group. It's a lot of individuals with no lives to lead. One day they'll have to start paying bills and living normal life.

Since Anonymous isn't a real organization but, in fact, anyone can be "anonymous", how can they break up with WL?

BTW: The above contradicts the line "why is WikiLeaks risking the loss of one of its biggest supporters over a donation campaign?"

TheGhostWalker said,
Honestly this happened days ago. And only now an article? 0.o

+ This isn't even right:
[QUOTE]
Anonymous just declared war on their longtime protégé, WikiLeaks.
[/QUOTE]

They just need to take a page out Jimmy Wales' donation drive, and have Assange on every page until you donate to remove that ugly old man's face.

(Sorry didn't know that word was censored by Neowin)

Given the amount of money needed to keep Wikileaks online there's nothing wrong with asking for donations but it would be better if they made them voluntary. Not that I give a crap what Anonymous have to say anyway, I wouldn't be interested in appeasing script kiddies with too much time on their hands.

Doesn't this pretty much defeat the purpose of wiki-leaks? I mean, isn't the idea of leaking something to put it in the open where everyone can see? If only those willing to pay can access the leak, it pretty much removes any power they had.

Bag said,
Doesn't this pretty much defeat the purpose of wiki-leaks? I mean, isn't the idea of leaking something to put it in the open where everyone can see? If only those willing to pay can access the leak, it pretty much removes any power they had.

I thought the same thing. It definitely defeats the purpose. I would go on their and browse out of boredom and curiosity, but I do not care nearly enough to pay any amount of money.

Kirkburn said,
It's still open. Putting something behind a paywall doesn't render the information secret.

It does however mean that all visitors to the site are traceable by their credit cards and countries with dubious human rights can see which of their citizens have accessed the site.
Although seriously this is needed as it takes a lot of money to dodge justice and make bogus claims about persecution by a country with one of the best human rights records on the planet while seeking protection from a country with one of the worst and a history of persecution of the free press.

Typical. People expect to be able to access content and other people's hard work for free. How do you expect content producers to earn decent money? Wouldn't you want to earn decent money for content you've produced or worked hard to get hold of?

Calum said,
Typical. People expect to be able to access content and other people's hard work for free. How do you expect content producers to earn decent money? Wouldn't you want to earn decent money for content you've produced or worked hard to get hold of?

I think you'll find wikileaks doesn't spend a long time producing documents, they are just where people submit them to be leaked.
If anything those that are submitting the documents face the greatest risk, being fired or sued or imprisoned or even killed, whereas wikileaks owners are volunteers afaik.

n_K said,

I think you'll find wikileaks doesn't spend a long time producing documents, they are just where people submit them to be leaked.
If anything those that are submitting the documents face the greatest risk, being fired or sued or imprisoned or even killed, whereas wikileaks owners are volunteers afaik.

Sorry, but you're really ignorant about that. People who leak documents want to stay anonymous for that wikileaks has to check sometimes thousands of pages for references. They really have to check what they are leaking and they spend a long time doing that.

Renvy said,

Sorry, but you're really ignorant about that. People who leak documents want to stay anonymous for that wikileaks has to check sometimes thousands of pages for references. They really have to check what they are leaking and they spend a long time doing that.


Yeah I forgot about that, wikileaks asks the US government about all individual leaked emails if they're true or not and if the government says no they then they just silently discard them... It is you who is ignorant.

n_K said,

Yeah I forgot about that, wikileaks asks the US government about all individual leaked emails if they're true or not and if the government says no they then they just silently discard them... It is you who is ignorant.

That's not what I said/meant. I meant that wikileaks has to check for the name of the leaker appearing in the document, if so they have to remove that. Meaning they have to read and check every page they leak.

n_K said,

I think you'll find wikileaks doesn't spend a long time producing documents, they are just where people submit them to be leaked.
If anything those that are submitting the documents face the greatest risk, being fired or sued or imprisoned or even killed, whereas wikileaks owners are volunteers afaik.

That's a fair point. I suppose I'm talking in general terms, regarding paywalls, like the article did. But Wikileaks do still provide a service. Sometimes, a lot of work goes into the content behind a service. That might not be the case in Wikileaks's situation (I'm not sure), so I see your point.