The Wikileaks Documentary – Full Version HQ
WikiLeaks is an international new media non-profit organisation that publishes submissions of private, secret, and classified media from anonymous news sources and news leaks. Its website, launched in 2006 and run by The Sunshine Press, claimed a database of more than 1.2 million documents within a year of its launch. The organisation describes its founders as a mix of Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians, and start-up company technologists from the United States, Taiwan, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. Julian Assange, an Australian Internet activist, is generally described as its director. WikiLeaks was originally launched as a user-editable wiki site, but has progressively moved towards a more traditional publication model, and no longer accepts either user comments or edits.
In April 2010, WikiLeaks posted video from a 2007 incident in which Iraqi civilians and journalists were killed by US forces, on a website called Collateral Murder. In July of the same year, WikiLeaks released Afghan War Diary, a compilation of more than 76,900 documents about the War in Afghanistan not previously available for public review. In October 2010, the group released a package of almost 400,000 documents called the Iraq War Logs in coordination with major commercial media organisations. In November 2010, WikiLeaks began releasing U.S. State department diplomatic cables.
WikiLeaks has received praise as well as criticism. The organization won a number of awards, including The Economist’s New Media Award in 2008 and Amnesty International’s UK Media Award in 2009. In 2010, the New York City Daily News listed WikiLeaks first among websites “that could totally change the news”, and Julian Assange was named the Readers’ Choice for TIME’s Person of the Year in 2010. Supporters of Wikileaks in the media have commended it for exposing state and corporate secrets, increasing transparency, supporting freedom of the press, and enhancing democratic discourse while challenging powerful institutions.
A Letter from Anonymous
At the same time, several U.S. government officials have criticized WikiLeaks for exposing classified information, harming national security, and compromising international diplomacy. Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International criticized WikiLeaks for not adequately redacting the names of civilians working with the U.S. military. Some journalists have criticized the lack of editorial discretion when releasing thousands of documents at once and without sufficient analysis. Among negative public reactions in the United States, people have characterized the organization as irresponsible, immoral, and illegal.