Print 29 comment(s) - last by AndreasM.. on Feb 20 at 10:28 AM

Wikileaks was recently forced to leak its own secret list of donors.  (Source:
Famous leaks site Wikileaks had a leak of its own, which it begrudgingly published

It seemed like just another day at Wikileaks Thursday.  Newly leaked documents went up and thousands of users browsed the site learning secrets the military, politicians, businesspeople, and religions try to keep hidden.  However, one article posted on Wednesday was a bit different -- it was a leak from none other than Wikileaks itself.

Wikileaks, like many Wiki pages, is funded by anonymous donors.  This funding and support helps it both keep up its stream of content, and maintain sufficient legal support to keep those whose information it leaks at bay.  The site's donors were secret -- until now.

Someone at the site sent an appeal last Saturday, asking the site's donors for some emergency extra funding.  The only problem was that instead of using the BCC field for the donors, it used the CC field, exposing all of the email addresses to the other donors.  The amateurish mistake echoed a recent slip-up at Twitter that saw the site releasing the names of 186 of its rejected job applicants.

Given Wikileaks’ role as a safe haven for whistleblower and storehouse of released secrets, it didn't take long for someone to submit an article with the leaked list of emails, writing, "Wikileaks leaks its own donors, aww irony. BCC next time kthx."

Wikileaks at first did not publish the article, putting it in the purgatory of review.  However, on Wednesday, it finally relented and leaked its own secrets.  It tried to soften the blow, writing that the leak was "possibly to test the project's principles of complete impartiality when dealing with whistleblowers."

Among those on the list was Adrian Lamo, a famous hacker, who was convicted and went on to start a security firm.  He has not responded to comments sent to his email address.  While Wikileaks claims that it has never exposed its whistleblowers before, this seemingly careless mistake surely has many of his former whistleblowers and those who are thinking of leaking documents a bit nervous.

The incident mars an otherwise solid month for Wikileaks.  Earlier this month, the site secured a major break when it obtained and posted thousands of pages of Congressional Research Service reports, including a NATO civilian casualty 2008 report for Afghanistan, which showed that civilian casualties jumped 46% last year, an underreported fact.  The reports were copyright free, but are not generally available to the public.

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By Dreifort on 2/19/2009 10:40:37 AM , Rating: 2
Whoever posted leaked file of donors could have at least turned on Word Wrap.

c'mon! really? hahaha... is that a 14 yr old?

well, I found no email addys or any emails from Inatech. so I think we're safe here at DT.

but it seemed like majority of "leaked" emails all use gmail. I smell a gmail hack coming on....

RE: leaker
By bighairycamel on 2/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: leaker
By spwrozek on 2/19/2009 12:10:09 PM , Rating: 4
by bighairycamel on February 19, 2009 at 11:16 AM

What the hell is Inatech?

It is where Peter Gibbons was previously employed.

RE: leaker
By Avatar28 on 2/19/2009 12:44:13 PM , Rating: 2
Ah. That would be Initech. Note the third letter is an I, not an A.

RE: leaker
By spwrozek on 2/19/09, Rating: 0
RE: leaker
By BrianB14471 on 2/19/2009 12:50:30 PM , Rating: 2
You beat me to the correction.

"Initech, a typical faceless software company in the suburban industrial parks of Dallas, TX, which is plagued by excessive management and the everyday annoyance of office work in a cube farm setting."

RE: leaker
By WalksTheWalk on 2/19/2009 12:52:49 PM , Rating: 5
I'd rather work at Penatrode...I mean Intertrode.

uhh ok...
By bighairycamel on 2/19/2009 9:42:01 AM , Rating: 3
So let me get this straight... one of the whistleblowers who received the email, was upset that their name/email address was visable, so they submit the email to wikileaks so anyone on the internet could see???

Seems to me like all the whistleblowers who had their names appear in the CC field would have a mutual understanding between them that the names should go no further than that email.

RE: uhh ok...
By Master Kenobi on 2/19/2009 10:27:29 AM , Rating: 2
Yea, pretty much. The donators can blame the other donator that leaked them.

RE: uhh ok...
By crimson117 on 2/19/2009 1:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
Might have been Lamo himself... he posted the same text as the leak document via twitter.

RE: uhh ok...
By Anonymous Freak on 2/19/2009 11:16:48 AM , Rating: 2
No, not one of the 'whistleblowers', one of the 'donators'.

BIG difference.

I suppose there is probably SOME overlap, but they are not the same list. In fact, if a whistleblower was smart, they *WOULDN'T* donate to WikiLeaks, for this, among other, reasons.

RE: uhh ok...
By Dreifort on 2/19/2009 1:30:16 PM , Rating: 4
yeah, wouldn't a 'whistleblower' be anyway?



By Danger D on 2/19/2009 9:39:51 AM , Rating: 5
Give them credit for living up to the standards to which they hold others. It’s nice to see some honor in the “new” media.

RE: Honorable
By Parhel on 2/19/2009 12:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
You're overlooking the fact that it took them a while to do it. It looks to me like they would have preferred to quietly sweep this under the rug, which would indeed have been blatant hypocrisy for all to see.

RE: Honorable
By Danger D on 2/19/2009 12:24:02 PM , Rating: 2
I’m not sure what the “purgatory of review” means. Aren’t all articles reviewed? I don’t fault them if they did take a little extra time with it. I think that’s human nature. Ultimately, they made the right decision.

By iregulate on 2/19/2009 9:41:36 AM , Rating: 1
What makes it "amateurish" instead of just a mistake?

RE: amateurish?
By austinag on 2/19/2009 10:43:47 AM , Rating: 5
It being the kind of mistake one tends to associate with amateurs.

tomorrow on DT
By Screwballl on 2/19/2009 10:39:18 AM , Rating: 2
WikiLeaks donors found to understand the need for multiple email addresses and shut down the previously released email address...

/end sarcasm/

I myself have at least 6 active email addresses right now for different purposes.. if one gets released, it is easy enough to just shut it down and create another..

RE: tomorrow on DT
By TSS on 2/19/2009 3:29:07 PM , Rating: 2
to leak sensitive information you first need to have access to sensitive information.

if a company learns you support a website that exposes secrets, why would they entrust you with theirs? better yet, the company's they are currently employed at might fire them for fear of them leaking their secrets (the ones they didn't have access to yet).

i doubt many of the "public" whistleblowers (cases the media covers) get job offers after the whole circus.

RE: tomorrow on DT
By AndreasM on 2/20/2009 10:28:32 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like you missed the grandparents point.

If you are donating money / leaking secrets to wikileaks, use an email address that cannot be traced back to you.

Anyone using their work email address for anything that the employer might frown upon is doing it wrong.

Lesson to be learned.
By Mitch101 on 2/19/2009 9:39:46 AM , Rating: 2
There is a bug in some versions of outlook/exchange that if you leave the TO line empty and populate the BCC fields it will move the information from the BCC field to the TO line. Ooops. The lesson to be learned always put something in the TO line even if its yourself if you use BCC.

By SickBeast on 2/20/2009 2:55:10 AM , Rating: 1
Wikileaks released the list of names by mistake. They were not "forced" to do anything.

Way to bait us, Kristopher Kubicki.

By Teancum on 2/19/09, Rating: 0
Am I the only one here...
By FaceMaster on 2/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: Am I the only one here...
By rzrshrp on 2/19/2009 9:55:38 AM , Rating: 5
I guess you're joking. The irony is pointed out in the title and by the person that publicized the addresses. Since it was already mentioned multiple times, people didn't feel the need to mention it yet again.

RE: Am I the only one here...
By jiteo on 2/19/2009 10:03:07 AM , Rating: 2
Am I the only one here who notices that water IS WET! Hahaha.

I don't normally post crap like this, but dude, seriously. We all noticed the irony after reading the title.

RE: Am I the only one here...
By danrien on 2/19/2009 10:53:29 AM , Rating: 2
WAT?!?!?! Oh now I get it!!!!! HAHAHAAAH

RE: Am I the only one here...
By wordsworm on 2/19/2009 11:07:07 AM , Rating: 1
I'm impressed and surprised, FaceMaster. Irony is so often lost on people that it usually needs to be explicit for people to get it. You got it. Bravo!

RE: Am I the only one here...
By bldckstark on 2/19/2009 12:52:03 PM , Rating: 1
What? I don't get it.

"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken

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