Wikileaks Reportedly in Shambles, Secure Submission System Dies
July 1, 2010 6:30 PM
Julian Assange, director of Wikileaks has already been caught lying about individuals who he claimed were board members at the site. Now as the lies have slowly emerged, the site's secure submissions server has mysteriously died.
(Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Site is undergoing some serious issues, perhaps related to its lack of organization, accountability, and recent scrutiny
Julian Assange, director of
couldn't answer our tough questions
about the state of the site he commands. He did have time to send three comments to us, including a vague threat. Perhaps we should have felt fortunate that he dedicated so much time to us. After all, it appears that he hasn't had enough time to keep up
in its moment in the spotlight.
The site has only been able to post 12 leaked documents this year, significantly down from past years. Its last post was four months ago.
And now the site has more bad news --
its secure submission system died on June 12. It failed to pay the $30/year fee to renew its SSL certificate, rendering secure submission dead. The system would only have taken approximately an hour, if not minutes, for a professional to set up.
You can see this state of affairs for yourself. The secure submission page is
-- and times out if you try to visit it.
Without that page, sources have virtually no guarantee of privacy or safety when using the site.
The problem is the latest for the site that launched in 2007. The site
grew to prominence
soon after the launch by leaking helicopter gun cam footage from a U.S. blunder in Iraq which killed civilians.
was a true Wiki page -- much like
-- allowing edits and commentary on posts. But soon after launching it began to take away rights from the public. First it
banned public edits
in 2008. Then in 2010 it
banned comments on leaks
Julian Assange claims to have a board and volunteers who help him make decisions on the site and edit it. However, he has admitted he has ultimate control over everything that's posted -- which has led some to accuse the site of becoming increasingly like a Soviet dictatorship. Further, an
lied about at least two of its supposed board members and one of its highest profile volunteers -- they had nothing to do with the project.
Corresponding with the question of whether
actually has employees other than Assange, or whether the site is being operated primarily by Assange himself, is the question of where the money is going. Assange revealed the site had a budget of 800,000 €, including 600,000 € for full time employees. It's unclear how much of that 600,000 € is going in Assange's pockets. He reportedly lives a lavish lifestyle and frequently moves around the world, in what some speculate is an attempt to escape local law enforcement.
Other questions about the site remain unanswered. For example, there's a Twitter account and Facebook page that post information on leaks and occasional attacks on the site's critics. However its unclear whether either of these are "official". Some accuse
of ducking the question to avoid accountability for its online actions.
arrest of Bradley Manning
-- who allegedly leaked that original gun cam footage, as well as 260,000 confidential U.S. embassy messages to the site -- and the
may have proven the straw to break the camel's back for
. It is unknown when -- or if -- the site's backbone -- its secure server -- will be restored.
“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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