Sunday, October 14, 2012

Anonymous vows to sever ties with WikiLeaks after whistleblower site erects paywall

What have you done for - or to - me lately? Anonymous is a long-time supporter of whistleblower site WikiLeaks, but a recent decision by the site to deploy a paywall on its website that blocks access to the site’s cache of leaked documents unless users donate or promote WikiLeaks via social media has drawn Anonymous' enmity.

On Thursday night, the loosely-knit hacker group, or rather, some of its membership, issued a post to the AnonPaste website on Thursday night in which they called the new campaign “filthy and rotten.”

The pop-over ad, as shown above, says that "WikiLeaks is fighting a banking blockade," one designed to starve the site of any funds. The ad says users can donate or spread the post via social media, and the pop-up will go away.

It also says that the pop-up would only appear once a day. Notably, we tweeted the page but the pop-up didn't disappear, and neither did it appear to one appearance a day.

Anonymous said,

“To this day, not ONE single WikiLeaks staff are charged or incarcerated. However, Anonymous has 14 indicted (facing 15 years) for online protests defending WikiLeaks – and one (Jeremy Hammond) in prison and facing 20 years for allegedly supplying the Stratfor GI Files. Not to mention the heroic Bradley Manning who now rots in Ft. Leavenworth Prison facing life.

“Despite that fact, WikiLeaks has chosen to dishonor and insult Anonymous and all information activists by prostituting the Stratfor Files and other disclosures that Hammond and Manning stand accused of supplying.

“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.

“We have been worried about the direction WikiLeaks is going for some time now. In the past year the focus has moved away from actual leaks and the fight for freedom of information and concentrated more and more on Julian Assange and a rabid scrounging for money.”

Anonymous added that the group will no longer work with WikiLeaks, having developed their own viable disclosure platforms. Furthermore, it seems the group has some sweet revenge in mind for WikiLeaks, though - or rather, justice for jailed Anonymous members that the group says have been dissed by WikiLeaks paywall.

“We are preparing for the media a detailed dossier of all the unethical actions perpetrated by WikiLeaks that we have ignored for so long. A Dox if you will, on WikiLeaks. We will deliver it to the media in a few days, not for vengeance – but as justice for our fallen Anons whom WikiLeaks has chosen by this action to dishonor and disgrace.”

In the wake of the aforementioned banking blockade against WikiLeaks, hackers associated with Anonymous launched Operation Payback, an all-out cyber war against PayPal, Visa and MasterCard. Victory was temporary, and since then, a freeze on WikiLeaks’ funds have devastated the site’s ability to operate.

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange continues to be holed up in Ecuador’s U.K. embassy. Ecuador has granted Assange political asylum as he continues to fight against extradition to Sweden.

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