Anonymous withdraws support for Wikileaks, promises dossier of unethical activity by site workers

anonymous withdraws support for wikileaks promises dossier of unethical activity by site workersIt appears that Anonymous has withdrawn support for Wikileaks, with a message posted online suggesting that the latter’s attempt to raise funds is responsible for the parting of the ways.

The press release was made available on AnonPaste last night, and notes that Anonymous as a collective entity “have been worried about the direction Wikileaks is going for sometime now,” adding that the last year has seen the focus shift “from actual leaks and the fight for freedom of information” towards what is described as  “more and more on Julian Assange and a rabid scrounging for money.” However, it took Wikileaks’ latest drive for donations to push Anonymous into officially severing any relationship with the site.

“Since yesterday visitors of the Wikileaks site are presented a red overlay page that demands they donate money,” the note explained. “This page cannot be closed, and unless a donation is made – the content like GI Files are not displayed. We are aware that the donation paywall can be circumvented by disabling Javascript. However, this is not the point. Neither is Anonymous concerned that WikiLeaks is asking for donations. However, we do see a serious problem in the way WikiLeaks is implementing this for several reasons. First of all, the casual user (which is the majority) usually have Javascript enabled and thus will be blocked by the donation page and denied the content. Additionally, the casual user does not know that he needs to disable javascript to get to the content without paying – sorry, donating. They may not even know what javascript is, let alone how to disable it. Lastly, regardless of any workarounds, the fact remains that a meretricious page is placed for the majority of visitors that cannot be closed.”

The fundraising effort is described as an “obvious” attempt to “force donations in exchange for access,” as well as “a filthy and rotten, wholly un-ethical action.”

The release also points out that, because of actions Anonymous has taken in defending Wikileaks – including hacks of websites belonging to MasterCard, Visa and PayPal – fourteen members are indicted and facing prosecution, while “not ONE single Wikileaks staff [member is] charged or incarcerated.”

“The conclusion for us is that Anonymous cannot support anymore what Wikileaks has become,” the release continues. “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.” Perhaps more worryingly for Assange and Wikileaks, the release says that the group is “preparing for the media a detailed dossier of all the un-ethical actions perpetrated by WikiLeaks that we have ignored for so long… not for vengeance – but as justice for our fallen Anons whom WikiLeaks has chosen by this action to dishonor and disgrace.”

That dossier is promised for release in a few days; it’ll be interesting to see what it contains, and what its release will do to public perception of the website.