Author Topic: AnonymousIRC statement regarding WikiLeaks  (Read 7237 times)

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AnonymousIRC statement regarding WikiLeaks
« on: October 11, 2012, 20:35:42 PM »
This evening AnonymousIRC published the following statement on the current situation with the WikiLeaks:


Quote
Tweets are not a good way to explain why we are angry about the recent developments in Wikileaks, so here is a summary of the situation and an explanation why we are so appalled.

Since yesterday visitors of the Wikileaks site are presented a red overlay banner that asks them to donate money. This banner cannot be closed and unless a donation is made, the content like GIFiles and the Syria emails are not displayed.

We are aware that the donation advertisment can be circumvented by disabling Javascript. However, this is not the point. Neither 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 has Javascript enabled and thus will be blocked by the donation banner 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. He may not even know what javascript is, let alone how to disable it. Lastly, regardless of any workarounds, the fact remains that a meretricious banner is placed for the majority of visitors that cannot be closed. The obvious intention is to increase donations.

We have been worried about the direction Wikileaks is going for a while. In the recent month the focus moved away from actual leaks and the fight for freedom of information further and further while it concentrated more and more on Julian Assange. It goes without saying that we oppose any plans of extraditing Julian to the USA. He is a content provider and publisher, not a criminal.

But Wikileaks is not - or should not be - about Julian Assange alone. The idea behind Wikileaks was to provide the public with information that would otherwise being kept secret by industries and governments. Information we strongly believe the public has a right to know. But this has been pushed more and more into the background, instead we only hear about Julian Assange, like he had dinner last night with Lady Gaga. That's great for him but not much of our interest. We are more interested in transparent governments and bringing out documents and information they want to hide from the public.

As far as money is concerned, we understand that Wikileaks lives from donations. And it is fine to ask for them as long as this is done in an unostentatious manner. This is clearly not the case anymore, even though the overall situation cannot be that bad: According to the Transparency Report of the Wau Holland Stiftung**[1], Julian received 72.000 Euros only for project coordination in 2011 - this does not include travel costs. And 265.000 Euros were spent on "campaigns". (Note that the 139.000 Euro in donations only accounts for the funds that went through the Wau Holland Stiftung, it does not include any donation to Wikileaks directly).

The conclusion for us is that we cannot support anymore what Wikileaks has become - the One Man Julian Assange show. But we also want to make clear that we still support the original idea behind Wikileaks: Freedom of information and transparent governments. Sadly we realize that Wikileaks does not stand for this idea anymore.

We also like to point out that of course we cannot speak in the name of Anonymous. This is merely one of many twitter accounts, albeit an established one over the recent years. But we know that we are certainly not alone within the Anonymous collective with this assessment of the situation. We have talked with many people on twitter, IRC and other communication platforms and the vast majority was appalled by this intrusive form of solicitation.

We will continue to fight for free information and support anyone who pursues the same ideal.

~~ Anonymous

[1] http://wauland.de/files/2011_Transparenzbericht-Projekt04_en.pdf


https://twitter.com/AnonymousIRC/status/256448187534036992

Offline Riney

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Re: AnonymousIRC statement regarding WikiLeaks
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2012, 22:20:50 PM »
Well I am sure WikiLeaks would not care for this statement, but freedom of information means freedom of expression also. For days now since the start of this campaign ad there has been more than enough complaints about it. I am glad someone decided to put it into a real read.
      As they expressed:  "Tweets are not a good way to explain why we are angry about the recent developments in Wikileaks" - I agree.

      :-\
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" Anais Nin .. and yet we must arm ourselves with fear

Offline mabs01

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Re: AnonymousIRC statement regarding WikiLeaks
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 00:33:27 AM »
I can totally see their point, all I hear lately is Julian, but what about the leaks?!?! Dont get me wrong, I love the man, but he/she makes a good point
Mabs

Offline Pond

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Re: AnonymousIRC statement regarding WikiLeaks
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 09:23:25 AM »
This Statement reflects also my concerns^^

Offline trick_track

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Re: AnonymousIRC statement regarding WikiLeaks
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 13:38:01 PM »
I am afraid I will also take the side of Anonymous on this matter. PayWall is a violation of the most important Wikileaks principle - open data (how ridiculous!). Not everyone can afford to donate even if they would like to. Most people barely are surviving from month to month or week to week and are struggling with debts. Wikileaks will loose many, many supporters by having the wall, they already have...
"In a time of Universal Deceit it becomes a revolutionary act to tell the truth."
- George Orwell

enrica

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Re: AnonymousIRC statement regarding WikiLeaks
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 17:15:30 PM »
This is how "This Day in WikiLeaks 10/11/2012" has explained the happened facts.
I'm reporting here all the info. so that can be valued and commented:

Quote
Some members of Anonymous criticised and attacked (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/10/wikileaks-and-anonymous-spar-over-fundraising-campaign.html) WikiLeaks over the pop-up on their website which asked for donations, which they perceived as a "paywall". WikiLeaks explained (https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/256208465511452672) it was not a paywall, but a "tweet, share, wait or donate campaign". The pop-up has been removed from some pages, but information on the campaign is available here: http://wikileaks.org/donate2012/

Source: http://www.thisdayinwikileaks.org/2012/10/101112.html

---

WikiLeaks related tweet:

Quote
@WikiLeaks - A tweet, share, wait or donate campaign is not a "paywall". You can read about our blockade and funding systems here: http://shop.wikileaks.org/donate

Following Comments made by twitter supporters (and non) about the mentioned tweet:

@AnonymousIRC:
@wikileaks You just linked to ANOTHER donation site? At this time we discourage anyone from donating anything to WL until this is sorted.

‏@Kallisti:
@wikileaks The "paywall" everyone is talking about is here: http://wikileaks.org/the-gifiles.html … it's like a big red wall.

@DBCOOPA:
@wikileaks It's still a wall. It just seems to aggressive block the information in the interest of funds. We don't like it. That's all.

@raincoaster:
@wikileaks It's a paywall if people can't get around it to read the information. Put an X on that video interstitial.

@joepie91:
@wikileaks If it isn't a paywall, then where is the "No thanks" button, eh?

@Kallisti:
@wikileaks I only see this on the site when trying to access the #Gifiles. pic.twitter.com/1MZWdSGI

@VizFoSho:
@joepie91 turn scripts off =)
***

@VizFoSho:
@AnonymousIRC turn off scripts or use editor to delete divs

@VizFoSho:
@joepie91 uyeah, i wonder how much @wikileaks is donating to those being prosecuted for the stratfor hack.

@liz_rex9:
@AnonymousIRC @wikileaks you yourself have a donation link!

@dragonfire1024:
@wikileaks It's a "paywall" when you don't give people the option to close ad then deny access. As far as I am concerned, that's extortion.

@RaineyReitman:
@wikileaks It doesn't seem to go away even after watching the video, blocking access to documents until (presumably) you donate. Buggy?

‏@peterkofod:
@joepie91 @wikileaks It's NOT a paywall, because the wall is still there after I donated :-) There's some kind of glitch.

@crowdleaks:
@wikileaks Supportes do not need this reminder to donate and promote you, others just make mockery of it. Thanks for removing the script.

The original WikiLeaks tweet and following comments made by supporters that percived the donations video as a paywall can be read here: https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/256208465511452672
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 17:25:17 PM by isis »

Offline Irien

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Re: AnonymousIRC statement regarding WikiLeaks
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2012, 20:31:43 PM »
 Thers has been a response to the Anonymous statement, explaining a different point of view:

Supporter response to @AnonymousIRC's statement on WikiLeaks: http://pastebin.com/Juxb5M26
     
AnonymousIRC's stated position on WikiLeaks is based on a set of false premises.
     
    "Since yesterday visitors of the Wikileaks site are presented a red overlay banner that asks them to donate money. This banner cannot be closed and unless a donation is made, the content like GIFiles and the Syria emails are not displayed."
     
False. According to this Forbes article, the banner can also be removed by tweeting/posting to facebook/emailing a link to the donate page to your friends. It is, then, not a paywall.
 
cite: http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/10/10/wikileaks-angers-supporters-with-donation-paywall-for-leaked-material
     
    "We have been worried about the direction Wikileaks is going for a while. In the recent month the focus moved away from actual leaks and the fight for freedom of information further and further while it concentrated more and more on Julian Assange."
     
False. A glance at the Twitter feed going back the last month shows that WikiLeaks has been making almost weekly releases of documents from the GI Files and SyriaFiles caches. These releases have apparently been coordinated with its various media partners - a task no doubt requiring ongoing expense and effort. That events concerning Julian Assange's specific situation have occurred during this period - and have drawn more attention from a fickle press more interested in controversy than substance - is not to be blamed on WikiLeaks.
     
    "But this has been pushed more and more into the background, instead we only hear about Julian Assange, like he had dinner last night with Lady Gaga."
     
If we only hear about Julian Assange, perhaps that is the fault of a media that prefers to focus on personalities and not on leaks.
     
    "As far as money is concerned, we understand that Wikileaks lives from donations. And it is fine to ask for them as long as this is done in an unostentatious manner."
     
In 2009, WikiLeaks shut down completely, its pages black, its reappearance contingent on receiving a target figure in donations. Tactics like this are not historically unusual for WikiLeaks. Any perception that "WikiLeaks has changed, man" probably has more to do with short memories and partial comprehension of WikiLeaks' mandate. As WikiLeaks used to say, "Freedom of Speech is not Free." If WikiLeaks' content becomes hard to access because of the need to impress on supporters how dire financial circumstances are, that should be seen as the result of financial censorship, and should not be taken out on the organization itself.
     
    "This is clearly not the case anymore, even though the overall situation cannot be that bad: According to the Transparency Report of the Wau Holland Stiftung**, Julian received 72.000 Euros only for project coordination in 2011 - this does not include travel costs. And 265.000 Euros were spent on "campaigns". (Note that the 139.000 Euro in donations only accounts for the funds that went through the Wau Holland Stiftung, it does not include any donation to Wikileaks directly)."
     
@AnonymousIRC derives (fallaciously) from the fact that a large sum of euro was spent that "the overall situation cannot be that bad." Is the situation "not that bad"? An answer can be sought in one of Wau Holland Transparency Reports: http://www.wau-holland-stiftung.de/files/2012-1_Transparenzbericht-Projekt04_en.pdf
     
This document shows that WikiLeaks' funds leaped in the few days after Cablegate began, and have decreased steadily ever since.
     
    2010 November           < €400,000
    2010 December           > €800,000
    2011 January            > €800,000
    2011 February           > €750,000
    2011 March              > €700,000
    2011 April              > €650,000
    2011 May                > €600,000
    2011 June               > €550,000
    2011 July               > €500,000
    2011 August             > €450,000
    2011 September          > €400,000
    2011 October            < €400,000
    2011 November           > €350,000
    2011 December           > €300,000
    2012 January            < €300,000
    2012 February           < €250,000
    2012 March              = €200,000
    2012 April              > €150,000
    2012 May                = €100,000
    2012 June               < €100,000
     
As of the end of June, WikiLeaks' funds were short of €100,000. Any projection based on the above would predict that WikiLeaks would be going under, oh, right about now. But "the overall situation cannot be that bad," according to the diligent fact-checkers who tweet assiduously from the @AnonymousIRC twitter account.
     
Anyone who has been paying attention will also remember this statement from July this year, which basically made this point: http://wikileaks.org/Press-Release-WikiLeaks-opens-path.html
     
@AnonymousIRC also seems to imply that "campaigns" - as listed in the cited transparency report - is an illegitimate cause of expense. The Transparency Report mentioned is this one: http://wauland.de/files/2011_Transparenzbericht-Projekt04_en.pdf. An attentive reader will see that, under "Campaigns," listed are:
     
    1) Content review / processing
    2) Journalist Contextualization
    3) Technical Processing
    4) External Communications
     
These are all activities that could pertain only to WikiLeaks' releases. In other words, "campaigns" - in the translated-from-german Wau Holland Transparency Report - means "Releases". The bulk of WikiLeaks funds over the period specified have been spent on WikiLeaks core activity: publication of releases. This is what is eating up WikiLeaks' money. So WikiLeaks has been spending itself into the ground to deliver the releases to the public that it promises its sources, and now that it is about to go under AnonymousIRC declares a vendetta because it finds WikiLeaks' final SOS irritating.
     
In sum, all of the conclusions made in the following paragraph are based on false premises:
     
    "The conclusion for us is that we cannot support anymore what Wikileaks has become - the One Man Julian Assange show. But we also want to make clear that we still support the original idea behind Wikileaks: Freedom of information and transparent governments. Sadly we realize that Wikileaks does not stand for this idea anymore."

Link: http://pastebin.com/dgnc4MbW

Offline LausanneFOWL

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Re: AnonymousIRC statement regarding WikiLeaks
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2012, 21:05:56 PM »
This whole discussion about "paywall" and retracting support seems childish and unreflected to me. Yes, the banner is annoying. Yes, the stories about WiliLeaks in the media are about Julian most of the time.

But why is this so?

WikiLeaks has been offline more than once in the past to show that money is needed to operate. This was absolutely legitimate. This time, they are not even offline, so everybody who cares can access the site. So what is the point? Instead of complaining about the inconvenience we would do WL a better service by actually helping them to raise the money they need.

This ridiculous dispute achieves the opposite. The press is only too eager to proclaim the end of WikiLeaks by making a story out of this, which brings me to my second point:

Why are so many stories in the press about Julian's person instead of about the actual leaks? Because journalists a too lazy to go and use the material published by WikiLeaks *almost every day* to inform the public about backgrounds and complex connections. It is so much easi to write about Lady Gaga and Julian's hairstyle.

I don't think that Julian is to blame for this. Instead, it seems to me that he is actively playing his role to keep himself, and by extension WikiLeaks, in the public consciousness. This, by the way, is quite extraordinary if we consider the situation he is in.

It is our role as supporters to use this publicity to guide attention to the contents of the actual leaks. This may be difficult, but failing to do it would be an insult to all the people who risk their freedom and their lives to obtain the information that WL publishes.

Everytime I read something about "Anonymous dropping supprt for WikiLeaks" in the mainstream media, my thoughts are with all the people who are sitting in jail because they provided material to WIkiLeaks.

Let's not forget what our goals really are.

Offline EmmanuelGoldstein⌛

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Re: AnonymousIRC statement regarding WikiLeaks
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2012, 04:02:41 AM »
Yes, I agree with LausanneFoWL (btw, I love Lausanne! :)).

I also want to point out that it is not Julian Assange's fault that the mainstream media likes to focus on him like they do, especially about rather trivial things ("there's a stain on his shirt", "dirty socks", "hair", etc). It is the mainstream media's fault that they choose not to focus on the leaks and rather focus on the "boss" of WL. When you read the various WL and WL-supporters blogs and sites, and especially independent journalist sites and blogs, you will see a lot more focus on the leaks and impact of leaks, analyses, etc.

I'm inclined to think that it seems precisely the aim of the mainstream media to tarnish Assange and WL's reputations further by intentionally focusing so much on Assange, cultivating exactly the reactions we are seeing in Anonymous and others' reactions.

It does seem rather random to me that she visited him, but whatever. Good for WL, a celebrity showing support.

Notice Assange in that picture with Lady Gaga: he seems very normal, even humble to me there, not show-off-y. Wearing a plain white t-shirt, a kind of serious face, not "beaming" like some mainstream article said. He does not look in that grainy, normal picture as if he wants attention there...
Perhaps Lady Gaga thought "oooh, I want a pic with him!". I mean honestly, who wouldn't want a pic taken of themselves with Assange, or with Lady Gaga? :P
"The Brotherhood cannot be wiped out because it is not an organisation in the ordinary sense. Nothing holds it together except an idea which is indestructible." -1984

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Offline ANdReScR

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Re: AnonymousIRC statement regarding WikiLeaks
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2012, 07:55:51 AM »
There is a comment that says, "Anonymous declares war on WikiLeaks" do not be fooled ... Anonymous does not declare war on WikiLeaks
A Post on this topic: http://america.infobae.com/notas/59642-Anonymous-le-declara-la-guerra-a-WikiLeaks  [Spanish]

Offline trick_track

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Re: AnonymousIRC statement regarding WikiLeaks
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2012, 13:32:53 PM »
I'd like to briefly clarify that I also do not have anything against media focus on Julian Assange and I totally agree here with EmmanuelGoldstein. I actually think that there is still not enough QUALITY coverage (especially, in mainstream media) of his person and the absurdity of his unfortunate situation. 

@Irien - Many thanks for posting the explanation re: paywall. Much appreciated.

I dunno why, but for me the 'waiting' option did not work too well, as I waited for nearly 2h (wanted to check how long will it take) and the wall did not disappear. It did disappear :-) though after I shared it, but if I'll have to do this every time I will attempt to enter the web, I'll probably find it quite annoying as I am becoming bored and slightly frustrated with the social networks etc and am considering to remove myself from all of that.

Anyway, thanks again.
"In a time of Universal Deceit it becomes a revolutionary act to tell the truth."
- George Orwell

enrica

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Re: AnonymousIRC statement regarding WikiLeaks
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2012, 16:52:00 PM »
Great Discussion ppl... hey not "childish" ;) ... It is good all of us can explore a bit different points of view showing what we think are the week and strong points of each one.
There are many supporters that are asking themselves questions or would like to explain why, according to their point of view, one thing may be a good or bad idea... It's simply great we are all discussing and examining here now all the possible points of view: it's an opportunity to understand. It could also be an opportunity for readers to see this and that issue, explaination, answear to have a deeper idea of what is happening and people think.
Let's go on sharing what we think: this is the best place to do this; there is no right or wrong side, the main thing is we can all talk and See to shape our own point of view, that is unique and important.

Offline Pond

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Re: AnonymousIRC statement regarding WikiLeaks
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2012, 18:33:51 PM »
Quote
False. According to this Forbes article, the banner can also be removed by tweeting/posting to facebook/emailing a link to the donate page to your friends. It is, then, not a paywall.

This is true.
So every single time I'm reading a cable I'm forced to pubblicize the WL donations on my fb wall or my twitter, or desabling javascript or paying.

... wondering wondering ...

---

Agree at all with the fact that the media are focusing a lot on Assange while WL has often tweeted new releases.
The fact is "Assange" is "juicy news" and media like focusing on this may be.

I'm sadly also seeing that Many supporters are focusing Mainly on Assange O.O ...
Oh well, I'm doing this too, of course, if it's about defending his rights that are evidently being violated thousands of times.
But one should focus also on what WikiLeaks is leaking and doing. Sadly there are supporters that don't read the leaks at all for one reason or another.

About the donations campaign, my personal opinion is that the way it has been done is a bit Heavy, a bit ... ehmm... invasive and putting a video on "obama" in front of each document can make seem WL has political goals, while the releases are of course Just Information.
I personally ould like a "close" button on the donations video.

... This is my personal feeling: I feel hypocrit if I have to post each time on my twitter about the donations when I can't in this moment donate any single cent. to the organization... I don't like being the "spot person". I would like to be free of doing how I want without conditionments.

But anyway, if the organizations needs money... The only thing I understand is they need money in this moment and, according to the explainations via twitter, money is to cover Legal Costs.

So... may Assange be soon a Free man and May WikiLeaks be soon free of working as before.

Offline EmmanuelGoldstein⌛

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Re: AnonymousIRC statement regarding WikiLeaks
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2012, 02:17:36 AM »
I had never seen this paywall because I don't often have scripts enabled, so I hadn't seen it on the WL site.

I understand the importance of donating, totally. But also, like someone else here said, supporters don't need the constant reminder; that is just "preaching to the choir", and it gives anti-WL people more reason to bash WL.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2012, 02:20:07 AM by EmmanuelGoldstein »
"The Brotherhood cannot be wiped out because it is not an organisation in the ordinary sense. Nothing holds it together except an idea which is indestructible." -1984

I am not "Emmanuel Goldstein" of the magazine 2600. My username is derived from 1984.

enrica

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Re: AnonymousIRC statement regarding WikiLeaks
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2012, 07:41:46 AM »
Hi Emmanuel :)

The so called "paywall" is a video asking for donations to WikiLeaks appearing on Each single document one reads.
It's the video of what WikiLeaks has named "elections campaign". It basically ask for money.
Every time one opens a cable, a gifile, a syriafile, the video appears and if one doesn't donate, or tweet/share the video, or disable javascript on computer to avoid it, the video remains on your screen and you can't read the WikiLeaks document.

Example: http://wikileaks.org/syria-files/releasedate/2012-10-14-08-national-earthquake-center-syria-nec-gov-sy.html this is one of the last releases on syria files tweeted by WikiLeaks.
If we open the page we can see the "list" of the emails/files related to Syria.
If we try to open one of these files clicking on it, we can see the donations video called "paywall".
It appears on every WikiLeaks document in this moment: cable, syria file, or global intelligence file.