Wikileaks is a non profit organization that was created by Julian Assange in 2006. His goal was to leak well kept government secrets in order to shed some light to people. The Australian activist wanted people to know more about the government and to reduce corruption. So far the organization has succeeded with its goal, leaking over 10 Million classified documents.
Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks was already known as a computer hacker after being charged for cyber-crimes in 1991. He received minimal sentence due to his age. Assange, was inspired to create wiki-leaks by Daniel Ellsberg. In 1971 Daniel leaked classified pentagon papers which were illegally obtained 2 years prior. Seeing that it took two years for a whistle-blower to come forward, Julian wanted to make the process simple. This is how Wikileaks came to be.
The first leaks to be published on Wikileaks are papers signed by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys. The documents revealed that the Kenyan leader ordered the assassination of government officials. Due to Wikileaks the leaders family got corrupted and lost power soon after.
Most notable leaks
Over 10 Million documents got published on Wikileaks over the last 10 years. Most documents are minor and expose small scale corruption but not all. There are a many leaks that stand out, leaks that expose large scale corruption and crime.
Guantanamo Bay leaks
In November of 2007 a post was published on Wikileaks revealing standard operating procedures for Camp Delta. The document detailed the protocols of the US Army at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The documents revealed that some people are off limits to red-cross international committee. This information was denied by the US military multiple times in the past.
Peru oil scandal
One other very popular leaks published on Wikileaks is about the Peru oil scandal. Wikileaks published 86 intercepted telephone recordings of politicians and business men from Peru. The leaks exposed politicians that got kickbacks for helping companies win contracts.
Legality of Wikileaks
Wikileaks has undergone a very complex legal status. Julian Assange said he considers Wikileaks a protection intermediary. Whistle-blowers can leak data to them instead of the media and keep their identity safe. Wikileaks is based in Sweden due to the strong laws that protect confidential sources-journalism.
The United States department of justice did not stay out for long. Soon after the 2010 diplomatic cables leak, the department launched an investigation into Assange. The department of justice was considering charges under the Espionage Act of 1917 against Julian. Some federal prosecutes even considered charging him with trafficking stolen government property. Recently the UK Supreme court ruled that leaked document can be presented as evidence in court. The legal status of Wikileaks is unclear and can is different around the world.
The war on Wikileaks
The Australian prime minister said that he condemns the placement of this information on Wikileaks. After leaking classified US Military information, Julian Assange faced criminal charges in Sweden. Authorities attempted to arrest him for alleged "Sexual Assault" but he was released on bail soon after. After all this, Assange seeked asylum at the Embassy of Ecuador in London and has been living there for 7 years. In mid 2019, Julian was dragged out of the Embassy in London and is getting extradited to the US. There he will be facing up to 5 years in prison.
Wikileaks has been around for over 10 years and is still accessible through the clear-net. This alone suggests the government has no legal grounds to take the site down. Today, Wikileaks is manged by Kristinn Hrafnss. To this day documents exposing corruption and inhuman practices are published on the site.