Wikileaks Puts Up Paywall, Angers Anonymous

October 12th, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Wikileaks, the website infamous for leaking highly-classified government documents, is running short on cash. After the United States government successfully lobbied for credit card companies to block supporters’ donations from being processed, Wikileaks has been desperate for server funds and payments for the increasing costs of its founder Julian Assange’s legal fees. The site tried selling tote bags and t-shirts, but that was not enough.

So, they resorted to the most drastic option imaginable: putting up a paywall, wherein users would now have to pay up (or in Wikileaks’ jargon, “donate with Visa/ Mastercard”) to access classified files or share a video through social media.

In a message posted on Pastebin, an online text-sharing service, Wikileaks admitted that its site has become “the One Man Julian Assange show,” which they “cannot support anymore.”

“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,” the message stated.

Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange is currently staying within the United Kingdom embassy of Ecuador, while governments around the world are looking for ways to legally penetrate the asylum protections granted by the South American country.

The establishment of a paywall does not sit well to one of Wikileaks’ so-called allies, the hacker collective known as Anonymous.

In its Twitter account, a member of Anonymous posted: “This, dear friends will lose you all allies you still had. @wikileaks, please die in a fire, kthxbai.”

Source: Wired, via TechCrunch


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