Julius Assange and his team of hacktivists were somewhat of an unknown quantity at least in most countries of the world before 2010. But the year 2010 turned them into celebrities so much so that Julius was condemned openly by leaders across the world, had threats of arrest and murder and was also finally jailed. Jailed that too for having sex without condoms with two Wikileaks employees (He has been subsequently bailed out). But even while he was jailed, the joke around was that he was arrested not for “sex without condoms“. But instead for raping country after country and leader after leader across the world!
Assange created Wikileaks to show to the world the kind of information which is hid from them by so called democratic governments and the kind of extreme torture perpetrated by dictators. Wikileaks rocked the world and especially the USA when it showed the collateral damage video where the US Marines blatantly shot many media professionals in Iraq suspecting them to be terrorists.
Since then they have released more than 3,00,000 cables covering Afghanistan’s war, Iraq war as well as other documents involving leaders from Hillary Clinton to King Abdul Aziz to even Asif Ali Zardari.
So how does Wikileaks work?
Anyone and everyone can go to the Wikileaks website and submit the documents they have found out. Now these documents could be related to anything and everything. From India planning to start a Cold Start Doctrine against Pakistan after its attack on Parliament to showing magnanimous abuse against Afghanistani people, Wikileaks has shown it all.
After the documents are sent, the hacktivists go through the documents which are authoritative or real. The real ones are then published and the authors names are kept secret and they are also given legal protection for the same.
How does Wikileaks protect itself?
Julius Assange was part of a hacker collective called the International Subversives during his teens and the time there seems to have helped him build the entire system and protect it from hackers and other problems. This is why he has its servers in multiple continents and information passes through countries like Belgium, Sweden, Iceland to name a few.
The most interesting aspect of Wikileaks was the time during which Assange was arrested. Hacktivists across the world hacked into site after site from Master Card to Paypal who tried to freeze its accounts. And they also released thousands of cables even after the arrest showing their ability to work despite his arrest.
Wikileaks’s popularity is in part due to the controversy it has generated but more so because of the presence of social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook etc. where it has become such a common conversation that Twitter has barred it from trending.
Wikileaks – A completely stateless whistleblower organization! Is this the future of media and journalism? Your guess is as good as mine!!!