Anonymous will no longer support what has become - "the one man Julian Assange show"

Wikileaks has become a "one man show" says Hacktivist group Anonymous

by Natalie Glanvill on 12 October 2012 13:34

Wikileaks

Hacktivist group Anonymous is distancing itself from the whistleblower Wikileaks following its concentration on the personal attributions of Julian Assange himself and not the fight for freedom of information.

This has come to light following the decision by Wikileaks on Thursday to move millions of documents behind a paywall, which is better described as a donation wall. It is unfortunate that this has happened but it not unusual considering Wikileaks lives from donations.

Anonymous Twitter account, AnonymousIRC, posted a comment which described Wikileaks as “the one man show”.

A statement from Anonymous explains their decision to distance itself by giving several reasons. “The idea behind Wikileaks was to provide the public with information that would otherwise be kept secret by industries and governments. But this has been pushed more and more into the background, instead we only hear about Julian Assange, like he had dinner with last night with Lady Gaga. That’s great for him but not of our interest”.

Upon clicking on any of the site’s leaked documents, Wikileaks visitors are automatically presented a red overlay banner that asks them to donate money using the backdrop of a mock U.S presidential marketing campaign ‘In this election vote with your wallet VOTE WIKILEAKS’. Unless a donation is made, the banner cannot be closed.

Anonymous have said the advertisement can be circumvented by disabling Javasrcipt, however they say this is “not the point as the casual user usually has Javascript enabled and thus will be denied content nor does the casual user know that he needs to disable Javasrcipt to get to the content without paying- sorry, donating”. Oops sorry Wikileaks, thanks to your once loyal friends they do now.

Anonymous understands that Wikileaks is only sustainable providing it receives donations and that is how it has always been, however the group say that the recent donation wall has been done “in an ostentatious manner”.

Tweets

On Thursday, Wikileaks responded by saying the move was to counter supposed “high costs in military courts”.

In several tweets, Anonymous said “We unfollowed @Wikileaks and withdrew our support. It was an awesome idea ruined by egos. Good Bye” Anonymous stood by their decision despite rants from Assange loyalists and opposed information censorship groups. But the “sad truth is, Wikileaks has abandoned this idea for money”.

Anonymous will continue to “oppose any plans of extraditing Julian to the USA. He is a content provider and publisher, not a criminal”. Furthermore, “we still support the original idea behind Wikileaks: Freedom of Information and transparent government” but “sadly we realise Wikileaks does not stand for this anymore”.

 It was revealed this week that nine celebrity backers who acted as bail sureties were ordered by court to pay £93,500 following his decision to skip bail, without any pre-warning to his supporters that he intended to take refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden.

Natalie Glanvill is an Editorial Assistant at The Commentator and tweets at @NatalieGlanvil1

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