By now, just about everyone has heard of the controversial whistle-blower website WikiLeaks that has released thousands of top secret U.S. military documents to the public. In a recent turn of events, the website’s head, 39-year-old Australian Julian Assange, was arrested in Britain on charges stemming from sexual misconduct in Sweden over the summer. To support WikiLeaks and Assange’s mission, over 300 WikiLeaks mirror sites have popped up all around the world wide web to the U.S. government’s dismay.
Let’s take a closer look…
So the bottom line is that WikiLeaks plans to release about a quarter-million cables from U.S. diplomatic posts around the world in the name of free speech. Five newspapers have already begun editing the information in the cables for publication. Since the release of the classified info last week, WikiLeaks’ bank accounts have been canceled along with their websites. A criminal investigation has been launched because according to many officials, WikiLeaks has threatened national security and diplomatic efforts on a worldwide scale.
But with anything as juicy as this, there are those in favor and those who are strongly opposed. The activists who support WikiLeaks have created hundreds of WikiLeaks mirror sites, web sites that have exact copies of another site’s content, to help keep WikiLeaks alive after internet services were cut off to the main site. In addition, a group of hackers and activists called “Anonymous” are in full support of Julian Assange and encouraged like-minded individuals to go after websites and companies that do not support WikiLeaks.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are plenty of U.S. companies that are disgusted with WikiLeaks. Paypal, Amazon and EveryDNS have cut ties with WikiLeaks forcing it to procure another web address — wikileaks.ch, based in Switzerland.
So what does the future hold for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks? The issue is so complex that it’s anyone’s guess now, but one thing is for sure — Julian Assange probably isn’t getting out of jail any time soon.
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