WikiLeaks delays more secure whistleblower system

Filed Under: Law & order, Privacy

WikiLeaksWikiLeaks has indefinitely delayed the release of a new system for whistleblowers to remain anonymous while submitting tips, according to a report from The Financial Times.

A new, more secure version of the electronic submissions system, which has been offline for a year, was scheduled to roll out on Monday.

In its Twitter feed over the weekend, WikiLeaks described construction of the new system as "very complex."

Constructing the system is very complex. Due to the deteriorating state of internet security which directly impacts the ability of sources to communicate with journalists and human rights activists securely, WikiLeaks has decided to postpone the launch initially scheduled for Monday 28th 2011 in the interest of source protection.

WikiLeaks has taken a beating over the past year. The organization, founded by Australian citizen Julian Assange, has seen its SSL certificates penetrated by "various organised crime groups and intelligence agencies," WikiLeaks reported, to the extent that online security has become "severely and irreversibly compromised."

In fact, according to WikiLeaks, the entire SSL system, which is supposed to guarantee online security and anonymity, has been compromised. "SSL is beyond repair," the organization says. 

WikiLeaks will hold a press conference on Thursday, Dec. 1, as it launches a "new phase" in its operations

In the meantime, the US is gearing up to bring alleged WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning to court next month following 17 months of detention. Manning, a US Army soldier, was arrested in Iraq in May 2010 on suspicion of passing classified material to WikiLeaks.

Julian AssangeOn Monday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange also Skyped in to the News 2011 Summit in Hong Kong to report that the US government has ordered him to destroy all material, published and unpublished, that WikiLeaks holds on them, and to stop using government insiders to gather fresh material, according to a report on the RT network.

But the animosity of the US toward Mr. Assange's creation isn't matched worldwide. According to Glenn Greenwald, writing for Salon, WikiLeaks last night earned what Mr. Greenwald calls "The Australian equivalent of the Pulitzers."

The Walkley Foundation bestowed upon WikiLeaks the Walkley Awards for "Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism."

The panel cited the group's "courageous and controversial commitment to the finest traditions of journalism: justice through transparency," noting its revelations on a host of issues, from the war on terror to "diplomatic bastardry" with the use of new technology.

WikiLeaks applied new technology to penetrate the inner workings of government to reveal an avalanche of inconvenient truths in a global publishing coup.

Its revelations, from the way the war on terror was being waged, to diplomatic bastardry, high-level horse-trading and the interference in the domestic affairs of nations, have had an undeniable impact.

This innovation could just as easily have been developed and nurtured by any of the world’s major publishers - but it wasn't.

Yet so many eagerly took advantage of the secret cables to create more scoops in a year than most journalists could imagine in a lifetime.

WikiLeaks and its controversial head Julian Assange certainly divide opinions. Let us know your thoughts by taking our quick poll below.

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10 Responses to WikiLeaks delays more secure whistleblower system

  1. abadidea · 873 days ago

    If your feelings on something as complex as this can be summed up with a simple "yes" or "no"...

    • Floundah · 873 days ago

      Agreed. My answer is a very qualified yes. Corruption and violence should be exposed, but certain other things need to be kept secret because people's lives may depend upon it.

      Really, it is a case by case situation calling for the utmost of good judgement, honorable intentions, and care.

      • Lisa Vaas · 872 days ago

        I agree. Well put. If I could do this over again I'd rewrite that poll for more nuance. Hard to make a nuanced poll, though. As long as it sparks discussion, it's worth asking, even if the yes/no question is simplistic.

  2. Jason · 873 days ago

    I don't support Julian Assange.
    I do support WikiLeaks.

    Your poll is necessarily broken.

    • Nathanael · 872 days ago

      I support WikiLeaks.
      I do not support Julian Assange.
      I do not support the moves against him either; I have no inside information as to whether he has done the things he is accused of, but believe that if he did them, he should face justice the same as anyone else. (That's Justice, not revenge, and the same as anyone else, not more, or less of it)

  3. Guest · 872 days ago

    As per @Jason, I support the concept of WikiLeaks, however that is conditional. I do not believe it is right to endanger people's lives (from wherever they come from). The uncovering of incompetence, cover-ups and issues that are in the public interest is the right way forward. I think it has damaged it's reputation with some of its coverage.

  4. tyler · 872 days ago

    I support wikileaks in certain situations and cases cause the regular news (national, local, and international) will never give it to us straight but Julian should face justice.

  5. David · 872 days ago

    I'd answer Yes because I believe in the concept behind Wikileaks, but I do not support Wikileaks or Assange because of this 'so-called file' they distributed a while back for the sole purpose of protecting themselves. This is tantamount to black mail. For a group that claims transparency, why hide anything at all or use threats as a blackmail tool to avoid prosecution? There also seems to be a lot of 'glory-hunting' via the tabloids for a non-profit organization.

    A true journalist reports the news without becoming part of it. All the in-house bickering has destroyed a big chunk of Wikileaks' reputation.

    I understand the need for a 'watchdog' to keep governments honest. But Wikileaks does not live up to its own standards. I believe that Wikileaks has been corrupted by financial greed.

  6. Greenpe · 872 days ago

    Of course they're necessary... what a year. At least we learned where are the strings behind de puppets.

  7. Teqx · 870 days ago

    I support the wikileaks movement, governments endanger peoples lives every day with their actions and reactions, especially in foreign countries. The poll is broken/biased because many that support Wikileaks may not support Julian, but many would also see what he was accused of as a convenient way to publically discredit wikileaks in public opinion (of course we may never know the truth). Either way I fully support wikileaks as it is bigger than one man and it doesn't matter now if people support Julian Assage or not.

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About the author

I've been writing about technology, careers, science and health since 1995. I rose to the lofty heights of Executive Editor for eWEEK, popped out with the 2008 crash, joined the freelancer economy, and am still writing for my beloved peeps at places like Sophos's Naked Security, CIO Mag, ComputerWorld, PC Mag, IT Expert Voice, Software Quality Connection, Time, and the US and British editions of HP's Input/Output. I respond to cash and spicy sites, so don't be shy.