The Gradual Demise of WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks is slowly becoming irrelevant; although there is still hope to redeem it to its original mission, factors which seem irreversible have already begun to write its eulogy.

In a multi-part series, I will dissect the rise and fall of WikiLeaks.

Do you remember when WikiLeaks was highly relevant? Maybe not. Well, ten years ago, just this past October – WikiLeaks came into existence in October 2006 – an unknown Australian born citizen by the name of Julian Assange founded the non-profit organization. Its motto – or slogan as referred to in its website – is “We open governments”.  In essence, in very simple terms, WikiLeaks’ sole objective was to “force” governments across the globe to be transparent. Not a small task by any measure.

Its name “WikiLeaks” was appropriately chosen and its founder (and collaborators) operated under the radar, anonymously. The organization and its collaborators hide behind firewalls, proxy servers and regularly spoof their locations in order to stay, well anonymous. Rightfully so! What WikiLeaks’ collaborators do are highly annoying to government officials, most of whom are corrupt and the rest make backroom deals they wish to keep secret for one reason or another.  Government officials are by nature dishonest at best but usually corrupt and are sometimes engaged in activities which are dangerous and criminal. So, WikiLeaks was not at all welcome by governments anywhere.

Put differently, the main purpose of WikiLeaks is to open governments – all governments – and expose their actions to the world. WikiLeaks achieve such tall order by hacking into governments’ databases; once information is acquired, they simply released it into “the wild” where journalists can parse the information and report on and let the citizens judge the behavior of their respective governments.

By any analysis, WikiLeaks complemented the task we journalists do regularly: research, parse, analyze and report. Because government officials are usually tight lipped about their business – The information they choose to provide are usually outdated, useless and framed to sway public opinions – WikiLeaks has emerged as a watchdog, an extremely critical role in the preservation of democracy at best, the promotion of transparency at the very least. One would say WikiLeaks was the best thing which has happened to democracy and the worst nightmare for corrupt politicians.

But everything has changed with the 2016 US presidential election. But why? What does the US election have to do with WikiLeaks?

In the next segment, we will analyze the factors which have contributed to the drastic changes in WikiLeaks, an organization whose very existence was supposed to change governments is now changed by governments.

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