Wikileaks is a developing platform for leaking and reading uncensored documents stemming from oppressive governments and internal corporate environments and at this point includes over 1.2 million documents. ‘Our primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we are of assistance to people of nations who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their governments and corporations,’ says the description of Wikileaks. According to the Times, Wikileaks ‘could become as important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act’ by providing a safe haven for those who want to expose injustice, violence or corruption within their governments or corporations without the fear of being exposed or persecuted.
Wikileaks was started by Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and start-up company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa. Since January 2007 Wikileaks has been banned by the Chinese government. What about authenticity, you may ask; just as one can make claims about the authenticity of common knowledge on Wikipedia, one can make ones about whether what is being released on Wikileaks is authentic information. Wikileaks however claims the following: ‘Wikileaks staff, who are investigative journalists, forensically all documents and label any suspicions of inauthenticity based on a forensic analysis of the document, means, motive and opportunity, cost of forgery and so on. We have become world leaders in this, have never, as far as anyone is aware, made a mistake’. Beyond the chances of making mistakes, Wikileaks provides an important channel of free information and a source of increasing government and corporate transparency.