The hacker collective Anonymous has long been a supporter of WikiLeaks, due to their mutual goal to unearth government secrecy. But that relationship seems to be fading away. Due to the obvious anonymity of Anonymous, few details are available, but Tweets like, “We…withdraw out support (of WikiLeaks)” point to a break-up.
The recent disagreement between the two sites was over a donation page on the WikiLeaks site. Anonymous saw the donation suggestion as a paywall, according to Network World. Anonymous believes a donation to be an infringement on the idea that information should be free. WikiLeaks doesn’t agree, but did eventually remove the donation page.
Anonymous took to Twitter to air complaints about the alleged paywall. WikiLeaks tweeted back that a donation is not a paywall. WikiLeaks’ leader Julian Assange had initially spearheaded a 34-day donation campaign in order to help keep the site afloat. Unfortunately for WikiLeaks, the removal of the donation suggestion came too late.
Anonymous has long been a loyal supporter of WikiLeaks. It has defended WikiLeaks against naysayers and attacked any enemies. Anonymous also has a strong history of stealing government documents and turning them over to WikiLeaks. It’s tough to tell how much WikiLeaks will suffer from the broken relationship.
The History of Anonymous
Anonymous has its own slew of followers and a solid reputation when it comes to revealing secrets, much like what an injury attorneywould reveal. The 2010 denial of service attacks that Anonymous spearheaded targeted Paypal, Visa and MasterCard after the companies refused to send customer support donations to WikiLeaks. It seems like the big difference between 2010 and 2012 is that WikiLeaks was openly asking for donations. However, Anonymous is not an enemy anyone wants.
The issue of donations isn’t the only problem Anonymous has with WikiLeaks. The group also thinks WikiLeaks has become too focused on Assange, who is seeking asylum in Ecuador for rape charges in Sweden. Everyone from accident lawyersto environmentalists have weighed in on this move. However, Anonymous thinks the focus should be solely on free information.
What Anonymous Can Do
The hacktivist group isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to leak information. Anonymous claims that 14 members of the group are either facing criminal charges or currently serving time in prison. It’s been alleged that Anonymous has hacked the CIA, GoDaddy, and the IRS, to name just a few. However, it’s impossible to know if these hacks were actually caused by Anonymous.
The nature of the group means that anyone can claim hacks. The only certainty is that WikiLeaks just lost its biggest supporter. Anonymous claims that WikiLeaks has been in a downward spiral for months and the donation page was simply the last straw. Only time will tell how the separation will impact WikiLeaks.