Wikileaks, the whistleblowing website which prides itself on providing free access to information, has erected a paywall… to the bafflement of its supporters, most prominently Anonymous.
Dubbed a ‘donation’ the mandatory payments are required to be made in order to access several of Wikileaks document files, including its Global Intelligence Files, Spy Files, Guantanamo Files and Iraq War Logs.
It is justified by way of a Youtube video which asks about the expectation that US voters should have over their politicians and what they can expect from whoever wins the election. These questions are each answered by Obama stating ‘Yes we can’ taken from an address he made during the last presidential campaign.
The video claims that Wikileaks can help run America by donating to the whistle blowing website and ends with the voice of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange who states ‘I’m Julian Assange and I approve this message’
The move immediately led to a war of words on Twitter between the organisation and Anonymous -which demanded the paywall be taken down.
They were rebuffed however, prompting Anonymous to release this statement: “When this 'paywall' appeared last night, there was a brief and intense exchange online between Anonymous and Wikileaks. Within two hours all of the 'paywalls' were removed.
"At that point Anonymous was willing to let this pass, for the sake of peace in the over all movement. But now tonight, as if taunting us to rage -- the 'paywalls' reappeared not just on sections of the site but for every single file. Enough!”
Anonymous states that its actions will stop short of attacking the Wikileaks site directly but that it will no longer feed information to the site but instead post documents on its own outlets.
“We have been worried about the direction Wikileaks is going for sometime now. In the past year the focus has moved away from actual leaks and the fight for freedom of information and concentrated more and more on Julian Assange and a rabid scrounging for money.
"The conclusion for us is that Anonymous cannot support anymore what WikiLeaks has become...what we will do is cease from this day all support of any kind for Wikileaks or Julian Assange."