Hacktivist movement, Anonymous, has announced an end to its long-standing cooperation with Wikileaks, due to changes in the site's direction and the fact that it had become more like the: “One Man Julian Assange Show.”
Posted over at the frequent hacker spoils dumping ground, Pastebin, the statement explained that after lengthy concerns with where Wikileaks was heading, those behind the AnonymousIRC Twitter account felt that the last straw came two days ago when Wikileaks altered its content to display a donation page whenever someone attempted to access areas of the site like GIFiles or any of the Syria emails. The only way to view that content was to make a donation, something that Anonymous felt was coercion and didn't promote the reasons it had initially supported Wikileaks: the dissemination of information.
The statement continued by saying that: “In the recent months the focus has moved away from actual leaks and the fight for freedom of information further and further while it concentrated more and more on Julian Assange.” The person behind the statement was keen to point out that while Anonymous still believes Mr Assange shouldn't be extradited to the US, ultimately those proceedings shouldn't impact Wikileaks itself.
Further explaining its position, AnonymousIRC said:” As far as money is concerned, we understand that Wikileaks lives from donations. And it is fine to ask for them as long as this is done in a non-ostentatious manner. This is clearly not the case anymore.”
In conclusion, it was stated: “We cannot support anymore what Wikileaks has become – the One Man Julian Assange show. But we also want to make clear that we still support the original idea behind Wikileaks: Freedom of information and transparent governments.”
Not everyone agrees with AnonymousIRC however. Another posting on Pastebin, signed by “Anonymous,” explains that donation drives like this are par for the course with Wikileaks and that the site is still far more than just an income source and news site for Assange.
KitGuru Says: These polarising thoughts aren't uncommon in Anonymous. With no real leader, the other members of the movement are well within their collective rights to continue supporting Wikileaks f they so choose. AnonymousIRC is no figure head, just a Twitter front for a movement that is made up of a loose, but rather expansive member base where the only real stipulations for joining are to believe in freedom and that sharing is caring. Simply because they have the same ideals, doesn't mean they'll all, always agree.