Wikileaks.org, a website that publishes classified, confidential, censored or otherwise secret documents for anyone to see, put out a call last night for help in advancing the site beyond its remarkable early success. Just a week after publishing one of its most high profile documents yet, the organization sent an email to subscribers last night asking them to "tell us your most radical ideas for our vision of justice and how they might be economically, politically, legally, technically and socially sustained."
Wikileaks is run by an anonymous international network of activists and has posted an eye-popping selection of secret documents in its less than two years online. Hosted by a company with ties to the Pirate Bay and run by an anonymous international network of activists, the organization is looking to quickly scale up its reporting efforts. The Wikipedia entry about the organization reads like a spy thriller where the good guys are a shadowy international crew of regular geeks who understand the moral complexity of what they are doing.
We profiled Wikileaks last winter when the site was temporarily taken offline for US visitors by a court injunction in California. The judge in that case quickly reversed his injunction and the site lived on to post more whistle blowing reports.
From Apple iPhone documents to internal communications by the Church of Scientology, Wikileaks is publishing secrets fast and furious regarding some of the most high profile issues of the day.
Probably its most high profile post went up last week, though. On Friday, November 21st Wikileaks published the entire membership and contact list of the white nationalist British National Party. Record numbers of people flooded the Wikileaks site to scour over the list and see if they recognized names on it. Police officers, members of the Army, former and serving prison officers and a number of school teachers were identified. At least one police officer identified has been publicly rebuked by his employer.
Wikileaks published 24 more documents since the Party list, including a copy of a pamphlet that Party members were arrested for distributing in Liverpool. The site condemned the arrests and argued that politically repugnant speech was the most important kind to protect.
As Wikileaks continues to raise its public profile, publishing a greater number of damning documents and facing more intense scrutiny - the organization is communicating very publicly about the ethical, legal and technical challenges it faces on a companion blog called Wikileak.org.
"We have never lost a source, never lost a case and have never been successfully censored," the site says. Now we'll see if their supporters can help them scale up to new heights and still maintain that record.