Home ReadWriteWeb’s Comprehensive WikiLeaks Timeline (UPDATED)

ReadWriteWeb’s Comprehensive WikiLeaks Timeline (UPDATED)

As we mentioned before, “Wikileaks was not a story, but an ongoing continuum of stories… It’s a story that is destined to keep on giving.” In that short time since that post, it has indeed done just that.

WikiLeaks — its actions and the reactions to them, the implications of what has happened around the whistle-blowing site — has given birth to an extremely complex and ever-changing situation. In lieu of summing up a situation that has not come to a tidy conclusion, we have put together a full timeline of WikiLeaks news and analysis from our site. Read through from our earliest coverage (February, 2008) to our most recent (today) and you should have a reasonably complete sense of why WikiLeaks is important.

WikiLeaks, Censorship and the Watchdog WebFebruary 18, 2008

“A very interesting site for whistle blowers called WikiLeaks is facing government censorship as today a California judge reportedly ruled that the company in control of the site’s domain name must shut down public access to the entire site.”

Wikileaks Calls for Help in Taking Whistle Blower Site to the Next LevelNovember 28, 2008.

“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 and Publishers to Partner on Whistleblower StoriesOctober 9, 2009

“The group will give publishers the opportunity to embed a Wikileaks submission form on their websites. The idea is that users will be able to anonymously upload material, and Wikileaks will verify it. In return for embedding the form, the publisher will receive the verified documents under embargo and will be the first to publish the story.”

Wikileaks Releases Over Half a Million Pager Messages from 9/11November 25, 2009

“Earlier this morning, Wikileaks began to post pager messages that were sent on September 11, 2001. According to Wikileaks, these messages were intercepted by an ‘organization which has been intercepting and archiving US national telecommunications since prior to 9/11.’”

Wikileaks Plugs the Leak While It Waits for FundingJanuary 29, 2010

“If you woke up today thinking this would finally be the day you would leak that top-secret document, you might want to hold off for another day. Wikileaks, the Internet home for whistleblowers world-wide, has temporarily shut its doors to concentrate on fundraising.”

Apple Bans Cartoon Ulysses: This Week in Online TyrannyJune 17, 2010.

“Iceland establishes strong free-speech laws. In order to become a “new media haven” Iceland has passed the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative proposal, co-written by whistle-blower site WikiLeaks.”

Wikileaks Releases 91,000 Afghanistan War Documents OnlineJuly 25, 2010

“‘The reports, while written by soldiers and intelligence officers mainly describing lethal military actions involving the United States military, also include intelligence information, reports of meetings with political figures, and related detail.’”

Wikileaks Data Spurs App DevelopmentAugust 9, 2010

“While politicians, pundits, military, and journalists assess and debate the fallout from Wikileaks’ release of the ‘Afghan War Diary’ – the legality and ethics of Wikileaks, its impact on the war efforts, the rise of the ‘world’s first stateless news organization’ – a number of developers are diving right into the 91,000 some odd classified documents and seeing what they can do with the data.”

Visualizing the Wikileaks DataAugust 19, 2010

“A group of hackademics took the Wikileaks activity data from the Afghanistan war and mapped it, creating a video visualization of the events. The 91,000 documents track events including friendly fire and civilian injuries and death over the course of the last six years.”

WikiLeakiLeaks: Open Attack or Honest Attempt At Media Transparency?August 30, 2010

“Gawker has had enough of the tight-lipped Wikileaks and its elusive founder, Julian Assange, it would seem. According to a blog post this morning, the media outlet decries the website to be ‘about as open as North Korea.’ In response, it has launched the hilariously-named Wikileakileaks, ‘your source for Wikileaks-related secrets, documents and rumors.’”

Wikileaks Officials Quit Over Iraq War Doc ReleaseSeptember 28, 2010

“Wikileaks came to prominence after it released 91,000 documents related to the Afghanistan War. Now, officials inside the organization have begun leaving in protest over its founder’s insistence on releasing nearly 400,000 similar documents from the Iraq War.”

Bahraini Blogger Tortured: This Week in Online TyrannyOctober 15, 2010

“After being dropped by Moneybooker, the e-commerce company that processes the organizations donations, Assange accused it of collusion in a U.S. government conspiracy to destroy him.”

Wikileaks Founder: Media Reports of Iraq Document Release Based on “Tabloid” BlogOctober 18, 2010

“Take a look this morning at Reuters, the BBC, CNN or any number of other media sources and you’ll read that WikiLeaks, the controversial wiki-based site for whistle-blowers, is about to release nearly half a million records pertaining to the Iraq War. Wikileaks says that this news has been reported in more than 700 articles across the Web and that it’s all based on ‘a single tabloid blog at Wired Magazine.’”

Police in 14 Countries Raid File-Sharing Hosts And Hit Close to WikileaksSeptember 7, 2010

“The raid comes as Wikileaks is preparing to release 15,000 classified documents related to the war in Afghanistan, which the U.S. government is anxious to prevent. PRQ denied that Wikileaks was the subject of the raid, and Wikileaks has not made any statement yet.”

Wikileaks Loses Funding, Claims Government Blacklist to BlameOctober 15, 2010

“Wikileaks, the wiki-based site for whistle-blowers, has been facing increasing pressure from the U.S. government since its July release of more than 90,000 war documents from the war in Afghanistan. Today, the Guardian is reporting that this pressure has finally hit where it hurts the most – in the pocket – as the site’s funding has been blocked.”

Examining Today’s Coverage of Wikileaks Iraq DocumentsOctober 22, 2010

“Wikileaks’ leak of its approximately 400,000 Iraq military field reports to major media outlets has turned into a torrent today. Like the whistle-blower outfit’s release of its 91,000 Afghanistan war documents, it gave the MSM a chance to look, and interpret, before releasing any information to the public.”

Wikileaks’ Iraq War Diaries Available for Download – Data VisualizationOctober 25, 2010

“As most readers probably know by now, Julian Assange, Wikileaks’ leader, has gone ahead with the release of 391,832 secret documents related to the war in Iraq. These documents cover most of the period between May 2004 and March 2009.”

Wikileaks Iraq Redactions Last-Minute, Possibly AutomatedOctober 27, 2010

“Anonymous whistle-blowing outfit Wikileaks has been criticized for insufficiently redacting (covering or deleting) the names of civilians in its release of Afghanistan war documents. Everyone from the more predictable U.S. officials to non-profits like Reporters Without Borders to Wikileaks’ own staff has faulted its founder, Julian Assange for a lack of concern for people’s lives. As unlikely as it might seem, given apparent Assange’s high-handedness with media and co-workers and many conspiracy theories, he seems to have heard the complaints. In the latest release, that of almost 400,000 documents related to the Iraq War, redactions were carried out.”

Wikileaks Mutineers Create Rival OrganizationNovember 7, 2010

“Back in September, we reported that whistle-blowing site Wikileaks had hemorrhaged a number of prominent personnel. Now some of those who’ve left have begun assembling an organization designed to directly compete with its parent. The alleged high-handedness of the organization’s founder, Julian Assange, and the beliefs of some of his co-workers’ belief that he has not properly protected lives by carefully redacting the Iraq documents, has created a rift and the rift has created and opportunity.”

Over 250,000 U.S. Diplomatic Documents Released by WikileaksNovember 28, 2010

“Hours prior to the documents’ publication, Wikileaks tweeted that the website was experiencing a ‘mass distributed denial of service attack.’ But whether or not the site goes down – it’s functioning, albeit slowly at this time – the documents released today have already been distributed to a number of international news agencies who are publishing their findings from the trove of leaked documents.”

Wikileaks Moves to Amazon Web ServicesNovember 29, 2010

“Yesterday we reported that Wikileaks’ web site suffered a denial of service (DOS) attack just before the publication of its most recent cache of documents. The site was down for only a few hours, according to Forbes’ Andy Greenberg. Today, The Guardian reports that Wikileaks turned to Amazon.com’s Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) service to get back online and survive the DOS attack.”

Amazon.com Drops WikileaksDecember 1, 2010

“Amazon.com has taken down the Wikileaks web site under what appears to be pressure from the U.S. government. Senator Lieberman issued a statement saying that Amazon.com has informed his staff that the company has ceased hosting Wikileaks.”

Weekly Poll: Should Amazon.com Have Dropped Wikileaks?December 1, 2010

“Our question for the week: Should Amazon Have Dropped Wikileaks?”

Amazon.com Explains Why It Dropped WikileaksDecember 2, 2010

“Amazon.com issued a statement today regarding its decision to stop hosting Wikileaks’ main site yesterday, claiming the organization’s site violated the Amazon Web Services terms of service and that the content was endangering peoples’ lives.”

Another Falls: Tableau Software Drops Wikileaks Data VisualizationsDecember 2, 2010

“Facing indirect pressure from the U.S. Government, Tableau Software has dropped Wikileaks’ data from its site for people to use for data visualization. According to an announcement posted on Tableau’s blog, the company decided to drop Wikileaks’ content after reading Sen. Joe Lieberman’s public request that companies hosting Wikileaks’ data remove it.”

Wikileaks Loses its DNS ServiceDecember 2, 2010

“‘EveryDNS.net provided domain name system (DNS) services to the wikileaks.org domain name until 10PM EST, December 2, 2010, when such services were terminated. As with other users of the EveryDNS.net network, this service was provided for free. The termination of services was effected pursuant to, and in accordance with, the EveryDNS.net Acceptable Use Policy.”‘

Top 10 Culture of Tech Stories of 2010December 3, 2010

“Wikileaks, the site and the group behind it, could not have happened until the social web did. Leaks have happened for decades but the penetration and the mass of documents only became possible recently. Websites, email, wikis, blogs, microblogs and social networks created a network of avenues for leaks to come in and to spread out again.”

Wikileaks Releases Diplomatic Cables: This Week in Online TyrannyDecember 3, 2010

“The whistle-blower site’s previous release of Afghani and Iraqi war documents inspired a lot of criticism, much of which was understandable even for those who did not agree. After all, lives were (arguably) at stake. The current brouhaha over the diplomatic cables just seems like pique on behalf of the embarrassed governments.”

PayPal Announces It Will No Longer Handle Wikileaks DonationsDecember 4, 2010

“PayPal has posted a (late-night) statement to its website, saying: ‘PayPal has permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity. We’ve notified the account holder of this action.’”

Wikileaks’ Assange May be TIME’s Person of the YearDecember 6, 2010

“Wanted by the law across multiple countries, threatened with military action by US hawks, shut out by internet vendors from Amazon to PayPal, Wikileaks leader Julian Assange may still be named TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2010. He’s currently leading in the magazine’s online poll, ahead of the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Erdogan, in influence score if not in votes.”

The Weakest Link: What Wikileaks Has Taught Us About the Open InternetDecember 6, 2010

“‘The first serious infowar is now engaged,’” EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow tweeted on Friday. “‘The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You are the troops.’”

Facebook: We’re Not Kicking Wikileaks Off Our SiteDecember 6, 2010

“‘The Wikileaks Facebook Page does not violate our content standards nor have we encountered any material posted on the page that violates our policies.’”

Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Arrested in LondonDecember 7, 2010

“The much-maligned Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been arrested this morning in London. Assange turned himself in to London police to face a Swedish arrest warrant for rape allegations, which Assange has denied.”

PayPal: Decision to Drop Wikileaks Was “Straightforward”December 8, 2010

“Over the weekend, PayPal announced that it would no longer handle donations to whistleblower site Wikileaks. In a late night statement, the company said that the site had violated its terms of service and the account would be immediately shut down.”

DDoS Attacks Take Down Mastercard and Visa Websites, “Payback” for Their Stance on WikiLeaksDecember 8, 2010

“Mastercard’s website was down for several hours this morning, and now it appears as though Visa’s is offline as well, as these sites have become the targets of ongoing DDoS attacks. And so the infowar rages on today with these latest shots apparently fired by Anonymous, a vigilante group of hacktivists loosely affiliated with the message board 4chan.”

Anonymous Ousted from Twitter and Facebook, Back on Twitter AlreadyDecember 8, 2010

“Following its very public DDoS attacks on the Visa and Mastercard websites this afternoon, it appears as though the vigilante group Anonymous will no longer be able to keep us apprised via Twitter or Facebook. The group’s access to both social networking sites has been pulled. Updated: 30 minutes later, it looks like you can follow Anonymous at @AnonOps.”

Wikileaks on Pirate Bay: The Facts & FiguresDecember 8, 2010

“The US government has called on the organization Wikileaks to “return” all the classified documents it received and has begun to publish and “destroy” all the documents in its databases. For at least the fraction of the documents that have been released to the public, it’s far too late for that.”

President Bill Clinton Talks About WikileaksDecember 8, 2010

“Clinton used the Wikileaks issue to illustrate the theme of his discussion, which centered on instability in the world. ‘What you do not see is how many people were exposed,’ Clinton said about Wikileaks, referring to informants providing information about their native countries to the United States. As a result, people may be killed and careers will be ruined, Clinton said.”

Operation Payback Targets Amazon; WikiLeaks Cables Found in Kindle Book StoreDecember 9, 2010

“Less than an hour ago, the Twitter account @Op_Payback (Operation Payback) tweeted its intention to take down Amazon.com with its LOIC application, the software designed to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, as directed by the group of hackers known only as Anonymous. The group’s Operation Payback campaign has already hit websites like MasterCard and Visa in recent days, successfully taking the sites offline for hours.”

Wikipedia Editors Delete Article Listing Wikileaks Mirror SitesDecember 9, 2010

“One thing that keeps Wikileaks going, however, is the simple fact that it has hundreds of mirror sites in different languages and locales. One such listing of these sites hosted on name-in-kind service Wikipedia has been deleted by the collaborative encyclopedia’s editors. Should we cry ‘Foul!’ or is the deletion just more business as usual for the site?”

WikiLeaks, Anonymous & the Unfolding Cyberwar, 11 Days InDecember 9, 2010

“It’s been 11 days since the first batch of U.S. diplomatic cables was released by the online organization WikiLeaks. A lot has happened in those 11 days. Below is a recounting of the key events, issues and debates that have arisen. There’s enough going on that it’s almost sure to include some details you weren’t familiar with, dear reader, but we also invite you to correct the history we’re working on documenting as it unfolds.”

Anonymous Appears to Threaten Electronic Frontier Foundation with DDOS AttackDecember 9, 2010

“Hacker vigilante group Anonymous may have followed up its distributed denial of service attacks against Mastercard and Visa with a threat to do the same to…the Electronic Frontier Foundation.”

Operation Avenge Assange as Digital Direct ActionDecember 9, 2010

“But history reveals much that is hidden, and we will see how history will judge WikiLeaks and Operation Payback. In this post, I will analyze Operation Avenge Assange in light of nonviolent direct action as it has been traditionally considered.”

As Attacks on PayPal, Amazon Fail, Anonymous Wikileaks Supporters Begin “Operation LeakSpin”December 10, 2010

“Due to its loose and decentralized nature, later attacks organized by the hacker group known as Anonymous appeared to have failed. PayPal updated its company blog yesterday to note that all PayPal sites are, and have remained, “‘fully operational.'”

Where In the World Is WikiLeaks Mirrored? [Google Earth]December 10, 2010

“WikiLeaks currently has well over 1,000 mirrors, which host the same data in different locations in case the parent site is taken down, and one Harvard developer has gathered all of these mirrors into a Google Earth visualization to show from whence these leaks have sprung.”

DDoS Attacks Make Headlines, But How Common Are They? December 13, 2010

“By attacking the websites of the largest names in finance and e-commerce – Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Amazon – last week’s actions by the vigilante “group” called Anonymous have thrust DDOS attacks into the spotlight. Although some are pegging this as a new form of political activism, denial of service attacks are neither a recent development, nor a particularly rare occurrence.”

Three Hackers Arrested in Wake of DDOS Attacks December 13, 2010

“Authorities found the name of a designer named Alex Tapanaris embedded in a PDF press release purporting to come from the hacker group Anonymous. His site was later inaccessible and he was said to have been arrested. Several other people were arrested, said to be allied to Anonymous, in the Netherlands.”

Wikileaks’ Assange Wins TIME Person of Year Reader Poll – But Will the Editors Choose Him?December 13, 2010

“Julian Assange, leader of the whistle blower website Wikileaks, has won the reader’s poll at TIME Magazine for Person of the Year in 2010, the magazine announced today.”

What if Operation Anonymous Attacked City Infrastructures & Power Grids? December 14, 2010

“This month’s online struggles between Wikileaks supporters participating in the ephemeral group called Anonymous and international corporations like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal, who have stopped allowing their customers to donate money to Wikileaks, have brought electronic disruptions like Distributed Denials of Service (DDOS) to the forefront of peoples’ minds all over the world.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Named TIME’s Person of the Year December 15, 2010

“Despite the fact that Wikileaks front man Julian Assange won TIME’s reader poll for the magazine’s Person of the Year 2010 feature, the editors ultimately picked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckberberg as the overall winner.”

Support Writers, Publishers, Non-Profits (Yes, Including WikiLeaks) With Donations Via Flattr December 15, 2010

“The refusal by PayPal, Moneybookers, Mastercard, and Visa to process payments to WikiLeaks was clearly an effort to sever the organization’s access to online financial resources. But there remains one way to donate online to WikiLeaks, via the Swedish startup Flattr.”

Using WikiLeaks to Shape History as it Happens December 15, 2010

“(W)ill WikiLeaks bring us the transparency we need to be able to understand the internal workings of U.S. covert operations?”

What Mark Zuckerberg Told TIME About Wikileaks December 15, 2010

“So what does Zuckerberg have to say about the man who peeled back the curtain from the internal discussions among diplomats for history’s most formidable empire? Not much.”

Assange Banged OUT of the Tanty: This Week in Online Tyranny December 16, 2010

“Wikileaks boss Julian Assange was awarded bail this week but not initially released.”

WikiLeaks.org Is Back Up… But Is It WikiLeaks? December 16, 2010

“It’s unclear, however, exactly who’s behind it and one Internet security site is saying that the site exists in ‘a very dangerous neighborhood’ of the Internet and is warning people not to visit it.”

House Judiciary Committee Conducts Hearing on Wikileaks – Watch the Video December 16, 2010

“The House Judiciary Committee met today to discuss, among other things, Wikileaks and whether the organization and its boss Julian Assange have violated the United States Espionage Act.”

Information Wants to Be Free, But the (Unofficial) WikiLeaks App Costs Extra December 19, 2010

“‘Information wants to be free,’ or so goes the slogan invoked a lot in relation to WikiLeaks. Information wants to be free – except when it’s a WikiLeaks iPhone app apparently. Then it’s $1.99.”

Top 10 Culture of Tech Stories of 2010 December 20, 2010

“Wikileaks was not a story, but an ongoing continuum of stories. It started with release by the wiki-based whistle-blowing site in April of a video that seemed to show a U.S. helicopter gunship killing a number of Reuters journalists.”

Watch How WikiLeaks’ Mirrors Spread Around the World [Google Earth] December 20, 2010

“Now, Muller has taken this same data and plotted it over time, showing the viral replication of WikiLeaks from just a handful of mirrors to nearly 2,000 in just seven day’s time.”

Major Internet Incidents and Outages of 2010 December 21, 2010

“(T)he events surrounding WIkiLeaks have not merely interrupted the organization’s website, as Amazon, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, EveryDNS and others have been targeted by DDoS attacks.”

How OpenLeaks is Likely to Work December 21, 2010

“OpenLeaks will provide whistle-blowers a way to upload leaked documents and to send them to particular recipients, such as newspapers, news channels, radio stations, non profit organizations, labor unions, governmental oversight groups and others. OpenLeaks itself, unlike Wikileaks, will not publish the leaked documents on its site.”

WikiLeaks App Yanked from App Store December 21, 2010

“The unofficial WikiLeaks app has been yanked from the Apple Store. The app was approved on Dec. 17, but yesterday developer Igor Barinov received word that the app was removed from sale.”

Is This How Bank of America Is Preparing For the Next WikiLeaks Release? December 22, 2010

“In a defensive move, Bank of America now seems to be buying up domains for its senior executives and board members, including their names along with ‘sucks’ or ‘blows.'”

Wikiriver: One Stop Shop For All Wikileaks Coverage December 22, 2010

“This week blogging and syndication trailblazer Dave Winer has launched a simple but invaluable service that centralizes all the coverage from all the major media outlets analyzing the Wikileaks cables.”

Wikileaks’ Leaks Leaked: Norwegian Paper Has All the Cables and None of the Restrictions December 22, 2010

“Unlike El Pais, The Guardian, Le Monde and Wikileaks’ other media partners in past leaks, Aftenposten has no agreement requiring the organization’s sign-off prior to publishing the leaks.”

Bank of America Suffers DDoS Slowdowns December 27, 2010

“Bank of America was targeted by Anonymous because it joined other financial companies PayPal, Mastercard and Visa, in refusing to work with Wikileaks.”

A Taste of Its Own Medicine? 4chan Down Due to DDoS Attack December 28, 2010

“Geekosystem editor Robert Quigley ponders who could be behind the attack, asking if it could be Tumblr users still hanging on to the Tumblr/4chan battle of earlier this year. Quiqley goes on to wonder if it could be the banks themselves acting in retaliation or even 4chan itself.”

Amazon Web Services, WikiLeaks and the Elephant in the Room

“Amazon Web Services sent out a promotional email titled ‘Amazon Web Services Year in Review.’ Understandably, the email didn’t mention one of the biggest AWS stories of the year: the company’s decision to remove the WikiLeaks website from its servers.”

WikiLeaks’ Imitators Proliferate But Go Their Own Way: A Catalog of Clones
December 29, 2010

“The contentious whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks has ruffled so many feathers that it’s been shut down not just in the countries we think of as repressive, but in those we like to think are open. Because of that, mirror sites have proliferated. But accompanying the mirrors are clones.”

FBI Raids Web Hosts Over Wikileaks Advocates’ Operation Payback December 29, 2010

“The FBI has reportedly raided a Texas web host and worked with international authorities to search servers in pursuit of the anonymous leaders of the group Anonymous, who blocked the website of PayPal earlier this month in retribution to the company’s decision to stop its customers from making donations to Wikileaks.”

Leaked: Cuban Government Fears Bloggers More Than Activists December 29, 2010

“Reporters Without Borders reports that several diplomatic cables that have come out via Wikileaks indicate Cuba is more worried about bloggers than traditional activists.”

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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