WikiLeaks Publishes Secret Information From Around the World

 

WikiLeaks is an internet  platform  that  publishes secret  documents from many different  sources . The website started in 2006 and today has about 1.2 million documents in its  database . Wikileaks was  founded  by journalists and other media experts. An Australian, Julian Assange , is its  head .

In 2010 WikiLeaks became known all over the world by publishing over 400,000 secret documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.   It also  released  a video of an American helicopter attack  on Iraqi  citizens .

 

At first, WikiLeaks’  aim  was to show how dictatorships and other  oppressive governments work by showing people how they  behave  towards  citizens . The internet platform also wants to bring important news, that  otherwise  may never be published, to the  public .

WikiLeaks gets its money from private  citizens  and other organizations. The people who work there are  volunteers . It has its documents on computers in many countries, including   Sweden and Iceland, where Internet  laws  are not so  strict . Servers are changed often so that it is very difficult to  track  where the information comes from.

 

Wikileaks logo

Image: Wikileaks_logo.svg

 

 

Assange and his team get information from all over the world. They  include  private emails of  politicians , CIA reports,  surveillance  videos and other information. They carefully look through and examine it and then decide if they can  publish  it or not. WikiLeaks says it never  reveals  its sources. During the 2008 presidential  campaign  it published Sarah Palin’s personal emails. She was the Republican Vice Presidential candidate at that time.

Most of the information comes from people  inside  government organizations that collect secret   information and then send it to WikiLeaks. The site also tells people how to send information without giving away their  identity .

The organization has  attacked  governments around the world and published information that is  embarrassing  to them.

Assange has  announced  that WikiLeaks wants to publish  sensitive  information about big  corporations  and banks in the  near future .

Politicians in America and other countries have criticized WikiLeaks for publishing secret   information.  Many want to  shut down  the website, but, up to now have not succeeded .

 

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Words

  • aim   = goal
  • announce   = to say officially
  • attack   = when you use weapons against someone in a war
  • behave   = treat
  • campaign   = movement, fight
  • candidate   = a person who wants to be elected to a job
  • citizen   = a person who works in  a country and has rights there
  • corporation   = a big, powerful business or company
  • database   =  a lot of information is stored on a computer system so that you can search through it and find what you want
  • embarrassing   = something that makes you feel nervous or ashamed
  • found   – founded = start
  • head   = boss
  • identity   = to say who you are
  • including   = also
  • inside   = from within
  • law   = rule
  • near future   = soon
  • oppressive   = powerful, cruel and unfair to the people
  • otherwise   = what will happen if something is not done
  • platform   = here: website
  • politician   = a person who works in the government or politics
  • public   = the people
  • publish   = bring out to the people
  • release   = publish; show to the people
  • reveal   = to say who someone is
  • secret   = only a few people know about something
  • sensitive   = here: secret
  • shut down   = close
  • strict   = harsh; something that does not always have to be obeyed or done
  • succeed   = to make it happen
  • surveillance   = if someone observes or watches you closely
  • track   = follow, find out
  • volunteer   = someone who does a job without getting money for it