Tuesday, 24 May 2011

When will Wikileaks go live?

When will Wikileaks go live?

The extraordinary level of interest in the site has meant that in order to meet global demand our initial public deployment needs many times the capacity originally planned for.

Wikileaks has been running prototypes to a restricted audience but is still several months short of a full launch. This is because we need something that can scale well to an enormous audience. The level of scalability required has been made clear by the immense response to the leak of Wikileaks' existence - and it's taken us by surprise.

Wikileaks is a based on a very simple concept. However, there is lot of complicated technical work behind making that idea work.

Where is a sample document?

See our first analysis, based on a leaked document from China about the 2006 war in Somalia: Inside Somalia and the Union of Islamic Courts.
More generally, see Featured analyses for analyses, and for some sample leaks, see Leaked files.

Couldn't mass leaking of documents be irresponsible?

• Aren't some leaks deliberately false and misleading?
• Couldn't leaking involve invasions of privacy?

Providing a forum for freely posting information involves the potential for abuse, but such exposure can be minimized. The simplest and most effective measure here is a worldwide community of informed users and editors who can scrutinize and discuss leaked documents.

On Wikipedia, posting of false material or other irresponsible posting or editing can be reversed by other users, and the results there have been extremely satisfying and reassuring. There is no reason to expect any different from Wikileaks. As discovered with Wikipedia, the collective wisdom of an informed community of users allows for rapid and accurate dissemination, verification and analysis.

Furthermore, as recent history shows, misleading leaks and misinformation already exist in the mainstream media, an obvious example being the lead-up to the Iraq war. Peddlers of misinformation will find themselves undone by Wikileaks, equipped as it is to scrutinize leaked documents in a way that no mainstream media outlet is capable of. A taste of what to expect is provided by this excellent unweaving of the British government's politically motivated additions to an intelligence dossier on Iraq. The dossier was cited by Colin Powell in his address to the United Nations the same month to justify the pending US invasion of Iraq.

Wikileaks' overarching goal is to provide a forum where embarrassing information can expose injustice. All our policies and practices will be formulated with this goal in mind.

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