Tuesday, 24 May 2011

WikiLeaks Funding

WikiLeaks Funding

On 24 December 2009, WikiLeaks announced that it was experiencing a shortage of funds and suspended all access to its website except for a form to submit new material. Material that was previously published was no longer available, although some could still be accessed on unofficial mirrors. WikiLeaks stated on its website that it would resume full operation once the operational costs were covered. WikiLeaks saw this as a kind of strike "to ensure that everyone who is involved stops normal work and actually spends time raising revenue". While the organization initially planned for funds to be secured by 6 January 2010, it was not until 3 February 2010 that WikiLeaks announced that its minimum fundraising goal had been achieved.

On 22 January 2010, PayPal suspended WikiLeaks' donation account and froze its assets. WikiLeaks said that this had happened before, and was done for "no obvious reason". The account was restored on 25 January 2010. On 18 May 2010, WikiLeaks announced that its website and archive were back up.

In June 2010, WikiLeaks was a finalist for a grant of more than half a million dollars from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, but did not make the cut. WikiLeaks commented via Twitter, "WikiLeaks was highest rated project in the Knight challenge, strongly recommended to the board but gets no funding. Go figure." WikiLeaks said that the Knight foundation announced the award to "'12 Grantees who will impact future of news' – but not WikiLeaks" and questioned whether Knight foundation was "really looking for impact". A spokesman of the Knight Foundation disputed parts of WikiLeaks' statement, saying "WikiLeaks was not recommended by Knight staff to the board." However, he declined to say whether WikiLeaks was the project rated highest by the Knight advisory panel, which consists of non-staffers, among them journalist Jennifer 8. Lee, who has done PR work for WikiLeaks with the press and on social networking sites.

In 2010, WikiLeaks received €635,772.73 in PayPal donations, less €30,000 in PayPal fees, and €695,925.46 in bank transfers. €500,988.89 of the sum was received in the month of December, primarily as bank transfers as PayPal suspended payments December 4. €298,057.38 of the remainder was received in April.

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