WikiLeaks appears to be losing support within the Anonymous collective.
In recent days, members have voiced displeasure with WikiLeaks’ decision to put data behind a paywall. The move triggered criticism on Twitter and elsewhere from Anonymous members.
“Lastly, regardless of any workarounds, the fact remains that a meretricious page is placed for the majority of visitors that cannot be closed,” the message continues. “The obvious intention is to force donations in exchange for access. This is a filthy and rotten, wholly un-ethical action – and Anonymous is enraged.”
A separate message on Pastebin posted Oct. 15 was less harsh, but questioned where donations being received by WikiLeaks were being spent.
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange responded with a statement online explaining that the donation campaign pop-up requires users to either donate to, share or tweet the campaign once a day. However, torrents are unaffected by the pop-up and remain available from the front page.
“These details should have been clearer but were available to anyone who cared to read,” he wrote. “The exact logic and number of seconds are in the page source. We are time and resource constrained. We have many battles to deal with. Other than adding a line of clarification, we have not changed the campaign and nor do we intend to.”
“We know it is annoying. It is meant to be annoying. It is there to remind you that the prospective destruction of WikiLeaks by an unlawful financial blockade and an array of military, intelligence, DoJ and FBI investigations, and associated court cases is a serious business. WikiLeaks faces unprecedented costs due to involvement in over 12 concurrent legal matters around the world, including our litigation of the US military in the Bradley Manning case.”
During the past few years, WikiLeaks has worked closely with hacktivists inside Anonymous, with hackers providing WikiLeaks with information and launching distributed denial-of-service attacks against its detractors.
In the Pastebin note, the message from Anonymous closed by stating that it does not want anyone to feel “torn between WikiLeaks and Anonymous”.
“That is not fair to those people,” the message reads. “Anyone has the choice to support Anonymous, Wikileaks, neither or both. Any division is meaningless as we are divided by zero.”