The Bradley Manning Support Network, a group supporting Bradley Manning, the Army soldier charged with leaking a massive number of classified U.S. documents to WikiLeaks, posted an announcement on its site today, saying that WikiLeaks had transferred $15,100 to the legal trust account of Manning’s attorney. WikiLeaks has been publicly soliciting donations specifically for the expenses of Manning’s legal defense following his arrest in May 2010.
The contribution by WikiLeaks brings the total funds raised and transferred to Bradley’s civilian legal defense team, led by attorney David Coombs, to over $100,000. Supporters say that a “vigorous defense” for Manning is estimated to cost $115,000.
WikiLeaks has been faced with several challenges in raising money after being cut off by Visa, MasterCard and PayPal recently.
“We have seen an enormous outpouring of support internationally, in donations as well as volunteers,” stated Jeff Paterson, steering committee member for the Bradley Manning Support Network.
Americans feel that WikiLeaks could have a harmful effect on United States’ diplomacy and security, but are torn over whether documents released by the whistle-blowing organization should remain classified. That was the conclusion of an online survey of 350 adults who are familiar with WikiLeaks conducted by market research firm Lab42, on the public’s perception regarding WikiLeaks.
According to the survey, approximately 41% of respondents claimed to have actually visited the WikiLeaks website, while 19% answered that they visited a mirror of the website. Nearly 40% of respondents who were familiar with WikiLeaks had never even visited the website. Based on these numbers, it appears that more than half of people who are familiar with WikiLeaks do not actually visit the site due to its highly controversial or sensitive nature.
According to Sam Curry of RSA, The Security Division of EMC, WikiLeaks is the buzzword of the moment. “Why is it such a hot topic? Well, it involves intrigue and spies and cloak and dagger tactics, it involves secrets, technology, politics and people – all at a time when we are afraid of change, terrorism, identity, economics, the list goes on,” Curry writes. “In a world where information appears to be pouring out of organizations, the issue of actually securing it all looms dauntingly. The WikiLeaks logo itself is a rather ominously dripping globe. And why now? What’s really going on here? Where is it going and how do we deal with this phenomenon?” Read Sam’s thoughts on WikiLeaks here.