Anonymous has falling out with WikiLeaks, calling it 'filthy and rotten'

Hactivist group Anonymous has had a serious falling out with WikiLeaks, an ally it long respected as a fighter for providing sensitive information to the public, often surreptitiously obtained from sources in governments and businesses.

In its own declaration, Anonymous says it's infuriated that WikiLeaks has set up a "paywall" that requires a donation from the website visitor to view WikiLeaks content, and pointed out that it is possible to circumvent this paywall by disabling JavaScript. But Anonymous acknowledges the casual user probably has no idea what JavaScript is, "let alone how to disable it." Anonymous says WikiLeaks and its besieged founder Julian Assange are trying to "force donations in exchange for access. This is filthy and rotten, wholly un-ethical action -- and Anonymous is enraged."

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Anonymous said it has been unhappy with WikiLeaks for some time and the paywall is the final straw, and Anonymous won't support WikiLeaks any further -- though it adds it also won't attack the WikiLeaks website since it's "media" and "we do not attack media."

Anonymous also intends to post information obtained through WikiLeaks at a variety of other sites.

Anonymous also voiced other resentments against WikiLeaks related to how Anonymous has 14 members facing indictments around the world "for online protests defending WikiLeaks" while Anonymous is trying to make money off leaked information, including the Stratfor files, and the U.S. government sensitive data leaks attributed to "heroic Bradley Manning who now rots in Ft. Leavenworth facing life."

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: @MessmerE. Email: emessmer@nww.com.

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