Saturday, August 14, 2010

Harper's-How WikiLeaks Is Financed

WikiLeaks logo:
(Story reported by Scott Horton for Harper's Magazine)

Munich’s Süddeutsche Zeitung takes a look at what makes WikiLeaks tick and finds that it rests on the in-kind contributions of supporters, who tend to be young computer geeks who believe that freedom is threatened by the secrecy in which governments around the world operate, and a tiny handful of cash donations.

WikiLeaks aims to collect 460,000 Euros per annum. That would be enough for the five staffers and some of the approximately 900 volunteer helpers to recover some of their costs in the future. Up to this point, not even Assange receives a salary. He lives off his savings, has no permanent residence and frequently sleeps with friends during his perpetual travels…

At present, there are four ways to provide financial support to WikiLeaks. The most important are conventional bank transfers and the online payment system Paypal, which deposits directly to an account administered by Wau Holland Foundation. WikiLeaks staffers are able to recover their costs against this money by submitting invoices. “This account was opened in October 2009, today it has a balance of roughly 700,000 Euros,” says Fulda.

(click here to read the full story on the Harper's Magazine website)

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