Wikileaks Wants Money

As the Wikileak-singular blog notes, WikiLeaks-plural are begging for money at the moment, in a way which raises some interesting questions: They apparently are claiming to need eighty-thousand United States Dollars to remain operating for the next three months. Wikileak-singular infers this to mean their annual operating costs are around $320,000, but that isn’t necessarily the case, as there’s little transparency where WikiLeaks-plural are concerned: They imply that they are expecting an infusion of cash in September of this year, so it’s theoretically possible that they’re, say, locked into year-long server leases which are coming up for renewal soon, and don’t have the cash on hand. Eighty grand a year is $6,666 per month, which I would estimate is, worst-case scenario, enough to cover WikiLeaks’ technical costs twice over; eighty grand for three months is a bit over $26,000 per month, which is pretty much absurd, unless the folks behind the project are running it as a for-profit business, which would be more than a bit troubling.

In any event, nobody seems to know where the money goes, or what it’s used for. On the other hand, because WikiLeaks continue their grand tradition of not being as technically competent as they might wish, we now know who at least a few of their donors are

Published in: Geekiness, General | on February 19th, 2009| 3 Comments »

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  1. On 2/20/2009 at 7:15 am wikileak Said:

    The allegedly leaked email mentions that

    > Although the project is more successful than ever, it is, as a
    > result more expensive than ever to run, and infact, ran out of
    > formal funding four months ago. Since that time our staff and
    > have run the entire organization from their personal savings.
    > We expect to receive substantial additional funding late this year,
    > but in the mean time, your support, and that of your friends and
    > collegues, will mean the difference between us staying on line and
    > closing for a period until the end of the year!

    Perhaps the 80,000 dollar target (do they really expect to achieve that ?) is to make good those 4 months as well, i.e. to cover 7 months of operations.

    That still seemingly leaves June, July and August and perhaps September unfunded (assuming that the mysterious “formal funding” comes through on time).

    As you have noted there is no financial transparency at all, so they could be spending most of the the money on staff, or on beer, rather than just on technical hosting costs.

    Are you willing to trust that your personal details will not be exposed, if you donate some money to the project via PayPal ?

  2. On 2/20/2009 at 12:59 pm Nemo Said:

    I can’t help but feel that their fundraising efforts would be a lot more successful if they were rather more open about what, specifically, their expenses as such are. Given that some of the Pirate Bay crowd seem to be involved, I’m a little skeptical about any and all of Wikileaks’ purported fundraising efforts.

    And, no, I wouldn’t expect WikiLeaks to take any steps to ensure my privacy, in the highly unlikely event I donated money to them. At the moment, if I were foolish enough to give them money, I probably wouldn’t be too terribly bothered by being “exposed” as a donor – but that could easily change, were it to turn out that they’re a front for one or more reasonably nefarious parties…

  3. On 2/24/2009 at 1:16 pm WikiLeak Said:

    They seem to want even more money now ! “is in a dire financial position”

    “Although we expect to receive some $2M in funding later this year,
    there has been no formal funding since last year.”

    “Our $2M funding injection later this year will support a radical expansion of our mission.”

    “On-line donations, an important buttress to our ability to take on all governments and companies with total independence, have amounted to around $10,000 since the beginning of the year. Costs outside of court actions are almost $400,000 per year.”