WikiLeaks recently released a leaked NSA documents showing that the agency had spied on at least the last three French Presidents, including intercepting their phone calls. This has certainly upset the French President Francois Hollande, who issued a strongly worded statement that, “France will not tolerate actions that threaten its security and the protection of its interests.” However, this leak isn’t exactly a bombshell revelation. It’s been known for some time that the NSA has spied on the phone calls of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It’s not exactly a huge surprise to learn that they are also spying on another head of state.
Perhaps the bigger news here is WikiLeaks return to form. For years, WikiLeaks has had a dearth of new documents to leak. After taking down its anonymous submission system in 2010, almost no new documents have been posted on WikiLeaks. Occasionally, WikiLeaks was able to rerelease documents that were already leaked by other sources. This is the first newly leaked document to be released on WikiLeaks in years, and will give it new life as a watchdog on government activities.
As reported last month on TechRaptor, WikiLeaks had launched a new and improved submission system, and was accepting new documents for the first time in 5 years. This new submission system is now bearing fruit with this leak and more are promised to be on the way. WikiLeaks has promised it will soon be releasing a followup which, “will give further evidence as to US true goals in its mass espionage of France.”
The new submissions system isn’t the only change WikiLeaks has made recently. They have also unveiled a new plan to get leakers paid for certain documents. WikiLeaks is currently attempting to raise $100,000 for the 26 chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. $75,000 has already been raised by donations from visitors to the site. While offering a bounty might encourage people to leak documents which they otherwise wouldn’t, there is a possibility that offering monetary payments in exchange for documents could incentive the creation of fake documents in order to get paid.
Despite years of financial troubles that have plagued WikiLeaks, the organization has managed to survive. Now it is finally ready to get back to its original purpose: Providing a platform for whistleblowers to shed light on government activities.
Do you think WikiLeaks is a force for holding the government accountable? Leave your comments below.