After giving The New York Times, The Guardian and Germany’s Der Spiegel an early viewing, this week WikiLeaks released tens of thousands of confidential U.S. military documents.
Since then there have been thousands of follow up stories which continue today, as people pick through the information on offer and try to work out what it means for authorities around the world and especially the U.S. Government.
While some are trying to play down the implications for the ongoing war in Afghanistan, Wikileaks chief Julian Assange has been more forceful and has suggested that some of the documents show evidence of war crimes carried out by the U.S. military.
When added to the outrage caused by the recent ‘Collateral Murder‘ video, Wikileaks is developing quite a problem for itself. Yesterday Assange revealed that he had learned that there had been discussions to charge him “as a co-conspirator to espionage.”
Although it appears those discussions were later dropped, Assange still believes that he could be forcefully detained by the U.S. as a witness in the prosecution of intelligence analyst and video-leaker, Bradley Manning. But while concerns persist over Assange’s personal position, some are already considering the implications for the Wikileaks site itself.
“It would not surprise me at all if Sweden is shortly subjected to American pressure to shut down Wikileaks,” says Anna Troberg of the Swedish Pirate Party. “They have acted similarly in terms of The Pirate Bay, and given that Wikileaks’ activities strikes at the very heart of American power, it’s probably just a matter of time before they act.”
“Now is the moment of truth for our Swedish politicians. Will they have enough backbone to stand up on Wikileaks and democracy, or will they give way to the U.S. and go after PRQ and Wikileaks?”
PRQ is the Sweden-based company run by Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij of Pirate Bay fame that currently provides hosting to Wikileaks. Although absolutely no stranger to coming under pressure over the sites they host, should PRQ become vulnerable, Wikileaks now have a backup offer on the table.
Never an entity to shy away from the free flow of information, no matter where it lies or whoever might claim ownership of it, the Swedish Pirate Party recently announced that it would become bandwidth supplier to The Pirate Bay. It now says that if the going gets too rough for Wikileaks and PRQ, they will offer the whistleblower site both servers and hosting too.
“The Pirate Party will under no circumstances give in to pressure,” says Troberg. “We now help democracy activists in Iran, including communication via anonymous servers. We provide bandwidth to our greatest political opinion leaders, The Pirate Bay. If Wikileaks is attacked again, we will immediately offer them both server space and bandwidth.”
“The Pirate Party believes in democracy and we are not afraid to stand up for it.”