After some Anonymous hackers have issued a statement to reveal the fact that they will turn their backs on WikiLeaks because of the donation “paywall” and because it has become a one-man show that’s more about Julian Assange than freedom of information, the whistleblower website’s founder came forward with a statement.
“Groups with unity flourish and those without unity are destroyed and replaced by those who have it,” Assange wrote. “Groups who do not have techniques of unity derived from solidarity and common cause will be dominated by groups with coercive unity.”
He reminded everyone of the Sabu case and highlighted the fact that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ran numerous entrapment operations against WikiLeals under the disguise of Anonymous hacktivists.
“According to FBI indictments the FBI has at various times controlled Anonymous servers. We must assume that currently a substantial number of Anonymous severs and ‘leadership’ figures are compromised,” he explained.
“This doesn't mean Anonymous should be paralyzed by paranoia. But it must recognize the reality of infiltration.”
He emphasized the fact that Anonymous’ strength lay in the fact that there was no leadership and targetable assets that created conflict and patronage.
If one speaks on behalf of all others, then Anonymous is not a movement of solidarity, but a “mere gang.”
“In relation to alleged associates of WikiLeaks. It is rarely in an alleged associates interest, especially early in a case, for us to be seen to be helping them or endorsing them,” Assange said about the statement issued by AnonymousIRC.
“Such actions can be used as evidence against them. It raises the prestige stakes for prosecutors who are likely to use these alleged associates in a public proxy war against WikiLeaks. We do not publicly campaign for alleged associates until we know their legal team approves and our private actions must remain private.”
Finally, regarding the controversial “paywall,” Assange explained that it was merely there to promote their US election-related donation campaign which ended on November 6.
The pop-up hasn’t been removed, but a message to explain that those who want to access the files aren’t forced to donate has been added. The banner appears only once per day and it can be bypassed not just by making a donation, but also by sharing it, waiting for it to disappear, or tweeting about it.
“We know it is annoying. It is meant to be annoying. It is there to remind you that the prospective destruction of WikiLeaks by an unlawful financial blockade and an array of military, intelligence, DoJ and FBI investigations, and associated court cases is a serious business,” he said.