Wikileaks is on the verge of shutting down unless the organization is able to overcome blockades put in place by US financial institutions. Founder Julian Assange said on Monday at a news conference in London that the group needs $3.5 million over the next year to continue normal operations.
Wikileaks is run solely through supporter donations and if those backers are unable to funnel money to the organization, “we will simply not be able to continue by the turn of the year,” said Assage. MasterCard and Visa stopped processing donations to the organization in December 2010. Several others have since followed, including Bank of America, eBay, PayPal and Western Union – the sum of which represented 95 percent of Wikileaks’ revenue.
Wikileaks is only taking in roughly $10,000 per month now, a far cry from the $3.5 million goal that Assange and company need to keep things afloat in 2012. In the interim, the group has had to stop the processing of thousands of secret documents in order to address lawsuits they have filed against the aforementioned financial channels. Assange has now vowed to use all of Wikileaks’ efforts to fight “corrupt financial institutions.”
As their name suggests, Wikileaks is known for publishing confidential documents obtained through various sources, or whistle-blowers. The organization hit the web in 2006 and has since released sensitive data regarding the war in Afghanistan and other high-profile political cables.