The well respected USA Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism's bi-monthly Columbia Journalism Review asks
Will Wikileaks Work?
By Dan Goldberg
Perhaps it’s inevitable that an operation promising the world’s whistleblowers an anonymous venue to blow their whistles would be shrouded in mystery. Though it has yet to launch—a firm e.t.a. is hard to come by—Wikileaks (www.wikileaks.org) has already generated plenty of buzz, with articles in Time and The Washington Post, among others, but is answering few of even the most basic questions about who is behind it and how it will accomplish what it promises.
As advertised, Wikileaks will allow anyone to post documents—the Web site talks of “principled leaking”—that purport to shed light on malfeasance, public or private, and remain safely anonymous. In theory, it’s an appealing idea, especially in an era of growing hostility toward leakers and the journalists who would give them a voice. Dig a little deeper, however, and a number of concerns arise.
According to its Web site, Wikileaks was founded by “Chinese dissidents, mathematicians and startup company technologists” from around the world who hope that “greater transparency will lead to better, more responsible government.” Attempts to find out who those people are or how they are connected proved difficult.
The contact number on Wikileaks.org—which consistently goes straight to voicemail—has a D.C. area code and is a Verizon cell phone number registered in Adelphi, Maryland. Intellus.com, a Web tracking service, connected the number to a “Va Reston.”
So how ethical is it for a journalist to use such a service ?
How accurate is it anyway ?
Why do WikiLeaks not use an unregistered pre-paid mobile phone ?
Twenty miles down the road from Adelphi is Reston, Virginia, home to iDefense labs, whose Web site says it is “a comprehensive provider of security intelligence to governments.” It’s probably all just a coincidence, but for a site that champions transparency, well, you see the problem.
Twenty miles down the road ?
Adelphi, Maryland is just to the North of Washington and Reston, Virginia is just to the West.
Would that then be the Washington "Beltway", off which the vast majority of the US Federal Government, Military, Defence Industry and Political Lobbyists and Consultants etc. have their offices ?
Verizon Wireless and other Verizon Communications companies have several business locations in Reston, Virginia, including mobile cell phone and internet infrastructure etc.
iDefense is owned by VeriSign, who bought it for its internet and computer vulnerability news and intelligence services.