Julian Assange slaps $20 million fine on leakers

After facing serious heat for disseminating classified information, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is requiring associates to sign an NDA stipulating that leaked materials are “solely the property” of the organization.

If anyone breaks the NDA and leaks information, they face a 12 million GBP (around 20 million USD) penalty, according to the new confidentiality agreement. The sum is based on the “typical open-market valuation” of WikiLeaks.

The NDA reads, “You accept and agree that the information disclosed, or to be disclosed to you pursuant to this agreement is, by its nature, valuable proprietary commercial information. The misuse or unauthorized disclosure of which would be likely to cause us considerable damage.”

The agreement also claims an information leak could cause WikiLeaks to lose the “opportunity to sell the information to other news broadcasters and publishers.”

WikiLeaks has not been known to sell any of its leaked material, although Assange has mentioned the prospect in the past.

The closest WikiLeaks got to selling content was when it planned to auction off emails from a top aide to Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in 2008, although the auction ultimately fell through.

The individual responsible for leaking the NDA to the New Statesman may even face legal action as a result of its leak as the NDA states, “the fact and content of this agreement and all newsworthy information relating to the workings of WikiLeaks.”

(Via Wired