Wikileaks paywall draws Anonymous’s wrath

Hacking collective Anonymous has hit out at Wikileaks for – rather astonishingly – imposing a paywall on most of its content.

Attempting to access Wikileaks’ Global Intelligence Files, Guantanamo Files, Iraq War Logs and other documents triggers an overlay page asking for donations – and which can’t be closed unless one is made. (It’s possible, though, to avoid the paywall by disabling JavaScript).

Oddly, payment options include MasterCard and VISA, both of which have previously withdrawn payment support for the site – and both of which were subequently hit by DDoS attacks from Anonymous in support of Wikileaks.

The paywall was initially introduced yesterday for the Global Intelligence Files only. After it was publicly slated by Anonymous, it was withdrawn – only to reappear on a larger scale hours later.

“The obvious intention is to force donations in exchange for access. This is a filthy and rotten, wholly un-ethical action – and Anonymous is enraged,” says the group in a statement.

“No longer will Anonymous risk prison to defend Wikileaks or Julian Assange from their enemies. No longer will Anonymous risk prison to supply material for Wikileaks disclosures.”

The group says it won’t attack Wikileaks’ website, as it has a policy of leaving the media alone. But, it says, it has other weapons. It’s preapring a dossier of unethical actions by Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange, and plans to release it to the media in a few days. Now, that should make interesting reading.