Fast Facts: Wikileaks

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Chad Hunt/Corbis

The secret-sharing site just released 92,201 internal records from the U.S. military in Afghanistan. Find out more about this controversial organization.

  • Based in Sweden, where revealing anonymous sources is illegal, whether it is one’s own source or someone else’s
  • Is a nonprofit organization under the parent company Sunshine Press
  • Employs five people full-time and 800 occasional contributors; no staff member earns a salary
  • Directed by Julian Assange, an Australian journalist and self-described hacker who won’t reveal his age. He has made himself the face of the organization and often claims to be hunted by government authorities around the world
  • Has established itself as a “digital drop box” of sorts, where anyone can submit potentially sensitive documents under the cloak of anonymity
  • Normally adds 10,000 new pages every day, according to Assange
  • Deemed a threat to national security by a U.S. report in 2008
  • Has released documents relating from the Abu Ghraib prison to Scientology to Sarah Palin
  • Gave the New York Times, the Guardian, and Der Spiegel the Afghan war logs, and also posted the documents on its own site.
  • Condemned by the White House for releasing the documents; officials there say the leak threatened the lives of Americans
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