Why Shutting Down Wikileaks Will Backfire


A federal judge in California has ordered the whistleblower website Wikileaks to go dark. But the site wasn’t taken out by the Feds— who have good reason to be upset with it for posting sensitive information about Gitmo and rendition flights—but rather a Swiss Bank that filed suit after the site posted documents suggesting that it was up to some financial hanky-panky in the Caymans. The bank may have won round one, but Wikileaks and its friends are already winning round two. The site is being mirrored in several places (see list here) and the bank’s docs are readily available as a download. I suspect that this instance of judicial overreach will be overturned and the main Wikileaks site will be back. And in the meantime, some Swiss bankers are about to get a lesson on how hard it is to stuff digital genies back into their bottles.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate