Around the Net

Wikileaks To The Highest Bidder

The initial idea behind Wikileaks was to publish secretive documents from "oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East," but the reality has been exposing Swiss banks, Mormons and Scientologists. However, now that the site has started selling secrets at auction, the bigger fish are swimming closer to the harbor. Apparently, a senior official inside Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's administration has some dirt for sale.

But the documents aren't really for sale, per se. Whoever wins the right to the information will only have a set period of time to make use of it before it becomes public. In this case, the leak in question is a series of emails from a senior aide to Chavez, which may or may not contain incriminating information.

This is how Wikileaks plans to make money. It hopes to attract big time news outlets with deep pockets and resources, and that the exclusivity arrangement will encourage them to outbid each other. However, Ars Technica's Nate Anderson notes that, "Buying this kind of information is generally frowned upon in reputable news circles, as it can encourage both forgery and lawbreaking in an effort to attract cash. It also turns secrets into just another form of currency, something that might seem at odds with the high-minded ideals behind Wikileaks."

advertisement

advertisement

Read the whole story at Ars Technica »

Next story loading loading..