Two weeks ago, Wikileaks, the whistleblowing website, began releasing the largest trove of classified documents in the history of journalism. The diplomatic documents, called "cables", reveal that the US government has dominated the policies of European countries, corrupted their judges and pressured their intelligence services to abide its own rules, while backing dictatorships and funding child sex trafficking in other parts of the world. The ambassadors of the US spied on high-ranking UN officials, including former Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and took samples of their DNA - all in defiance of international law.
When the cables began being released, the US government undertook a massive internet censorship campaign in which it pressured Mastercard, Visa, PayPal and other organizations to sever their ties with Wikileaks, stirred the mainstream media to condemn the website, prepared to push new laws through Congress that would enable greater censorship of the internet and warned people that they stood to lose their future careers if they ever accessed or discussed Wikileaks.
The US Homeland Security Committee plans to declare Wikileaks a terrorist organization, which means that anyone who helps Wikileaks - by giving them donations or free legal advice - risks prosecution. The Obama administration argued that the diplomatic cables would place lives at risk. This is factually untrue. In all the cables published so far, any text that could hint at an informant's identity has been crossed out. A senior NATO official has confirmed that previous releases by Wikileaks, which discussed the war in Afghanistan, did not cause harm to anyone. What the cables do place at risk is the veil of secrecy behind which the US and other democratically elected governments have betrayed and ridiculed their people.
Major NGOs such as Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders have acclaimed WikiLeaks, together with former whistleblowers and solicitors in Australia's supreme courts. Their support comes as much in light of Wikileaks' actions as in light of the censorship exercised against it - this is the first campaign of internet censorship undertaken by western powers in all history.
We believe in freedom of speech and ending censorship. The last two weeks have demonstrated the collusion between governments, mainstream media and corporations in a bid to keep the dealings of these institutions from reaching the public's awareness. We wish to protest against this collusion and express solidarity with the Wikileaks team, opposing the unacceptable campaign of censorship against it.