Is WikiLeaks Reliable? 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Is Wikileaks accurate? (Getty)

Is Wikileaks accurate? (Getty)

Wikileaks champions itself as the “new model of journalism” through its whistleblowing activities, but its focus on the 2016 presidential election may have hit too close to home.

The US publicly blamed Russia for recent email leaks on October 7. It suggested publications like Wikileaks that hosted the material were also Russian-backed. The controversy surrounding the leaks has pushed its way onto the presidential debate stage. Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton has questioned the reliability of Wikileaks and rival Donald Trump’s personal admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The non-profit is as secretive as its founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange. While there’s no smoking gun that reveals Wikileaks as a Russian project, the impact the whistleblowing site will have in this election is undeniable.

Here’s what you need to know about Wikileaks:

1. Wikileak’s Founder Julian Assange Started Hacking Governments as a Teenager

Julian Assange hacking

Assange started hacking under the name “Mendax” before Web sites existed (Getty)

When he was 16, Assange took up hacking at a time when Web sites were still nonexistent. Still, with a modem and a computer, he worked with others to break into secure networks including the US Department of Defense. His group, International Subversives, followed the Golden Rules, according to a book called “Underground”, reports the New Yorker.

“Don’t damage computer systems you break into (including crashing them); don’t change the information in those systems (except for altering logs to cover your tracks); and share information.”

The law caught up with Assange and in 1999 he admitted to hacking the systems of Australian National University, RMIT and Telecom, Courier Mail reports. He went on to found Wikileaks in 2006, a whistleblowing site that describes itself as, “a new model of journalism” that has strict standards for accuracy.

2. DNC Hacker “Guccifer 2.0” Says He’s Not Russian, but Cybersecurity Firms Say Otherwise

debbie wasserman schultz, debbie wasserman schultz dnc

Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned after the DNC hacks (Getty)

Cybersecurity firms have concluded that Russia was behind Democratic National Committee hack, which exposed bias the toward Hillary Clinton’s campaign. An online persona called “Guccifer 2.0” claimed responsibility for hacking the DNC and sharing files with Wikileaks, though he claimed no connection with Russia.

Reports from multiple cybersecurity firms suggest otherwise. Hired by the DNC to look into the attack, Crowdstrike attributed the leaks to two Russian groups, Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear. Cyber-analysis firm ThreatConnect investigated Internet protocol addresses and found a domain name,, all but identical to the DNC’s cybersecurity firm except for the misplaced r. ThreatConnect says Fancy Bear has used the technique before, probably to trick targets into thinking emails are coming from a known and trusted source, reports the Washington Post.

Regardless of the source of the leaked emails, not a single email or document’s contents has yet been disputed says the Intercept reporter Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald called out Newsweek reporter Kurt Eichenwald for suggesting a three way alliance between Trump, Wikileaks and Russia after the presidential nominee used an inaccurate report about a Wikileaks email that came from a Russian government outlet.

3. Hillary’s Campaign Has Disputed the Contents of the Latest Email Leak: The Podesta Emails

Clinton’s Campaign Chair John Podesta, is the latest target of email leaks published on Wikileaks. The site just released the second batch of 50,000 emails. So far, the emails have invited closer scrutiny over Clinton’s cozy relationship with Wall Street and Bill Clinton’s sex life.

Clinton’s campaign has discredited the hacks as a Russian-backed operation intended to, “throw the election to Trump.” In the second presidential debate against Trump, Clinton referred to a October 7 report where the US officially blamed Russia for recent hacks including email leaks. She has said Trump’s stated admiration for Russian president Vladimir Putin is particularly concerning. However, she seemed to acknowledge the leaks were true when she clarified an email with an excerpt of her paid speeches to Wall Street.

Podesta suggested that Russians were behind the leaks and that they contain fake documents. Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine also questioned the authenticity of the emails in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union”.

“They’ve put out documents that are purported to be from my account,” Podesta told Fox News.

John Podesta: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

John Podesta, Chair of Hillary Clinton for America, is the latest target of email leaks that included excerpts of speeches to Wall Street executives.

Click here to read more

4. Wikileaks is Set Up So it’s Nearly Impossible for Governments to Shut it Down

Julian Assange Wikileaks founder DNC Hacks

Julian Assange imposes secrecy on Wikileaks operations (Getty)

Unlike hard copy files, Wikileak’s publications are nearly impossible to wipe out. Wikileaks hosts its publications on servers worldwide such as Sweden, Iceland and Belgium. For the US to shut down the operation, it would have to deal with international laws, which provide strong protections for whistleblowers in many cases, the Telegraph reports.

For example, the Swedish internet hosting company PRQ hosts Wikileaks as well as file sharing website Pirate Bay. PRQ founder Mikael Viborg told the Telegraph that Wikileaks has its publications backed up should its current servers go down. The site is rumored to have servers 30 meters underground in a Cold War nuclear bunker.

Wikileaks also protects its sources with the same secrecy. Wikileaks’s Assange says it uses encryption to, “bounce stuff around the internet to hide trails.” Wikileaks said on October 16 that a “state party” disrupted Assange’s internet and added that it had contingency plans.

Wikileaks Press Conference: What Did Julian Assange Say?

Did Julian Assange release an October Surprise about Hillary Clinton during the Wikileaks press conference today? Find out what he said here.

Click here to read more

5. The US Has Officially Linked Wikileaks to Russia

DHS hacking blamed on Russia

The Department of Homeland Security blamed the recent hacks on Russia (Getty)

The US intelligence community has officially pinned recent cybersecurity attacks on Russia. It also claimed that whistleblower sites that published the emails like and WikiLeaks were also connected to Russia. The report concluded that only, “Russia’s senior most officials could have authorized these activities.”

The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts…These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process,” according to the joint statement from the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security

Like National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, Assange is no friend to the federal government. The Wikileaks founder has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, evading extradition to Sweden where he is wanted on rape allegations. Wikileaks fears that the US will take Assange if he is extradited to Sweden. Its spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsoon said they would only believe US if it issues an official confirmation that it won’t prosecute Wikileaks.

UPDATE: The post has been updated to with Clinton’s response to a Wikileaks email as well as reporter Glenn Greenwald’s take on the Media’s relationship with Clinton’s campaign.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


  1. so pretty much yes. wl gaves credibility of what otherwise would be a very easy to diz rel info. that’s the whole point; and sort of their obv thing…

  2. I went to the homeland security page and it said they determined it was the Russians because they have done this before and this is the way they did it before, i.e. no proof, don’t writers even read the pages when they links ? this is not exactly evidence. it is more we think so.

  3. I think if wikileaks was faking stories the stories would be much worse. Who cares how they get the info, they’ve never been considered inauthentic until now.

  4. Any site that starts with WIKI is not reliable and that is pretty much proven,…NO it is not reliable , just because they mix truths with lies, to get their main points across…WAKE UP AMERICA….RUSSIA IS IN OUR COUNTRY AND THEY HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN WE TOOK THEM DOWN FROM WITHIN….

  5. Go Wikileaks!! DNC and Clinton have been doing this all along, deny, deny, deny, then a Wikileaks release that show otherwise, then discredit the source instead of addressing the content. Whoops, forgot, take a stab at attributing one of the releases
    to inspiration from watching a movie about Abraham Lincoln.

  6. I call BULLSH*T! This article is so ill informed and clearly biased.

    What we are seeing here is the corporate media and the ruling class trying to discredit a man who is actually speaking truth to power. Of course there is going to be blowback from the powers that be. I never expected Heavy to be such an obvious and shameless shill, however.

  7. Wikileaks are 100% reliable. They have never produced a document that was false. A forensic examination is done on the metadata and the document is not produced or uploaded if it can not be 100% fully authenticated. However, the above article has some misstatements. After the DNC hack, or own head of Homeland Security stated there is no indication Russia was involved.

  8. Wow this article is completely OFF. They are now trying to spread misinformation about Wikileaks who has ALSO published information on Russia. Theere is NO proof that Russia is involved in this and they have a PERFECT track record of authentic untampered sources.for their entire history. Clinton campaign and her supporters are obviously behind this garbage..

  9. WikiLeaks would seem a lot more legit if the dumps weren’t all about Clinton. Certainly they have some info on Trump unless of course they’re just trying to influence an election. Poor wiki-leaks. They were the darling of the american left until this stunt. Now, alone in his room at the embassy, Assange, like Trump is obsessed with being relevant. They have something else in common aside from their apparent hatred of Hillary, they’re both awaiting court dates for sexual assault and rape.

    • Another ridiculous comment. ” Surely they have info on Trump” why WHY WOULD THEY? Hillary was an elected official and then an appointed official . They had no reason to hack a private businessman. This is just stupid. And you do get how it works right ? Wikileaks has no control over what info they receive. They are given it by hackers and moles ..then they verify and release. You WISH they would release something on Trump. But no doing so doesn’t make them bias..makes you bias for assuming they are in the tank for trump.. no they want to expose corruption. That’s it. Theg exposed Bush and Assange is a LIBERAL

  10. The use of hacking opponents and planting disinformation has been Russian practice under Putin. It has worked out well for the Russians and we need to remember that Putin was a Colonel in the KGB until the fall of the Soviet Union. He has used the skills learned in the KGB to direct his intelligence units to use the Internet to undermine and sabotage the legitimacy of the US Presidential election. He believes these acts will cast doubt on our Democracy, helping Russia win influence in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Putin also has a personal grudge against Hillary Clinton, whom he blames for inciting opposition protests against his regime in December 2011. It appears that people within Trump’s campaign have been in contact with Julian Assange and Wikileaks to coordinate the release of emails targeting Clinton. We don’t know how intertwined Russian Intelligence is with Wikileaks which means we don’t know what documents are legitimate and which ones have been altered or outright forged. You’d think the American people would be far more upset by having Putin and the Russians manipulating leaks to influence our election in favor of Trump. One thing is for sure, Trump is fatally compromised as a candidate based on his ties to the Russians alone. Trump has proven to be Putin’s “useful idiot” to cripple the American political system. Hillary Clinton may have many flaws but she is no Russian stooge.

  11. Completely unreliable. data is copied from computer to computer and can easily be change by anyone with access to those documents. There really is no evidence chain.

  12. What is stoppig wikileaks or any othe such hacking companies to invent all they say?? they give out lots of info, but where are all the documents to see all of what they say, bting them out, Show the context, show all the emails etc.
    proof is proof!!