Some key dates on WikiLeaks

December 6, 2010 12:00 am

, PARIS, Dec 6 – Here are some key dates in the history of WikiLeaks, a site specialised in publishing secret documents:

December, 2006: WikiLeaks, a site created with the help of powerful encryption software, is founded to let whistle-blowers in authoritarian countries post sensitive documents on the Internet without being traced.

From January, 2007, the site, which is the fruit of international collaboration, says it has already received more than one million documents.

November, 2009: WikiLeaks begins publishing what it says were hundreds of thousands of pager messages from the day of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

April 5, 2010: WikiLeaks releases a video of a US military Apache helicopter strike in Baghdad three years ago which killed two Reuters employees and a number of other people.

A 22-year-old American soldier, Bradley Manning, who is suspected of having leaked the video, is arrested in May and charged in July.

July 25: WikiLeaks publishes nearly 77,000 classified US military documents – Pentagon files and field reports spanning from 2004 to 2010 — on the war in Afghanistan. The documents reveal details of civilian victims and supposed links between Pakistan and the Taliban insurgents.

A criminal inquiry is opened by the US authorities.

August 5: The Pentagon demands that WikiLeaks "return immediately" leaked US military documents and permanently delete those it has already published from its website, computers and records.

August 22: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he believes the Pentagon could be behind a rape accusation in Sweden against him.

October 22: WikiLeaks publishes some 400,000 reports of incidents written from 2004 to 2009 by American soldiers, revealing cases of torture by Iraqi forces to which the Americans turned a blind eye, as well as more than 300 cases of torture committed by coalition forces.

November 18: A Swedish prosecutor requests the arrest of Assange for rape and sexual molestation. On the 30th Assange appeals to Sweden\’s Supreme Court to overturn the ruling he should be detained for questioning.

November 28: WikiLeaks unleashes a torrent of more than a quarter million confidential US cables detailing a wide array of potentially explosive diplomatic episodes.

Hours before the planned release of the US embassy cables, WikiLeaks said it evaded cyber attacks by changing its internet address and its server.

December 3: Sweden sends out a new international arrest warrant for Assange that includes missing elements requested by the British police, which had prevented his arrest.

December 6: WikiLeaks divulges a secret list compiled by Washington of key infrastructure sites around the world that could pose a critical danger to US security if they come under terrorist attack.


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