WikiLeaks facing possible closure due to funding shortfalls

It’s just a simple little headline on their main page instead of the normal WikiLeaks front page that greets people. It says “We protect the world – but will you protect us?”

With that WikiLeaks announced that they were suspending all operations so that they can devote as much time as possible to raise funds to keep the site going for another year. From their front page

To concentrate on raising the funds necessary to keep us alive into 2010, we have reluctantly suspended all other operations, but will be back soon.

We have received hundreds of thousands of pages from corrupt banks, the US detainee system, the Iraq war, China, the UN and many others that we do not currently have the resources to release. You can change that and by doing so, change the world. Even $10 will pay to put one of these reports into another ten thousand hands and $1000, a million.

We have raised just over $130,000 for this year but can not meaningfully continue operations until costs are covered. These amount to just under $200,000 PA. If staff are paid, our yearly budget is $600,000.

The fact is that WikiLeaks in its short life done a lot for freedom of information on a global basis but that kind of work takes a lot of money which is obviously in dangerously short supply. According to Mathew Ingram at GigaOM the site has applied for a Knight Foundation News Fellowship grant in the hopes that this will give them some breathing room and to keep on doing the great work that they do.