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Short on cash, Wikileaks suspends operations

Publisher of confidential and often controversial information says it "will be back soon" and asks for donations to stay afloat.

Wikileaks, which has published anonymously contributed information that is both confidential and controversial, has one thing in common with many more-traditional media outlets: financial troubles.

The site has posted confidential 9/11 pager messages, tangled with banks and the Church of Scientology, revealed inner workings of the U.S. military base in Guantanamo, Cuba, and shared snippets of e-mail from vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Now, though, Wikileaks has shut the site down at least temporarily.

"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," a note on the Wikileaks site said Monday. "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 [per annum]. If staff are paid, our yearly budget is $600,000."

What's next? Reaching out beyond the group of "human rights campaigners, investigative journalists, technologists, and the general public" who've contributed money so far.

"We have received hundreds of thousands of pages from corrupt banks, the U.S. 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 $1,000, a million."

Awards it has received "do not pay the bills," the site said. "Nor can we accept government or corporate funding and maintain our absolute integrity. It is your strong support alone that preserves our continued independence and strength."

(Via BBC News)