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Website for Leaked Data Shines Spotlight on WikiLeaks

Published on October 26, 2010
by Jeanne Whalen

WikiLeaks publishes top-secret documents about government and corporate intrigue.

Then there is John Young, who publishes documents about WikiLeaks.

From his apartment on New York City’s Upper West Side, the 70-something architect, computer buff and self-described “cypherpunk” runs a website, http://cryptome.org, that seeks to hold accountable the site that boasts of holding others to account.

Mr. Young said his scrutiny is meant not to undermine WikiLeaks, but to harden it for battle. “Doing what they’re doing,” he said in a telephone interview, “they have to be just as tough as nails. And they can’t get tough by having people praise them. They can only get tough by having people attack them.”

WikiLeaks has posted hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. military documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the most recent trove released last weekend. Among the posts on Mr. Young’s site—which covers a broad range of subjects—are internal WikiLeaks emails showing the group debating strategy for attracting funds and supporters. The Cryptome posts have provocative labels such as “wikileaks-fear,” “wikileaks-snitch” and “WL Hate.”

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