WikiLeaks is a non-profit organisation that publishes secrets and leaked documents.
Founded in 2006, the non-profit journalistic organisation publishes in full on its website confidential documents, particularly government files, that have somehow been obtained by anonymous sources.
Significant releases have included diplomatic cables relating to US activities in Syria, documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and secret files about prisoners in the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.
Julian Assange is generally considered the founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks.
How many documents has WikiLeaks leaked?
According to WikiLeaks, the site had published more than 10 million documents and boasts secure relationships with more than 100 major organisations from around the world.
Julian Assange, speaking to Der Spiegel, described WikiLeaks as a “giant library of the world’s most persecuted documents. We give asylum to these documents, we analyze them, we promote them and we obtain more.”
Another goal of WikiLeaks is to protect whistleblowers and journalists. Assange considers WikiLeaks an intermediary – rather than leaking directly to the press, sources can leak to WikiLeaks, which in turn passes the information to the press. This aims to protect sources from exposure and retribution.