WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange has spent the last 4 years living on asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, but he’s continued to oversee the release of major leaks, including the release of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails. Attacks on Assange and WikiLeaks’ credibility from politicians and the media have also continued unabated.
WikiLeaks has filed a formal complaint accusing The Associated Press of violating journalistic ethics in a recent report that claimed the transparency site was responsible for “outing” private data belonging to Saudi citizens.
The Aug. 23 investigation by AP reporters Raphael Satter and Maggie Michael accused WikiLeaks of releasing the private data of “scores” of residents of the Gulf kingdom as part of the The Saudi Cables. This collection, which the site launched in June 2015, consists of over 122,000 files leaked from Saudi foreign affairs ministry.
In the report, Satter and Michael lodge serious accusations, including that WikiLeaks published private medical data relating to “sick children, rape victims and mental health patients.”
A nonprofit that studies global think tanks considers Human Rights Watch to be among the least transparent think tanks in the United States, at least in terms of its funding sources.
According to Transparify, think tanks around the world are becoming more transparent about the sources of their funding and how they put that funding to use. Starting in 2014, the NGO’s team has made yearly visits to think tanks’ websites and issued an annual report based on any publicly available information about major donors.
Published on June 29, Transparify’s 2016 report rated 200 major think tanks in 47 countries, and found that while 98 maintained reasonable standards of transparency, 102 are still relatively opaque about their funding. That’s an improvement from 144 non-transparent think tanks four years ago, when Transparify first began studying the issue.
A California Senate committee killed a bill to increase transparency in police misconduct investigations, hampering victims’ efforts to obtain justice.
Chauncee Smith, legislative advocate at the ACLU of California, told MintPress News that the state Legislature “caved to the tremendous influence and power of the law enforcement lobby” and “failed to listen to the demands and concerns of everyday Californian people.”
California has some of the most secretive rules in the country when it comes to investigations into police misconduct and excessive use of force. Records are kept sealed, regardless of the outcome, as the ACLU of Northern California explains on its website:
A popular website dedicated to government transparency is facing legal threats from a multinational corporation that hopes to block publication of documents related to their electricity meters.
MuckRock helps researchers, journalists, and normal citizens obtain government documents through Freedom of Information Act requests, or their local equivalent under state laws, then publicly shares the results. Earlier this month, the site surpassed one million documents shared.
In April, Phil Mocek, a Seattle-based software engineer, used the site to file an open records request with Seattle City Light, the local power company, seeking information relating to the security of smart power meters the city purchased from Landis+Gyr, a multinational owned by Toshiba.
On Wednesday, Landis+Gyr notified MuckRock that the company was suing in the Superior Court of Washington for King County to block the release of the records.
WikiLeaks took to Twitter to criticize what the organization describes as the continued “censorship” of the Panama Papers archive by the organizations and reporters who control the contents of the leak.
The massive archive of 2.6 terabytes of financial data leaked from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca is controlled by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and hundreds of journalists who have been selected to write about the archive’s contents.
The Panama Papers exposed the efforts the world’s wealthiest people, including more than a dozen world leaders, take to hide their earnings from tax authorities. The release caused upheaval in Iceland’s governmentand protests in the United Kingdom.
A growing number of international authorities are demanding access to the archive, according to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, including a German finance minister and representatives of the U.S. Justice Department. But ICIJ’s director told DW last week that they would reject these and all similar requests.