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Wikileaks Cash Flows In, Drips Out
* By Kim Zetter Email Author
* July 13, 2010 |
* 8:07 pm |
* Categories: Sunshine and Secrecy, Wikileaks
The secret-spilling website Wikileaks appears to be a frugal spender, tapping less than 10 percent of the funds received through two of its three donation methods, according to the third-party foundation that manages those contributions.
Wikileaks has received 400,000 euros (U.S. $500,000) through PayPal or bank money transfers since late December, and spent only 30,000 euros (U.S. $38,000) from that funding, says Hendrik Fulda, vice president of the Berlin-based Wau Holland Foundation.
The money has gone to pay the travel expenses of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and spokesman Daniel Schmitt, as well as to cover the costs of computer hardware, such as servers, and leasing data lines, says Fulda. Wikileaks does not currently pay a salary to Assange or other volunteers from this funding, though there have been discussions about doing so in the future, Fulda adds. The details have not yet been worked out.
“If you are drawing from volunteers who are basically doing stuff for free and if you start paying money, the question is to whom, and to whom not, do you pay, and how much?” Fulda said. “It’s almost a moral question: How much money do you pay?”
The spending figures were first reported by the German paper Der Freitag, after a series of anonymous posts circulated online accusing Wikileaks of misusing donor funds. The posts were authored by an anonymous person who claimed to be a Wikileaks insider, and appeared on Cryptome.org, a competing transparency site.