Remember WikiLeaks? You have to unless you have been off world. They put out all that embarrassing information that was supposed to make the US look bad, but instead made the Obama team look that way? All that hubbub about the need to keep secrets by the aggrieved and embarrassed governments, and all the pap about the freedom of information and all that from the WikiLeaks people? Well, seems like the universe has a sense of humor, because now these same WikiLeaks tools are threatening some of their own leakers with a $20 million law suit to shut them up. Seriously.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange now makes his associates sign a draconian nondisclosure agreement that, among other things, asserts that the organization’s huge trove of leaked material is “solely the property of WikiLeaks,” according to a report Wednesday. “You accept and agree that the information disclosed, or to be disclosed to you pursuant to this agreement is, by its nature, valuable proprietary commercial information,” the agreement reads, “the misuse or unauthorized disclosure of which would be likely to cause us considerable damage.”
The confidentiality agreement (.pdf), revealed by the New Statesman, imposes a penalty of 12 million British pounds– nearly $20 million — on anyone responsible for a significant leak of the organization’s unpublished material. The figure is based on a “typical open-market valuation” of WikiLeaks’ collection, the agreement claims.
WTF? So WikiLeaks, which exists for stealing other people’s information and exposing it doesn’t want the same from their employees? WTF? Assange doesn’t find this whole thing shines a seriously negative light on his whole operation? Or is his point that leaks are awesome as long as they are used to embarrass and hurt others, not him and his efforts? Laughable.