Before you start with this learning unit, think about the word wikileaks for a second. Wikileaks consists of the two words "wiki" and "leaks". "Wiki" refers to the company owning the website called "wikileaks". And what about "leak" …? What does it stand for? If you know the meaning of the word, this gives you an idea of what "wikileaks" is all about.
  • What does the word "leak" mean?
    • Leak describes a hole which lets escape water or other fluid. It also refers to a person through whom information escapes.
    • Leak describes a person who secretly watches other people.


Wikileaks is an international organisation, based in Sweden, which publishes anonymous submissions and leaks of otherwise unavailable documents while preserving the anonymity of sources. Its website, launched in 2006, is run by The Sunshine Press. The organisation has described itself as having been founded by Chinese dissidents, as well as journalists, mathematicians, and start-up company technologists from the U.S., Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa. Newspaper articles and The New Yorker magazine (June 7, 2010) describe Julian Assange, an Australian journalist and Internet activist, as its director. Within a year of its launch, the site claimed a database that had grown to more than 1.2 million documents. If you want to stay informed about what's going on on wikileaks, go to the official wikileaks website.
In July 2010, Wikileaks released Afghan War Diary, a compilation of thousands of new documents about the War in Afghanistan not previously available for public review.
Watch this video to find out what new information is revealed in these documents.
  • Which newspapers did release the new information?
    • The Guardian, New York Times, Der Spiegel
    • The Guardian, London Daily, Der Spiegel
    • The Guardian, New York Times, BILD
  • How many new documents were published on wikileaks?
    • Over 19.000 new documents were published on wikileaks.
    • Over 9.000 new documents were published on wikileaks.
    • Over 90.000 new documents were published on wikileaks.
  • According to the Correspondent in North America, what are the new documents about?
    • The documents highlight US successes in the war in Afghanistan.
    • The documents reveal the frustration that US forces feel toward Afghan forces. They also show that the Pakistan military spy service ISI had contact with Taliban leaders and may have killed and assasinated Afghan leaders.
    • The documents show the Afghan point of view on the war in Afghanistan. They report that US spys have assasinated Afghan leaders.

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