Did Uncle Sam try to kill Wikileaks?

A leaked document reveals a strategy by the U.S. Army to hack the whistle-blowing Web site and take it down. Read on for the chilling details

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Still, this is the kind of document that makes you believe all your paranoid conspiracy theories are true.

Wikileaks has many flaws, as I've noted several times in this space over the years. The staff doesn't always exercise sound editorial judgment, in my opinion. And it could very well be gamed by people with an agenda posting false information -- though it seems most of the complaints about the site are about the opposite.

The sad truth is that sites like Wikileaks and Cryptome exist because the mainstream media can no longer be trusted to assume its role as the "fourth estate." Just one example: The New York Times sat on the NSA warrantless wiretapping story for a full year before running it, and nobody in the mainstream media wanted to touch AT&T whistle-blower Mark Klein before he handed his documents over to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Imperfect as it is, we need sites like Wikileaks. If they present information that's misleading, there will always be plenty of folks out there willing to correct the record. The fact that our government wanted to turn off its lights -- as China, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe have attempted to do -- is chilling to me. I hope it's chilling to you too.

So what do you think, Cringesters? Is it chilly enough out there for you? Post your thoughts below or email me: cringe@infoworld.com.

This article, "Did Uncle Sam try to kill Wikileaks?," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog.

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