Wikileaks Now Mirrored at 500 Sites Around Globe

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Following multiple attacks and attempts to shut down Wikileaks.org, the site's operators laid out a new plan. They asked Wikileaks supporters around the world to host their own copies of the site, known as mirrors, and created tools to make doing so easy. In just the last few days, more than 500 mirrors have sprung up.

Nonetheless, efforts to shut down the Wikileaks organization continued apace. In the latest move, the group's Swiss bank account was closed after the bank "discovered" that Julian Assange did not actually live in Geneva. Wikileaks continues to maintain other bank accounts in other countries.

Governments may be able to destroy Wikileaks itself, but it seems like it's going to be very, very difficult to keep the information contained in the State Department cables from reaching the public. There is no printing press to seize, no briefcase of documents to confiscate, nothing material that any government can get its hands on. What exists is a bunch of bits that are already zipping around the globe that can be instantly copied, mirrored, branched, and transmitted through the Internet. As Wikileaks continues to decentralize in the face of attack, "the only way to shut [the distribution of the cables] down will be to shut down the Internet itself," as Dave Winer put it.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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