Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wikileaks' Postbox

Having read an interesting article on Wikileaks in The Age on my train journey home, I decided to visit Wikileaks' website. I have read about the financial blockade of Wikileaks by international finance companies, including Visa, Mastercard and PayPal so I am interested in finding out how the whistleblowing site receives its funding. When I visited the site's Donate page, I was surprised by one of the ways to send money:

Wikileaks Postbox

But I soon discovered this is old news. The Age had revealed this secret last December when it reported of Australia Post's decision to close the Melbourne University Branch on 17 Dec 2010 (Ref 1). The Architecture and Planning building, where this post office is located, is set to be demolished in the coming years, but plans are not yet fixed. Australian Post later reversed this decision a week later (Ref 2). Interestingly, Julian Assange studied at the University of Melbourne from 2003 to 2006 but did not graduate.

I often walk past this Post Office but did not realize that it contains a "secret". What have been in Box 4080? Some sensitive information that is going to shake the world? Cheques and cash perhaps? There is at least one publicly-known letter sent to this postal address.

Who holds the key to this box? Apparently Julian Assange has his share of Australian supporters, some whom you may find it here. Hence, the postbox does not necessarily have to under his name.

Has Julian Assange not founded Wikileaks in 2006, he will probably still remain as a nobody. Sometimes when a person is so good at doing something, unexpected things come along the way. Nicholas Allegra is a 19 years old hacker who had repeatedly frustrated Apple by setting up JailbreakMe (Ref 3), an application that removes restrictions on iphone, ipod and ipad, allowing unauthorized applications, themes and network to be installed free of charge outside the Apple's App Store. If you cannot beat your enemy, then bring him into the tent. This is what Apple did by hiring Nicholas Allegra to identify security vulnerabilities in its software.

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