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WikiLeaks going broke -

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WikiLeaks going broke

Philip Willams reported this story on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 08:09:00

TONY EASTLEY: A year ago Julian Assange and the organisation he headed both appeared to be on top
of the world.

WikiLeaks was the scourge of governments everywhere with its steady flow of embarrassing leaks.

Then the founder and his organisation hit some road bumps. There were sexual assault allegations
levelled at Assange by two women in Sweden and Wikileaks' funding was crippled as organisations
such as MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and the Bank of America refused to process the public donations
that kept Wikileaks afloat.

Julian Assange says WikiLeaks will fold after Christmas unless people use other avenues to keep it
going.

With more, here's Europe correspondent Philip Williams.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: At the Frontline Club in London Julian Assange was again before the media. Not to
announce the latest drop of sensational documents, in fact quite the opposite.

WikiLeaks will take legal action against those companies blocking funding in Australia, the US,
Britain and several European countries.

And until that's resolved, no more revelations.

JULIAN ASSANGE: We are throwing all our own resources into this stand against the blockade because
it will mean the elimination of WikiLeaks and potentially the elimination of any other group that
gets on the wrong side of these unaccountable US finance companies.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: If you don't get the funds flowing again, is that the end?

JULIAN ASSANGE: If we do not get the funds flowing again that is the end of WikiLeaks, correct.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: And how long have you got to go?

JULIAN ASSANGE: Approximately the end of the year.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: Are you worried that compared to say a year ago when you were riding high,
garnering millions of dollars through supporters, now people are deserting you, you're not seen as
the man you once were?

JULIAN ASSANGE: Who says this?

PHILIP WILLIAMS: This is a general perception from reading the media.

JULIAN ASSANGE: This is absolutely not a general perception. Across the general population of the
world I have more than 84 per cent name recognition. Within Australia, personally, the approval
rating for Julian Assange is double the approval rating for Julia Gillard.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: Given your legal problems, still unresolved, the organisation under threat as
never before, how are you coping emotionally with all of that?

JULIAN ASSANGE: Well it's quite easy. The work is very satisfying, very demanding and one simply
throws oneself into the mission.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: Julian Assange says his own website and other whistleblower sites are no longer
safe from infiltration. So WikiLeaks will unveil a new system late in November.

But with the money fast running out and a decision on Julian Assange's extradition to Sweden
pending, it may be a cold dispiriting winter ahead for the man and the organisation that once
seemed invincible.

This is Philip Williams in London reporting for AM.