Wau Holland Foundation sheds light on Wikileaks donations

Germany’s Wau Holland Foundation has told newspaper Der Freitag Wikileaks receives no money for personnel costs, only for hardware, travelling and bandwidth. Hendrik Fulda, the foundation’s second chairman, says around 30.000 euros have been handed out after receiving signed receipts. According to Fulda, most of the money has been mainly used to restore Wikileaks and keep the site up and running. The website had to be taken down last year as donations did not cover costs.

The Wau Holland Foundation is located in Guxhagen, Germany and was founded by friends of German hacker legend and computing visionary Wau Holland, who started the famous Chaos Computer Club (CCC). It is recognised as a charity under German law and has to file an annual report end of each September with the federal state of Hesse.

Fulda added the foundation wanted to include a detailed financial report on its website by end of August in reaction to the donations received for Wikileaks. Before receiving donations for Wikileaks, the foundation only governed 62,000 euro invested in saving bonds and a small lot of land worth 1,500 euro, meaning it only had around 2,500 euro of interest it could hand out each year.

As a charity accountable under German law, donations for Wikileaks can be made to the foundation. Funds are held in escrow and are given to Wikileaks after the whistleblower website files an application containing a statement with proof of payment. The foundation does not pay any sort of salary nor give any renumeration to Wikileaks’ personnel, corroborating the statement of the site’s German representative Daniel Schmitt on national television that all personnel works voluntarily, even its speakers.

In the last few weeks, Wikileaks has come under fire from various sides. Wired’s Threat Level blog stated the site had fallen into disrepair, some anonymous writer of emails labelling him- or herself as “an Wikileaks insider) has had emails posted on Cryptome.org.

Wired’s Threat Level blog is maintained by Kevin Poulsen, who originally reported that Adrian Lamo, a self-proclaimed hacker and journalist, had turned a whistleblower and Wikileaks source in to the police. Poulsen and Lamo, who happen to be acquaintances, were blasted for their action on Wikileaks’s Twitter account.

Cryptome.org founder John Young believes Wikileaks is not a group of activists, but some sort of shady spy outfit maintained by the CIA, or MI6, or phantom menaces from Mars. He has posted emails on his site from said “Wikileaks Insider” stating Wikileaks will be abandoned and that Wikileaks’ speaker Julian Assange had funneled off 225,000 euro of donations and similar rants. Neither claim has proven to be true.

Anyone interested can email the Wau Holland Foundation for detailed statements regarding its government of European donations to Wikileaks, instead of following red herrings.