Wikileaks has temporarily suspended operations while it launches a pledge drive.
The whistle blowing site is taking time out until 6 January to ask for support in many forms, not just donations. Wikileaks is appealing for help from volunteer coders, offers of free legal assistance and hosting support as well as cash donations. The site has promised not to accept corporate or government finance in order to protect its integrity.
As an incentive to potential supporters Wikileaks said it is sitting on "hundreds of thousands of pages from corrupt banks, the US detainee system, the Iraq war, China, the UN and many others that we do not currently have the resources to release".
Never one for understatement, Wikileaks challenges potential supporters with the statement: We protect the world — but will you protect us?
Wikileaks sprang into life in December 2006 with a pledge to publish leaked sensitive government or corporate documents, while providing assurances that it will protect the anonymity of its contributors. Documents are evaluated before release.
Notable documents published by Wikileaks have included Guantánamo Bay procedures, a BNP membership list, and 9/11 pager messages. Wikileaks also published email from Sarah Palin's Yahoo account after a private webmail account she used for government business was hacked during the 2008 presidential election campaign.
Its publication of confidential documents has led to many scoops while bringing down the legal wrath of a diverse range of organisations including offshore banks, air traffic controllers, calculator manufacturers and Scientologists.
The site's global network of mirror servers makes take-down actions in any one geography essentially ineffective.
Funding difficulties pose an altogether different though unspecified threat to Wikleak's continued existence, at least in its present form. Wikileaks has not set a particular target for its post-Christmas pledge drive. ®