Those looking up “irony” in the dictionary may find a picture of Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks.
According to someone who worked at the publisher of “classified” material, Assange has forced employees to sign a “Confidentiality Agreement” that prevents them from ever leaking any information about how the non-profit works.
Those who spill the beans about the organization’s inner workings face a hefty fine of about $19.5 million.
Such a fine is unenforceable, according to legal writer David Allen Green.
One worker, Guardian reporter James Ball, refused to sign the agreement, and shared his unsigned copy with someone publicly via Twitter. Ball says showing the document to the world was “inadvertent” but I find that hard to swallow. Someone that works with WikiLeaks and writes for a major newspaper has to know how Twitter works.
Ball refused to sign the backdated document for several reason, chief among them being that he had already given interviews about WikiLeaks.
Assange allegedly spent “two hours – shouting – explaining why [Ball] must sign the document, or else risk the lives and wellbeing of everyone in the room, and never be trusted again.”
Assange is accused of getting other WikiLeakers to “apply psychological pressure” to get Ball to sign.
He never did.
As Ball writes, it’s curious behavior for a man asking others to believe whistleblowers help hold organizations accountable.