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Wikileaks founded – chooses a Swedish ISP

A group of human rights activists, journalists and techs start a new organization to distribute classified material leaked from governments and corporations. Sweden is about to play an important part – in more than one way.

Julian Assange

Julian Assange.

The web site is launched in Iceland and one of the Wikileaks founders, Julian Assange, becomes the face of the organization. Johannes Wahlström is the Swedish spokesperson. The money is from many different donations, among them from several media corporations.

Documents leaked from Iraq and Afghanistan wars shake the world

A number of Wikileaks' publications create quite the buzz. Initially it's about the British National Party (BNP) membership files and internal documents from the Icelandic bank Kaupthing.

But what really shocks the world are the secret documents from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (leaked by army soldier Chelsea Manning) and a video showing an American helicopter killing civilians and journalists in Iraq.

In Sweden older documents mentioning then Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt garner a lot of attention, as does the fact that American diplomats called him "a medium size dog with big dog attitude".

Wikileaks place their servers with Bahnhof

The web site is very controversial and constantly threatened with closure. Here, Sweden plays a large part, since servers with Swedish internet service provider Bahnhof located on Södermalm, in Stockholm, hosts the site for a period of time. Swedish company PRQ also hosts the database, and the Swedish Pirate Party offers to handle the servers.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange charged with rape in Sweden

On August 24 2010 Julian Assange is arrested in absentia in Sweden on suspicion of rape. He escapes to London, where he received political asylum on the Equadorian embassy, which becomes his home for several years. Finally, the charges against Assange are dropped.

The organization lives on, and publishes more secret documents. In 2013 the whistle blower Edward Snowden is helped by Wikileaks activist Sarah Harrison to leave Hongkong for Moscow.