Crowd Funding the Right to Know

An op-ed by Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and John Perry Barlow, on the launch of The Freedom of the Press Foundation, an organization I'm proud to also serve as a board member.

We believe that not only does WikiLeaks need to survive, it must be joined by an array of others like it, edited transparency media that have so far failed to emerge, self-censoring victims of the chilling effects of the WikiLeaks blockade. Moreover, the watchdogs that do exist struggle for backers as brave as they are. The old media fear the fears of their advertisers. The new ones often depend on a few large foundations or donors, who, being from the elite themselves, may hesitate to part its curtains.

The answer, we believe, is to crowd-fund transparency, making it easy and relatively anonymous for the public to support the best watchdogs in one place, setting up a kind of United Way for the Truth.

Read the rest at HuffPo.

Here's a previous BB post about the organization's launch.

Image: Daniel Ellsberg outside Bradley Manning's hearing at Ft. Meade, via HuffPo.


  1. This is a wonderful idea. But I’ve a query that’s bothering me:
    Our donations to WikiLeaks got stuck because they got onto the ban list of Visa/Mastercard etc. What’s to prevent this Foundation from getting onto the ban list as well?

    Anybody know how they will deal with this? Or do we assume that the government wouldn’t want to take on Ellsberg again ;)

  2. When I made my first donation to Wikileaks two years ago, I have to admit I was scared. I was scared of my name ending up on a “list”, being harassed at the airport, having my email monitored. Then I got angry, very angry. Why was I scared? Why was my own government making me scared to support a perfectly legal association? Why should *I* be scared for speech, while the people who ordered and committed war crimes as documented by “Collateral Murder”, or at Abhu Ghraib, or in Faluja or one of the CIA “black sites”, walk around free, signing book deals and attending Congressional cocktail parties.

    I am a free citizen of a nation of laws. F-ck being afraid of my own government and here’s another $100 for wikileaks every month from me. Are you logging that you cowardly fascist warmongers?

  3. Wonderful! I mentioned that I wanted to see another group join wikileaks after Julian Assange was so thoroughly gutted of credibility (regardless of motive), and now BoingBoing’s very best is jumping in! I am very excited!

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