WikiLeaks may have an anti-corporate flavor, but it needs to pay the bills like anyone else. Particularly now that a U.K. court has just ruled that Julian Assange may be extradited to Sweden (he has seven days to appeal). Want to support Assange's legal defense, or just show a bit of solidarity? WikiLeaks has recently launched an online store with branded merchandise.
When you first saw the leaked video of an Apache helicopter strike in Baghdad, did you suddenly crave a WikiLeaks messenger bag? When you read about WikiLeaks small army of volunteer hackers, did you yearn for an elegant blue Jersey scarf? And for all the ladies out there, putting aside those sexual molestation charges ("incredible lies" in Assange's words, after all), when you saw Assange speak Australian-accented truth to power, did you suddenly crave a slim-fit tee-shirt branded with the man's face, Che Guevara style? If so, you can buy any of those now, which will set you back and $24.99, $18.99, and $27.99, respectively.
Let's face it, WikiLeaks isn't just your run-of-the-mill non-profit media organization providing an innovative, secure and anonymous way for independent sources around the world to leak information. It's also a brand. Which explains not just this store, but also the slew of clones and rivals that have arisen of late. The Chronicle of Higher Education today reports that a higher-education-specific version of WikiLeaks has sprung up over the last month, dubbed UniLeaks. "The Australian activists who run UniLeaks are pushing for openness in the face of what they see as the corporatization of higher education," according to the Chronicle.
How long till UniLeaks has its own store? University hoodies are already ubiquitous.
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[Images: Wikileaks Store & Andrew Hur]