and the tip jar - another "web bug"

| | Comments (15) is still not publishing any of their old or new whistleblower leaks, whilst still asking for new whistleblower leak submissions, and, still asking for money.

They now seem to have got themselves a tip jar, run by a company called Like It Tipit Ltd, based in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

which accepts Euros, US Dollars or GB Pound currency donations via credit card or the (mostly) Netherlands based iDEAL online payment system.. seem to be using the Netherlands based AdYen internet payments system for credit cards.

The terms of service make it clear that any responsibility for taxation lies with

However, now casual visitors to the suspended web page will see a typical "appeals thermometer" graphical image.


Note the target "goal" of 50,000 Euros.

Another "web bug":

Even though the PayPal graphic is now being served locally, rather than as a Deep Link from the Canadian fishing supplies website, this Web Bug problem has simply been replaced by a new one.

The new "thermometer appeal" graphical image is not a static graphical image, served locally from the web servers. (like the above screen capture graphic is being served from the web space)

It is a dynamic image, generated remotely on the fly, presumably to show how much of the target has been achieved, as per the "appeals thermometer" theme.

This means that the webservers, and the Amazon Web Services, Elastic Compute Cloud, EC2 instance which they use, are collecting Communications Traffic Data logfiles, including visit time and date, IP address, Web browser details, language settings etc., from most of the visitors to the page, even if they do not intend to proceed to the tip jar donations form.

Will anybody be monitoring or automatically screen scraping and logging, the TipIT tip jar, or even the home pages, which display the amounts of money of the last 10 or so tips received ? Obviously some of these donations or tips are pseudo anonymous, but several people seem to be leaving their names and comments of support, which they may or may not regret later.

N.B. since the webs server does not appear to be serving a robots.txt file:

it may well be that snapshots of the "latest tips / financial contributors" to and any other website will be captured by automatically and "forever", by Google, Yahoo, Bing and other web search engines..

The embedded YouTube video script remains as before, also potentially betraying the anonymity of visitors to the website, in log files over which have no control.

Why is the simple website anonymity protection measure of serving copies of graphical images only from your own web server so difficult for the people, who one would expect to live and breathe internet anonymity and security, to understand ?


"Why is [this] so difficult for the understand?"

Because it's not important to them, clearly. They have never taken any serious or credible effort to ensure the anonymity, privacy, or security of their users, visitors, contributors, et cetera, and I really cannot see that changing any time soon, if ever. They would much rather, from what I can tell, feed their egos and narcissism by exploiting the work of others than do any of their own. Oh, and they'd collectively like about $400,000 in annual wages for doing so, too - that for a collective of, what, a half-dozen or so people working part-time? Nice gig, if you can get it...

The PayPal link now seems to have been restored.

The Register report

Wikileaks pledge drive hobbled by PayPal suspension

has been updated:

PayPal's spokeswoman said it had lifted the suspension on Saturday, suggesting it had been triggered by anti-money laundering systems.

Saturday was the 23rd of January, the day when changed their web page and announced the suspension of their PayPal account.

Are Paypal and / or being completely honest and transparent about this incident ?

@ Nemo - they must have spent some fraction of the money on server hosting and bandwidth costs.

Surely they will eventually have to produce some sort of audited accounts for the German tax authorities, or else the Wau Holland Stiftung will lose its charitable status ?

€ 2098 in the tip jar for so far

€ 2268 in the tip jar for

Will this now drop off significantly now that the PayPal link has been restored ?

I believe their bandwidth and hosting costs are - or so they claim - $200,000 p/a, or a bit over 16,000 USD per month, which is pretty absurd. Then again, they don't provide any accountability as to what that money gets them, so... who knows.

Ideally, they claim, they would also like another $400,000 p/a to pay the "staff".

€ 2364 in the tip jar for

The other $400,000 is supposedly for the "local newspaper / wikileaks exclusivity deal" expansion plan.

I would not begrudge them paying some staff expenses or even core staff salaries out of their $200,000 "budget", but they should publish, even approximately, what is spent on what.

They might even be offered free or cheap hosting or bandwidth deals, if they were more open about it. seem to have stopped displaying the running total of donations.

Interesting that they've stopped displaying the running total. I wonder if that was TipIt's idea, or that of the oh-so-accountable folks?

I also note that they've scrapped the target date, and now merely promise to return "soon". Given that they claim to need 70K USD, and are apparently receiving somewhat less than one-thousand USD per day, it could be April before they reach their target.

Like you, I firmly believe that if they want money, they should provide at least a rough estimate of where it's going. I also suspect it's never going to happen...

The total can still be viewed here:

...along with some interesting data on the donors.

2641 GBP just at the moment.

€ 3338 euros in the tipjar.

The main page has finally been re-jigged with a Yahoo theme

 	< !--  following style tag content:
        Copyright (c) 2009, Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
        Code licensed under the BSD License:
        version: 2.7.0
    -- >

There is now a third method of online donatios, using MoneyBookers.

At last, the Payment Button images are being served from the local web servers, and not from remote sites.

That was not too difficult, was it ?

Unfortunately they still have not done the same for the embedded YouTube video.

"Total tipped € 22438.88 " seems to have gone "tits up" at the end of February 2010 due to "fraudulent transactions"

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Recent Comments

  • wikileak: seems to have gone "tits up" at the end read more
  • wikileak: "Total tipped € 22438.88 " read more
  • wikileak: € 3338 euros in the tipjar. The main page read more
  • Nemo: The total can still be viewed here: ...along with read more
  • Nemo: Interesting that they've stopped displaying the running total. I wonder read more
  • wikileak: "My U.S. Credit Card Was Deactivated After I Sent $20 read more
  • wikileak: seem to have stopped displaying the running total of read more
  • wikileak: The other $400,000 is supposedly for the "local newspaper / read more
  • wikileak: € 2364 in the tip jar for read more
  • Nemo: I believe their bandwidth and hosting costs are - or read more

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