Founded in 2006 in Iceland, WikiLeaks operates under the leadership of the hacker and activist Julian Assange. The website acts as an open repository of confidential documents from governments, companies, and other political actors considered relevant to the international community. WikiLeaks unveiled its real strength for the first time in 2010 with the release of videos and documents detailing the US military's operations in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, depicting a series of war crimes and misconducts.
Following the publication of millions of other documents over the years, the relevance of the website increased to a point that compelled Assange in 2012 to seek political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has since lived with the intent of protecting himself from potential extradition requests from tge US government and subsequent trials for a series of crimes that could lead him to receive the death penalty. From his room at the embassy, the hacker coordinates with contributors around the world to continue the posting of documents of high interest to the public.
In the midst of the controversial 2016 election campaign, the website began to publish documents linked to the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton, and put together they tell a parallel story of the events surrounding Clinton's presidential campaign. Perhaps the most relevant information of all is that within the Democratic National Committee (DNC) there was a clear intention to undermine Bernie Sanders' campaign and favor Hillary as a candidate. Before the media, the DNC created an impression of being impartial in the dispute.
Months later, emails from the Clinton campaign administrator John Podesta's account were leaked, revealing even more examples of favoritism. We can take as an example the case in which Donna Brazile, DNC's interim leader, sent an e-mail informing Podesta of a sensitive issue that would be asked in a debate during the primaries. We can also cite the leaked private paid talks given by Clinton to Wall Street executives, in which the candidate demonstrated great intimacy withthe groups. These transcripts were later used by Trump both in the second and third debate as proof of her having a hidden agenda.
The Clinton campaign did not necessarily focus on denying the e-mails, but rather on pointing out a conspiracy by Russia to elect Trump. The motivation for this would purportedly be that he is an easier candidate to manipulate, or, according to some accounts, a direct partner of Vladimir Putin. A number of security companies believe in this possibility, but no definitive evidence has been provided proving the claim in a unquestionable manner.
Addendum to the 2018 revision: It was eventually proven that links do exist between the advertisement of the Trump campaign and Russian government actors. Particularly aimed at social media and with an intention of feeling organic, these ads focused on drawing attention to conservative topics and overall bolstering the viability of Trump as a candidate.
Hillary and Trump were affected by information leaked by WikiLeaks, but there clearly appears to be a disproportionate amount of material about the Democratic candidate being published, which can be seen as favoritism. The latest case connects the Clinton Foundation to possible financial crimes, something embarrassing even though apparently not directly connected with the Clinton couple. Be that as it may, this platform has clearly come to tinker with the political dynamics of the contemporary world, and this is certainly not the last time its influence will be felt.