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WikiLeaks, in Data Terms

December 9, 2010

This is an interesting post from the always interesting ReadWriteWeb on the WikiLeaks thing…

The US government has called on the organization Wikileaks to “return” all the classified documents it received and has begun to publish and “destroy” all the documents in its databases. For at least the fraction of the documents that have been released to the public, it’s far too late for that.

How far and wide have the Wikileaks Cablegate documents spread around the web – and how fast have they been travelling? After reading Danny Sulivan’s post Why Wikileaks Will Never Be Closed or Blocked today, I visited the torrent search engine The Pirate Bay, pulled down some numbers and did some math. Here’s what I found.

  • There are 113 different torrents with the words Wikileaks Cablegate in the title listed on the Pirate Bay right now.
  • At the moment I write this, there are 109 people leeching a Wikileaks Cablegate file from those torrents and 5801 total seeds for those files living on computers all around the world. For context, that’s roughly the same number of seeds you’ll find for the latest Katy Perry album.
  • The most popularly seeded file is 10 Mebibytes (Megabytes) in size; it’s the seed for the first day’s released cables and was released that evening.
  • That first full archive file was seeded two and a half hours after @wikileaks first Tweeted about the documents’ availability.
  • The first upload, a mirror of the Cablegate site, was seeded as a torrent 20 minutes after its availability was published about on Twitter.
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