Italy: MafiaLeaks Website Takes on Organized Crime
The whistle-blowing spirit behind Wikileaks has inspired the creation of a new website targeting organized crime.
A group of Italian volunteers have launched www.mafialeaks.org with the goal of creating an encrypted network where anonymous tipsters can safely provide information about the Mafia.
The website is partitioned into three sections, allowing insider “whistleblowers,” “victims,” and “I know something”s to report wrongdoing, uncover Mafia member identities, and upload any relevant photographs or documents through an encrypted platform on the site. Website owners say that the information will be relayed to designated “trusted people” in journalism, law enforcement, and those eager to clamp down on Mafia-related crime and influence. Tips will stay on the servers for 20 days before being automatically deleted.
According the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the anonymous site owners hope the site will help create a network that can uncover Mafia members’ identities and shed light on money laundering, prostitution, extortion, and political corruption activities.
"There are fewer than 10 of us - with families. Everything we do to do with MafiaLeaks, we do after work, using money from our own pockets," a member told the BBC.
However, local authorities have expressed concern over the website’s ability to provide verifiable information, reports the Daily Mail. Since tips are anonymous, Mafiosi could use the website for “vengeance,” and post false leads and information.
The Mafia has had a notoriously long and pervasive influence in Italy. According to The Telegraph, Italy’s four major Mafia groups have become the country’s “biggest bank,” earning billions of dollars every year.