In response to a request filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the FBI has informed The News American that “there is a pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding relevant to” WikiLeaks, a news organization that specializes in publishing large-scale leaks. The FOIA request was filed in October of 2015.
The FBI’s investigation into WikiLeaks has been a controversial one. In 2011, according to Iceland’s minister of the interior, US authorities sent a dire warning that “there was an imminent attack on Icelandic government databases” by hackers. The US asked if they could send the FBI to investigate, to which the Icelandic government agreed. After FBI agents arrived, the Icelandic minister soon discovered that the FBI had were not investigating an attack but were instead collecting information on WikiLeaks, which had members living in Iceland.
According to The New York Times, the FBI has gathered tens of thousands of pages of evidence on WikiLeaks. Julian Assange, WikiLeaks‘ founder, has been offered political asylum by Ecuador in order to prevent him from being extradited to the US. Assange has resided in the embassy since 2012.
Before this article, a Guardian article published over a year ago was the most recent indication that the FBI was still investigating WikiLeaks. The Guardian found mention of the FBI’s ongoing investigation in a ruling the from US district court for the District of Columbia. The ruling described a “long-term duration”, “multi-subject” investigation.