Cryptome Kills the Kickstarter: an interview with John Young

Who doesn’t want your money? Cryptome.org, it seems, does not. Until yesterday they had a Kickstarter funding drive that boasted $19,838. It wasn’t their $100,000 stated goal, but it would have paid for the servers for another decade or so.

The Kickstarter was cancelled last night. We spoke to them to find out why.

Cryptome is the longest-running leak site in the English-speaking world. It’s been a thorn in the secrecy-industrial complex’s side since 1996, operating more or less continuously and somehow flying under the radar of those who’ve effectively nuked WikiLeaks and inspired Edward Snowden’s Russian sojourn.

Run by New Yorkers John Young and Deborah Natsios, it has been pumping out PDF copies of things someone, somewhere is well paid to keep hidden, day after day after day on a bare-bones site that looks like a snapshot from 1994.

“Converting a random sample of Cryptome’s 71,000 files to PDFs produces a total of 6,800,000 pages over 18 years, averaging about 380,000 pages per year or about 1,000 books per year,” they claim on the Kickstarter page, and no-one would doubt it. Funding (estimated at $2000 a year for server costs and domains) has come from the principals and from occasional donations. Back in May, they decided to use Kickstarter to raise funds for a “global archives” on USB sticks, which would then be distributed to supporters of the fundraiser...


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