Paywall puts Anonymous-WikiLeaks relationship on the rocks

A rift has developed between WikiLeaks and the hacker collective Anonymous, threatening a partnership that the rebel groups have leveraged in their self-described campaigns against government secrecy and corporate malfeasance.

How broad the disillusionment within Anonymous towards WikiLeaks is hard to determine, because of the amorphous structure of the former. Nevertheless, press releases and tweets on Twitter show at least an anti-WikiLeak faction within hacker group.

"The end of an era. We unfollowed @Wikileaks and withdraw our support. It was an awesome idea, ruined by Egos. Good Bye," said , which is believed to be part of the umbrella group.

Anonymous' disenchantment with WikiLeaks came to a head this week when the secret buster placed an overlay donation page that popped up when someone visited the site's Global Intelligence Files. The files contained more than 5 million emails from international intelligence company Stratfor. Anonymous has claimed responsibility for hacking Stratfor's site and handing the emails to WikiLeaks.

Anonymous saw the donation page as a "paywall" and an affront to their belief that information should be free. "We call on @WikiLeaks to change their current set up to force donations. #InformationWantsToBeFree," the group tweeted.

WikiLeaks initially defended the page and later removed it from the site. "A tweet, share, wait or donate campaign is not a 'paywall,'" the group tweeted back. The page appeared to stem from a 34-day fundraising campaign the group's leader, Julian Assange, announced Oct. 3 in a rambling statement .