CNN) -- In the early 1970s, when Daniel Ellsberg wanted to get top-secret information about the Vietnam War to the public, he leaked the bombshell Pentagon Papers to elected officials and national newspapers.

But if Ellsberg, a former U.S. military analyst, wanted to leak secret documents today, he probably would send them to a powerful and controversial new venue for whistle-blowing: a website called WikiLeaks.org.

"People should definitely think of WikiLeaks as the way to go" when other methods of leaking information fail, he said recently.

WikiLeaks, a nonprofit site run by a loose band of tech-savvy volunteers, is quickly becoming one of the internet's go-to locations for government whistle-blowers, replacing, or at least supplementing, older methods of making sensitive government information public.

Some have praised the site as a beacon of free speech, while others have criticized it as a threat to national security.

The site gained international attention in April when it posted a 2007 video said to show a U.S. helicopter attack in Iraq killing a dozen civilians, including two unarmed Reuters journalists.

The website that reveals state secrets - CNN.com

Wikileaks - WikiLeaks