nettime's avid reader on Fri, 10 Dec 2010 21:28:17 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> "A new WikiLeaks" revolts against Assange

Uppdaterat 2010-12-09 22:17. 
Publicerat 2010-12-09 22:16

The pressure on WikiLeaks is increasing. reveals that several key 
figures behind the website that publishes anonymous submissions and leaks 
of sensitive governmental, corporate, organizational or religious documents 
have resigned in protest against the controversial leader Julian Assange 
only to launch a new service for the so-called whistleblowers. The goal: to 
leak sensitive information to the public.

The new project, âOpenleaks,â has been under way for some time and will be 
launched Monday. has spoken to individuals behind the new site and 
the message is clear.

âOur long term goal is to build a strong, transparent platform to support 
whistleblowers--both in terms of technology and politics--while at the same 
time encouraging others to start similar projects,â says a colleague 
wishing to remain anonymous.

âAs a short-term goal, this is about completing the technical 
infrastructure and ensuring that the organization continues to be 
democratically governed by all its members, rather than limited to one 
group or individual.â

The news comes in turbulent times for WikiLeaks. Thousands of documents 
infuriating global leaders and policy-makers have been unveiled to the 
public via Cablegate. Meanwhile, Julian Assange has been arrested in Great 
Britain on suspected rape charges based in Sweden. News about WikiLeaks has 
been over-shadowed by Assange's personal problems.

Earlier this year, WikiLeaks experienced accessibility issues. According to 
information revealed to, the problem was not linked to outsiders 
trying to sabotage, but came from the inside as a signal to Julian Assange 
to step down. The colleagues were dissatisfied with the operation's 
association with Assange's personal problems and how he used the 
organization in his explanation of the criminal charges.

It is the top-down management style which is under critique.

On the other hand, the source emphasizes the fact that the new 
website is supportive of WikiLeaks purpose and goal.

âThe two organizations are similar in that aspect that both are focusing on 
providing means for whistleblowers to anonymously provide the public with 
information,â one insider says.

Unlike WikiLeaks, Openleaks will not receive and publish information 
directly for the public eye. Instead, other organizations will access the 
Openleaks system and in turn, present their audience with the material. 
Documents will be processed and published by various collaborating 

âWe intend to split the work in a way where we handle only the anonymity 
and receiving end of the information,â says another colleague.

According to the internal documents shared with, Openleaks intends to 
establish itself as a neutral intermediary âwithout a political agenda 
except from the dissemination of information to the media, the public, non-
profit organizations, trade- and union organizations and other 
participating groups.â

âAll editorial control and responsibility rests with the publishing 
organization. We will, as far as possible, take the role of the messenger 
between the whistleblower and the organization the whistleblower is trying 
to cooperate with,â says one anonymous informant.
Another intended consequence is to avoid the pressure from world leaders 
that WikiLeaks has experienced.

âAs a result of our intention not to publish any document directly and in 
our own name, we do not expect to experience the kind of political pressure 
which WikiLeaks is under at this time. In that aspect, it is quite 
interesting to see how little of politicians' anger seems directed at the 
newspapers using WikiLeaks sources.â

Translation: Majsan BostrÃm.
Ossi Carp,

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