Wikileaks’ former second-in-command
is gearing up to launch an alternative to the high-profile website.
Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who left the
site after disagreements with its founder, plans to launch Openleaks in the
The technology, which can be
embedded in any organisation’s sites, will allow whistle-blowers to anonymously
leak data to publishers of their choice.
Its founders say it will address
problems they had with Wikileaks.
“We felt that Wikileaks was
developing in the wrong direction,” Mr Domscheit-Berg said.
“There’s too much concentration of power
in one organisation; too much responsibility; too many bottlenecks; too many resource
He said that the team did not want
the responsibility of deciding what was or was not relevant and what would be
good for the organisation as a whole to publish.
“This is the wrong question
and should never be asked.”
Unlike Wikileaks, Openleaks will
not publish or verify material; leaving that role to newspapers, “NGOs,
labour unions and other interested entities”.
“We are trying to build a
community of various organisations that need or have use for anonymously
submitted information,” former Wikileaks member Herbert Snorrason said.
Mr Domscheit-Berg, said the
decision to be a “conduit” rather than publisher was made because of
the team’s experience at Wikileaks.
“That was another constraint
we saw – if your website becomes too popular then you need a lot of resources
to process submissions,” he said.
Instead, Mr Domscheit-Berg said the
organisation would be a “technology provider”, supplying anonymous
online drop boxes for organisations.
“[Openleaks] aims to provide
the technological means to organisations and other entities around the world to
be able to accept anonymous submissions in the forms of documents or other
information,” said Mr Domscheit-Berg.
This would form a distributed
network of submissions pages across the web, powered by Openleaks technology
for keeping sources anonymous and documents secure.
Whistle-blowers would be able to
submit documents to an organisation’s site, which would then be available for
them to use for an exclusive period, specified by the source.