WikiLeaks, a site designed to stir up controversy, has some dirty laundry of its own. Several key staff from the whistleblowing site, have resigned and will launch a new website on Monday, reports DN.se. The main reason for the defection, they said, is the public political persona, personal problems, and dictatorship-like management style of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder. The new site will be called Openleaks.
“Our 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,” said one of the founders of the new site. “As 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,” said the owners of the new site, Openleaks.
Don’t put yourself in the story
Unlike WikiLeaks, Openleaks doesn’t intend to make itself the story (one of the primary tenets of journalism) by making brash public statements like Assange often does, or releasing thousands of documents that serve no real purpose. Instead, they hope to a neutral intermediary: a place where whistleblowers can anonymously send information and media outlets can privately review it and write on it. The organization would not have publicly released 250,000 State dept cables (emails), for example.
“As 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,” said members of Openleaks. “In that aspect, it is quite interesting to see how little of politicians’ anger seems directed at the newspapers using WikiLeaks sources.”
Problems at WikiLeaks
WikiLeaks has been under an intense amount of corporate and Gov’t backlash for publicly posting 250,000 private U.S. State Dept. emails. Little of the information is damaging, but much of it is embarrassing. The controversy escalated when members of the Gov’t like Sen. Joe Lieberman began issuing orders to companies to stop working with WikiLeaks. Amazon, EveryDNS, Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal have all suspended the organization’s accounts, due to Gov’t pressure, but no formal charges against WikiLeaks yet exist–the organization has not broken the law. Julian Assange, however, was arrested in the U.K. Tuesday on a Swedish warrant. He faces charges of consensual sex without a condom.
The controversy has spawned a virtual Internet hacking war. WikiLeaks has been under constant Ddos attacks (attacks that flood websites with hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of hits at once, causing their servers to crash and the sites to go offline) and in return, supporters from 4chan have launched a war against those who hurt WikiLeaks, called “Operation Payback.”