Openleaks site to be launched Monday
A former co-worker of Julian Assange plans to launch a WikiLeaks rival site to help anonymous sources deliver sensitive material to public attention.
Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 09:29 AM
OPENLEAKS: Ever since WikiLeaks burst on the international news agenda last spring there's been speculation about possible copycat sites. (Photo: ZUMA Press)
WikiLeaks soon won't be the only secret-spilling game in town.
A former co-worker of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to launch a rival website Monday called Openleaks that will help anonymous sources deliver sensitive material to public attention.
In a documentary by Swedish broadcaster SVT, due to be aired Sunday and obtained in advance by The Associated Press, former WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg said the new website will work as an outlet for anonymous sources.
"Openleaks is a technology project that is aiming to be a service provider for third parties that want to be able to accept material from anonymous sources," Domscheit-Berg said rare interviews conducted in Berlin.
Ever since WikiLeaks burst on the international news agenda last spring there's been speculation about possible copycat sites.
In Berlin, Domscheit-Berg was not available to talk Friday as he was focusing on a book about his time at WikiLeaks.
SVT reporter Jesper Huor said Openleaks will be launched on Monday from a base in Germany as part of a yet-undisclosed foundation, run by a board of directors.
The timing of the new site comes as pressure mounts for both WikiLeaks and its 39-year-old Australian founder Assange after the start of publication of some 250,000 secret U.S. diplomatic cables last month.
The WikiLeaks site has come under attack, while Assange, who is now in a British jail fighting extradition to Sweden on sex crime allegations, has been threatened. Swiss Postfinance, MasterCard Inc., Visa Inc., PayPal Inc. and others have cut ways to send donations to the group, impairing its ability to raise money.
Assange, a 39-year-old former computer hacker from Australia, has denied the Swedish accusations.
Domscheit-Berg, who during his time with WikiLeaks often went under the pseudonym Daniel Schmitt, said he quit the project after falling out with Assange over what he described as the lack of transparency in the group's decision-making process.
"If you preach transparency to everyone else you have to be transparent yourself. You have to fulfill the same standards you expect from others, and I think that's where we've not been heading in the same direction philosophically anymore," he said in the documentary.
Domscheit-Berg said the main problem was how the WikiLeaks website began handling bigger leaks, such as the disclosures of some 400,000 classified U.S. war files from Iraq and 76,000 from Afghanistan earlier this year.
Too many resources went into these disclosures, he said.
"I think the wisest thing to do would have been to do this slowly, step by step, to grow the project. That did not happen," he said.
(Associated Press writers Raphael G. Satter in London and Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin contributed to this report.)
Copyright 2010 AP News