Openleaks: Wikileaks Revolt Causes Whistleblower Split
Daniel Domscheit-Berg Leaves WikiLeaks, Founds OpenLeaks
A schism within Wikileaks has led to the creation of a new whistleblower site called Openleaks. Openleaks, which launches on December 13, will function differently than WikiLeaks, and will be run by Daniel Domscheit-Berg and several other WikiLeaks defectors. WikiLeaks will continue to function.
The group split from WikiLeaks over disagreements with Julian Assange over how the Iraq War Logs were handled; Daniel Domscheit-Berg (known as Daniel Schmitt on WikiLeaks) and Julian Assange kept arguing, and Domscheit-Berg felt that Assange was getting too autocratic.
A purported transcript of the chat provided to Wired.com by a WikiLeaks insider shows the conversation grew heated.
“You are not anyone’s king or god,” wrote Domscheit-Berg in the chat. “And you’re not even fulfilling your role as a leader right now. A leader communicates and cultivates trust in himself. You are doing the exact opposite. You behave like some kind of emperor or slave trader.”
“You are suspended for one month, effective immediately,” Assange shot back. “If you wish to appeal, you will be heard on Tuesday.”
Though he described Assange as "a brilliant person", Domscheit-Berg found himself unable to keep working with the controversial WikiLeaks spokesman.
"I tried again and again to push for that, but Julian Assange reacted to any criticism with the allegation that I was disobedient to him and unloyal to the project." He said he had come to disagreements with Assange and that other co-workers were also unhappy.
Openleaks: A Different Style of Whistleblower Site
Openleaks will operate differently than WikiLeaks. Rather than host leaked documents, Openleaks will act as an intermediary between anonymous whistleblowers and established media sites. Openleaks hopes to avoid the political pressure that WikiLeaks is experiencing, though any whistleblower facilitation at all will cause the site to fall afoul of governments the world over.
“The two organizations are similar in that aspect that both are focusing on providing means for whistleblowers to anonymously provide the public with information,” one insider says.
“We intend to split the work in a way where we handle only the anonymity and receiving end of the information,” says another colleague.