Former WikiLeaks Activists to Launch New Whistleblowing Site

NEWS, 6 Dec 2010

Der Spiegel – TRANSCEND Media Service

A group of former members of WikiLeaks is planning to launch its own whistleblowing platform in mid-December, according to a German newspaper. The activists criticize WikiLeaks for concentrating too much on the US and want to take a broader approach.

Julian Assange is the public face of the whistleblowing organization WikiLeaks, and Sunday’s publication of the leaked US diplomatic cables will have raised his profile even higher. In fact, the former hacker is now a leading candidate for Time magazine’s “2010 Person of the Year.”

But former members of the organization have criticized his supposedly autocratic leadership style. “I am the heart and soul of this organization, its founder, philosopher, original coder, organizer, financier and all the rest. If you have a problem with me, piss off,” Assange famously wrote to one internal critic.

Now a group of former WikiLeaks activists are planning to launch a whistleblowing platform of their own in mid-December, according to a report in the Wednesday edition of the German newspaper Die Tageszeitung. The group stresses that the as-yet-unnamed platform should not be seen as a competitor to WikiLeaks but as a different approach, the newspaper wrote.

“As many people as possible should have access to as many documents as possible,” the former Germany spokesman for WikiLeaks, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, told the newspaper.

Domscheit-Berg criticized WikiLeaks for concentrating on publishing material about the US while other information was neglected. “There was a lack of transparency about how decisions had been reached,” he told the newspaper. “That’s why I trust this organization as little as I would trust another organization with similar problems.”

Domscheit-Berg has written a tell-all book about his experiences with WikiLeaks, titled “Inside WikiLeaks,” which will be published in German by the Berlin-based publisher Econ Verlag in January 2011. A spokeswoman for the publisher told SPIEGEL ONLINE that there were no immediate plans to publish an English version, but that it was “entirely possible” that the book might be translated.

‘We Wish Them Luck’

Back in September, Domscheit-Berg, at the time the second-best known member of WikiLeaks, announced in a SPIEGEL interview that he was leaving the organization out of dissatisfaction with how Assange was running the project. “Unfortunately we’ve reached a dead end,” he said. “Julian Assange reacted to any criticism with the allegation that I was disobedient to him and disloyal to the project.”

For its part, WikiLeaks has said it would welcome rivals. “There is some indication that Daniel and some others are setting up a similar venue, and we wish them luck,” said Kristinn Hrafnsson, a WikiLeaks spokesman, in an interview quoted by the Wall Street Journal in early November. “It would be good to have more organizations like WikiLeaks.”

Meanwhile pressure is increasing on Julian Assange in relation to an alleged sex offence. Interpol announced early on Wednesday that it had issued a “Red Notice” asking people to contact the authorities if they had information on his location, which is currently unknown. Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden over the alleged crime, which he denies. Interpol stressed that the “Red Notice” is not an international arrest warrant.

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2 Responses to “Former WikiLeaks Activists to Launch New Whistleblowing Site”

  1. Penelope (Penny) D. Lightbourne says:

    The global diaspora of Wikileaks is wonderful to see happening now, @ this crucial time in history, where the most imperative need is for the development of authentic integrity, transparency in all forms of communication, towards an evolvement of an ethical society. As a Canadian whose heritage in media deconstruction began with Marshall McLuhan, during the late 60’s/early 70’s; (Marshall McLuhan died fifteen years before the Internet was invented); I can’t help but wonder what his involvement & commentary would be at this important time in the human story…as well, back in the mid/late 1990’s, all the billionaire icons, whose fortunes showered on them ‘virtually’ overnight…would coffee at the Il Fornaio restraunt/Garden Court Hotel/in Silicon Valley where they as, ‘The Inheritor’s’ of the grand vision of an ‘epochal change’…Bill Gates saying at the time… ‘the world will be affected seismically’…well, yes, indeed! …hasn’t it been so?…talk of that time was also loaded with vernacular such as ‘the WWW will gradually make the U.S. government obsolete’…then came Michael Calce (MafiaBoy)…who is now the corporate don of a Software Company…well, how time flies? …& how it heals as well.
    So, I say enough of the panic-monger’s of the churnalistic press,…& the rabid thuggery towards Mr. Assange…in the accomplishment of Peace, in all situations, the primary need is to understand…in accompaniment with wisdom, patience…peace…we can all breathe a sigh of relief then, with the sure knowledge that ‘this too shall pass’…Peace to All…

  2. Penelope D. Lightbourne says:

    further commentary here…
    “Let us give birth to the unexpected
    So hope for a great sea-change
    On the far side of revenge
    Believe that the farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles and cures and
    healing wells.” ~ ‘Cure of Troy’
    Seamus Heaney

    …the title of the first chapter of Margaret Somerville’s; “The Ethical Imagination”, is: ‘Going on the Ethical Wallaby; Searching for a Shared Ethics’…this may aptly describe Mr. Assange’s/WikiLeaks journey…in reading Mr. Assange’s, ‘Don’t shoot the messenger’ article in The Australian…I was particularly moved by the comment, ‘We are weak and small’. …this poignant disclosure does certainly reveal the innocence within, as well as the tender conscience of a vunerable social iconoclast…immediately what came to mind, is that remarkable children’s book; ‘The Little Prince’; by Antione de Saint-Exupery…is not Julian Assange, a great lamp-lighter of Australia?…not to engender here, a hyper-national fervor (nationalism as state religion, such as the United States displays)…but, always, innocence at any age needs protection, particularly when impeded by deep emotions and a hackneyed struggle with one’s venacular? … as for displaying autocratic leadership…well, under the circumstances, Julian may have developed along this route due to the nature of his unusual background and unique ‘calling’, in that he probably is acting/re-acting as best as he is enabled at this time…and certainly peers should recognize this and not indulge in cheap muck-raking which is a social poison, that will certainly betray the author’s reputation eventually? …I was reading in my 201 yr. old Barclay’s Encyclopedia this morning…in the ‘G’s’ , I found two marvelous old definitions of the word, ‘German’:
    1)German, f. [Lat.] a brother; one that preaches to a brother as in nearest of blood. 2)German, a. [Lat.] “related”. …so, in the brotherhood of man, may common restraint and descency prevail, as Mr. Assange extricates himself from this current mire of intense contraversy. …also, in the preface of my Barclay’s, is:
    ” A Free Inquiry into the Origin and Antiquity of Letters.; Abbot Anselm; Member of the Royal Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres At Paris…I cannot, I think, fairly be denied, however, but that Job was acquainted with the Art of Writing…or the Life of Letters, and the various methos, that in his time were made use of , in engraving both on lead and stone…for, in the xixth chapter of that book, is the following very remarkable expostulation; “Oh, that my words were now written! Oh, that they were scripted in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rocks forever”…well, I do hope that Julian Assange during his seige of tribulation, will take up the Life of Letters? …nevertheless, might a paleontologist of a once-upon-a-time future come across a mass extinction layer, bearing micro-chips, crumb’s of the past…& can then make sense of this era? …