Breakaway Wikileaks group launches

A rival to the online whistleblowing site Wikileaks has launched early, because details of its site were er… leaked.

The site, dubbed OpenLeaks, was formed by those who left Wikileaks because they had a gutsful of the antics of Julian Assange

Assange’s former right-hand man, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, was miffed that Wikileaks was not democratic enough and that Assange seemed to be more of a distraction than a use.

He promised the site will have more democratic organisation than Wikileaks and plans to work with other organisations, including media, to release documents publicly, as opposed to publishing them itself.

Domscheit-Berg accused Assange of being autocratic and behaving like “some kind of emperor or slave trader”, failing to consult his team on important decisions.

The site was pushed to launch after another long-time leak site Cryptome, published virtually the entire contents of the then hidden OpenLeaks site. OpenLeaks was forced to go live in an “alpha” version, but organisers say they don’t expect to begin leaking documents until the second half of the year.

Meanwhile it seems that Assange’s relationship with the media is fast falling apart. He threatened to sue The Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger if he published documents leaked by WikiLeaks before Assange said it could.

Apple’s favourite newspaper the New York Times executive editor, Bill Keller, dubbed Assange as “elusive, manipulative and volatile” in an article he penned about the lad.

“We regarded Assange throughout as a source, not as a partner or collaborator, but he was a man who clearly had his own agenda,” Keller wrote.

OpenLeaks sees this falling out with Assange as moving to its advantage although it denies it is a rival to Wikileaks.

“OpenLeaks considers itself a non-profit community and service provider for whistleblowers and organisations, media, and individuals who engage in promoting transparency,” the site said.

But OpenLeaks will not accept or publish documents on its own platform, but rather create many “digital dropboxes” for its community members, each adapted to the specific needs of our members so that they can provide a safe and trusted leaking option for whistleblowers.

In short it will funnel the leaks to its newspaper chums.