Competition is about to hit the whistleblowing market, as former WikiLeaks staff is breaking away to form OpenLeaks.
With a launch expected this summer, OpenLeaks will be lead by the former deputy head of Wikileaks. Daniel Domscheit-Berg left WikiLeaks last September following a bust-up with boss Julian Assange.
Assange is currently fighting extradition to Sweden, where he has been accused of sexual misconduct. Now a dozen of his former colleagues are taking matters into their own hands, launching OpenLeaks as a ‘revised vision’ of WikiLeaks’ transparency efforts.
OpenLeaks will try and avoid the ‘influence of a single figurehead’, according to sources speaking to the New York Times. OpenLeaks will avoid handling physical documents, instead becoming a neutral conduit to connect leakers with media and human rights organisations.
‘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, without a political agenda except for the dissemination of information to the media,’ Domscheit-Berg told Swedish broadcaster SVT.
Assange has deliberately made himself the centre of attention in order to increase the buzz around WikiLeaks. However, as Assange attracts increasingly negative publicity, the credibility of WikiLeaks has suffered as a result. OpenLeaks has taken a lesson from this, and will instead aspire to be a neutral news conduit. Now there’s a thought.