Several WikiLeaks Partners Resign to Launch Rival Site

By Beecher Tuttle December 10, 2010

With WikiLeaks' founder locked away in prison, its funding rapidly disappearing and multiple governments hot on its tail, the whistle-blowing site's days looks to be numbered. This message became even clearer on Thursday when Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyhete reported that several key figures behind WikiLeaks have resigned and are planning to launch a rival service as soon as next week.

According to the source, these anonymous partners left the document-leaking nonprofit to protest against the architect of the site, Julian Assange, who is currently confined to a U.K. jail cell. The 39-year-old WikiLeaks leader is wanted in Sweden on sexual assault and sexual molestation charges.

These ex-partners told the newspaper that they left WikiLeaks because of Assange's "top-down management style," and the fact that his personal problems had begun to overshadow the organization.

The new site, to be known as Openleaks, will be set up in a slightly different fashion than WikiLeaks. The soon-to-be-launched organization will not publish any leaked documents itself, but will instead pass the information on to independent media outlets that will present the leaked material as they see fit.

Openleaks will be launched as a neutral intermediary "without a political agenda except from the dissemination of information to the media… and other participating groups," according to company documents that were shared with Dagens Nyhete.

"As a result of our intention not to publish any document directly and in our own name, we do not expect to experience the kind of political pressure which WikiLeaks is under at this time," an anonymous source told the newspaper. "In that aspect, it is quite interesting to see how little of politicians' anger seems directed at the newspapers using WikiLeaks sources."Another Openleaks organizer added that the new nonprofit will be "democratically governed," and will not be run be a single individual or group.

WikiLeaks entered the national spotlight earlier this year when it released confidential documents related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, setting off a political storm that has yet to be settled.

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributor

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