Former WikiLeaks Employees Start Their Own Leaks' Site

By Ed Silverstein February 07, 2011

It’s pretty common for start-ups to be staffed by employees who first worked at more established companies. But in the case of OpenLeaks, the founding employees apparently got fed up with their former boss, Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks.

Assange is now fighting extradition to Sweden where authorities want to question him about two sexual assault investigations. He also has sought to be a highly public figure, and has made WikiLeaks into a highly controversial site offering embarrassing and sometimes damaging information on government leaders.

Last month, Assange told the New Statesman in an interview that he has “files” on Rupert Murdoch and his powerful media company, News Corporation. TechZone360 reports that Assange will release the files on Murdoch “if something happens” to him or WikiLeaks.

The New York Times reports that “a dozen of his former colleagues are creating an alternative Web site for leaks to be governed by what they characterize as a revised vision of radical transparency.”

Herbert Snorrason, a programmer working on OpenLeaks, says the site tries to “avoid the ‘influence of a single figurehead’ by refusing to handle documents itself. Instead, it will act as a neutral conduit to connect leakers with media and human rights organizations,” according to The Times.

“OpenLeaks is a project that aims at making whistleblowing safer and more widespread,” adds the mission posted on the site.

“This will be done by providing dedicated and generally free services to whistleblowers and organizations interested in transparency,” the site adds. “We will also create a Knowledge Base aiming to provide a comprehensive reference to all areas surrounding whistleblowing.”

OpenLeaks says it won’t “accept or publish documents on its own platform” but will create "digital dropboxes" for its members. It wants “the process of submitting leaks safe and easy.”

WikiLeaks meanwhile has been facing all sorts of challenges after it started posting classified diplomatic cables. Several companies, which allowed WikiLeaks to access donations from contributors, cut off any involvement with the site. The site was offline, sporadically. Assange has less time to repair it because is he busy writing a book which may earn as much as $1.7 million, reports The Times. And by his former employees leaving, it makes it even harder to repair the site.

OpenLeaks is not yet operational. The alpha phase began in January 2011, when it started testing with a small group of media organizations and NGOs. The beta phase is expected to start in the second half of 2011, “when we shall open the door for more initiatives,” the site said.



Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Congress Passes Consumer Privacy Rollback

By: Paula Bernier    3/29/2017

Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted 215-205 to eliminate privacy rules aimed at protecting the browsing histories and data of U.S. broadband…

Read More

How Enhanced Connectivity Benefits Analytics and Big Data

By: Lindsey Patterson    3/29/2017

Potential benefits of data analysis include enhanced marketing potential, the ability to improve overall efficiency as well as the means to track and …

Read More

Think IT Can Handle Security On Its Own? Think Again

By: Special Guest    3/28/2017

One of the major fears of any IT department is losing control - of projects, of users, of applications. Yet, even with the best technology solutions, …

Read More

Optane: Intel Builds a Supercharger for PCs

By: Rob Enderle    3/28/2017

Optane is Intel's brand name for 3D XPoint memory, a brand-new memory architecture which has speed a bit slower than DRAM but otherwise performs like …

Read More

IBM's Cloud/Data/AI Trinity Vision

By: Doug Mohney    3/27/2017

If you want to know what the future of IT looks like, it's always good to look to IBM. The company pioneered and championed PCs, the Internet, open so…

Read More