Report: Ex-WikiLeakers to launch new Openleaks site

Former partners of Julian Assange say their new site will not publish any documents but will work with media and others to get them out.

WikiLeaks will soon have some competition on the whistle-blowing front.

Several people who resigned from the WikiLeaks project amid conflicts with organizer Julian Assange are planning to launch a new site called Openleaks on Monday, Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported today.

"Our long term goal is to build a strong, transparent platform to support whistle-blowers--both in terms of technology and politics--while at the same time encouraging others to start similar projects," an Openleaks organizer, who wished to remain anonymous, told the newspaper. "As a short-term goal, this is about completing the technical infrastructure and ensuring that the organization continues to be democratically governed by all its members, rather than limited to one group or individual."

Assange's former partners left WikiLeaks because of the "top-down management style" and because Assange's personal problems were distracting from the work, the report said.

Openleaks will not directly publish information it receives but will allow media outlets and other organizations to access the system and disclose what they want, according to internal Openleaks documents. The group will serve as a neutral intermediary with no political agenda, which could minimize any heat from governments.

"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," a 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."

The news comes amid turmoil for WikiLeaks and its public face, Assange. Assange is behind bars in London on Swedish sex-related charges, which he denies.

Meanwhile, the WikiLeaks site has had to rely on mirror sites after getting disconnected by infrastructure providers and its funding has been impacted by PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard halting accepting payments to the group. Activist supporters of WikiLeaks have been targeting those firms with denial-of-service attacks and getting attacked themselves, as well as booted off Twitter and Facebook.

During the summer, WikiLeaks released confidential documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and last month when it began releasing some 250,000 diplomatic cables it further angered U.S. officials.

Updated December 9 7:32 a.m. PT to clarify that not all cables were released at once.

 

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