As Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder stews in a British jail, with a U.S. indictment reportedly imminent on top of the alleged Swedish sex crimes, some of his former staffers are all set to launch a competing site for whistleblowers called “OpenLeaks,” headed up by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Assange’s former right-hand man.
“OpenLeaks will be designed to accept leaks in a secure and anonymous manner, but won’t publish them itself. Instead, OpenLeaks will work with other publishers, including newspapers and websites around the world, which’ll asses the newsworthiness of any leaked documents, and edit and redact them as appropriate before releasing them.”
In this way, OpenLeaks hopes to address one of the biggest early criticisms against WikiLeaks: that it publishes sensitive documents indiscriminately without regard for the safety of people who may be mentioned in those documents. This was certainly the case with the Afghanistan war documents. In an online chat at the time, in reference to the way Assange handled the first leak of Afghanistan war documents, Domscheit-Berg accused him of behaving “like some kind of emperor or slave trader”.
It seems WikiLeaks have this time learned from its past mistake. All the Cablegate documents so far have been released piecemeal in partnership with newspapers around the world, whose editorial staff vets and redacts names from them as appropriate.”