Wikileaks defectors plan rival site

Several of Julian Assange’s former colleagues at Wikileaks are setting up a rival whistle-blowing site, a Swedish newspaper reports.

According to Dagens Nyheter, several senior members of the Wikileaks team have quit, citing Assange’s autocratic management style and the way his personal life has become intertwined with his professional activities.

The group has been working on the new Openleaks site for some time and plans to launch it on Monday.

“Our long term goal is to build a strong, transparent platform to support whistleblowers – both in terms of technology and politics – while at the same time encouraging others to start similar projects,” one team member told the paper.

“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.”

The site will operate rather differently to Wikileaks, in a way that the organisers hope will leave them a little more protected. Most notably, it won’t publish material itself, but will act more as a central clearing house for anonymous content. Media and other organizations will have access.

“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,” say the site’s creators.

“In that aspect, it is quite interesting to see how little of politicians’ anger seems directed at the newspapers using WikiLeaks sources.”