New Competition For Wikileaks Shows Up -- Say Hello To OpenLeaks

from the are-we-going-to-jail-them-too? dept

Like many folks, I'm somewhat conflicted about Wikileaks as an organization. It's been clear for quite some time that it has some organizational issues, to put it mildly. However, as we've pointed out the concept behind Wikileaks is inevitable, and we fully expected that even if Wikileaks itself went away, others would quickly step up to take its place. Last month, we noted that some former Wikileakers (who were not at all happy with Assange's leadership) were planning a new competitor.

Slashdot points us to the news that their offering, to be called OpenLeaks, is expected to launch next week. The new operation claims it will function slightly differently than Wikileaks, but with the same general intent: allowing whistleblowers to leak sensitive information. The main difference appears to be that OpenLeaks won't publish information directly, but will offer it up to others to publish. I'm not entirely sure how that will work, but either way it seems to be clear that even if the US government were successful in somehow making Wikileaks "go away," it won't stop the general trend towards systems and institutions designed to help whistleblowing.

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  1. icon
    ctromley (profile), 10 Dec 2010 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I really can't see how anyone can defend a policy of exerting government pressure in a foreign country to cover up the murder of a journalist is a good thing, in any way at all."

    Of course no one condones that. Murder is bad. We get it. That stuff should definitely be exposed.

    "If some good deeds are undone, if some international good will is trashed, it is *worth it* if such corruption is unearthed and aired in front of the public."

    Is it "worth it" even if someone dies trying to do the right thing? Hypothetical case: Let's say the DEA, CIA and State Dept. collaborate with the Bolivian government to finally take down a large drug cartel. Maybe some official had to be bribed to make it happen. Are you saying it's OK to leak those secrets and put our best special ops guys in jeopardy? To allow the flow of drugs to continue, with all the destruction that causes just because soemone took a bribe and all secrets must be bad?

    Do you really think the leakers know enough of any story to be certain they aren't causing more harm than they know?

    All I'm saying is that openness is truly a good thing - but you'd better be damn sure you aren't hurting anyone when you leak secrets. Wikileaks seems pretty casual about it. Those who advocate a secretless society had better step up and take responsibility when it turns bad. But that's not likely to happen when people are so wrapped up in their own self-righteousness.

    Has anyone thought to get someone experienced in international diplomacy to weigh in on this? Seems like there are a lot of keyboard-pounders opining on it, but no one with real field experience. I wonder how many cases there are of real diplomatic progress being trashed by leaks.

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