Ever since WikiLeaks came under global scrutiny, whistleblowing has taken a somewhat negative turn. Daniel Domscheit-Berg who had a falling out with its founder, Julian Assange believes its due to whistleblowers not having control over the secrets they want to spill. To remedy the situation, he and his team are building OpenLeaks, a new platform that will allow sources to choose specifically who they want to submit documents to anonymously.
According to their Web site, OpenLeaks - which will launch later in the year - is a project aimed at making whistleblowing safer and more widespread through transparency and decentralization.
Jeff Jarvis, a journalism professor at the City University of New York who has been researching both WikiLeaks and OpenLeaks believes in today's world of social media and user-generated content, there is a shift in the control of information. "It used to be that he or she who held secrets held power," Jarvis told The Associated Press, "Now he or she who creates transparency holds power."
Shira Lazar from CBSNews.com interviewed Openleaks co-founder and former Wikileaks employee, Herbert Snorrason, about the new tech platform that will allow anyone to submit documents to organizations anonymously. According to the report, OpenLeaks' former employees lost faith in WikiLeaks centralized process of controlling the entire flow of the anonymous documents. This report voices their dissatisfaction with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and how they feel a decentralized process is the best option for whistleblowers in the future.
Julian AssangeWhile Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have been criticized for sharing their data with onlyDaniel Domscheit-Berg a handful of media outlets, Domscheit-Berg's OpenLeaks will allow the whistleblowing sources to submit documents anonymously to the a particular news outlet of their choice. In essence, it will be become a whistleblowing conduit that connects sources with outlets. In so doing, it will become a one-stop shop for anyone interested in learning about or assisting the worldwide whistleblowing community.
Using this new approach, Domscheit-Berg believes his organization will not come "under the same kind of scrutiny from governments and big corporations as WikiLeaks is currently."
According to a Huffington Post report, OpenLeaks will begin testing in several weeks and could be fully operational later this year. So far, it has received no outside funding, but should that ever be the case it would be done transparently.
To prepare for the launch, OpenLeaks is compiling an in-depth "knowledge base" that aspires to index a broad spectrum of topics relevant to leaking, such as laws on a per-country basis, existing projects around the world, best common practices and guidelines for all parties participating in leaking.
For other reports on WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and the topic of whistleblowing, please check out my previous posts.