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Openleaks, a WikiLeaks rival, to launch Monday, report says

December 10, 2010 |  7:06 pm

  OpenLinkswebsiteFridayDec10Openleaks -- a rival to the secret-document-leaking website WikiLeaks -- is set to launch on Monday, according to a report.

The new site, which will be found at openleaks.org, has "been underway for some time" and was founded by "several key figures" who once worked at WikiLeaks but have resigned in protest of its controversial founder, Julian Assange, according to the Swedish news website DN.se.

Just as WikiLeaks, Openleaks will focus on leaking sensitive documents from governments, corporations, organizations and religious groups to the public, the report said.

"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," an anonymous source at Openleaks told DN.se.

"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 source said, according to the report.

But, unlike WikiLeaks, Openleaks will not publish information it receives on its own, DN.se said.

Instead, other organizations will be given access to documents Openleaks obtains and be responsible for publishing that information, the report said.

The intent is for Openleaks to become a neutral liaison "without a political agenda except from the dissemination of information to the media, the public, non-profit organizations, trade and union organizations and other participating groups," according to DN.se.

"All editorial control and responsibility rests with the publishing organization," an unnamed source told DN.se. "We will, as far as possible, take the role of the messenger between the whistleblower and the organization the whistleblower is trying to cooperate with."

By not publishing the documents itself, Openleaks is hoping to avoid the backlash from global political leaders that WikiLeaks has received.

"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 DN.se. "In that aspect, it is quite interesting to see how little of politicians' anger seems directed at the newspapers using WikiLeaks sources."

The news of the new website comes as Assange is in custody in Britain on allegations in Sweden that he raped two women.

In the last two weeks, thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables have been published by WikiLeaks that have embarrassed and angered global political leaders. The press has labeled the fiasco "cablegate" and WikiLeaks has promised to release thousands more documents.

Last week, anti-WikiLeaks hackers temporarily brought down WikiLeaks' website in response to the release of the government cables.

This week, a group of pro-WikiLeaks hackers, calling themselves Anonymous in a campaign called "Operation: Payback," momentarily disabled the sites of businesses such as MasterCard and Visa that have stopped doing business with WikiLeaks.

Earlier this year, WikiLeaks.org was crashed not by hackers but by WikiLeaks employees, according to DN.se's report.

The move then was a sign telling to Assange to step down by, the report said. Assange didn't, so some of those unhappy at WikiLeaks left and started Openleaks, the report said.

Despite the site being launched as a rival to WikiLeaks, those behind Openleaks told DN.se that the two websites are working toward common goals, although through different methods.

"The two organizations are similar in that aspect that both are focusing on providing means for whistleblowers to anonymously provide the public with information," an insider told DN.se.

RELATED:

Sarah Palin says website was attacked in Operation: Payback

WikiLeaks: Amazon U.K. sells parts of diplomatic cables in e-book

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Image: A screenshot of openleaks.org as of Friday.

twitter.com/nateog

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