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Openleaks Goes Live

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the your-safe-house-or-mine? dept.

Privacy 158

Underholdning writes "Ars technica leaks the story of OpenLeaks launching. OpenLeaks is an alternative to WikiLeaks, with a few differences. 'OpenLeaks will not accept or publish documents on its own platform, but rather create many "digital dropboxes" for its community members, each adapted to the specific needs of our members so that they can provide a safe and trusted leaking option for whistleblowers.' Time will show if this will live next to WikiLeaks, or they will compete. For more information, check out the OpenLeaks website."

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158 comments

FL (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35025828)

First leak : Obama is really an American.

Egypt just turned off all Internet access (4, Interesting)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026076)

Egyptian authorities apparently pulled the backbone plugs. [twitter.com] As a result of the Egyptians protesting, because the Tunisians protested, because of a Wikileaked document, from a US Embassy saying the truth - there was an old, fucked up dictatorship, that is no more. Egyptians have their work laid out for them.

The guy who runs openleaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35026212)

Does he have a beautiful mane of white hair? Cause that's what I want in a leaker. Also charming gray eyes to go with it and dirty socks.

Re:The guy who runs openleaks (1)

blind monkey 3 (773904) | more than 3 years ago | (#35027304)

Does he have a beautiful mane of white hair? Cause that's what I want in a leaker....

I'd prefer he wear heavy duty incontinence pads if he were visiting me.

Re:Egypt just turned off all Internet access (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35026760)

So Julian Assange and WikiLeaks work brought about what Dubya said he wanted to do by attacking Iraq: spread democracy in the Middle East. For a lot less than the trillions of dollars and tens of hundreds of lives (including the much more valuable American lives).

Suck on that, Dubya..!

Re:Egypt just turned off all Internet access (0)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35028486)

I'm caught between giving you an extra "funny" point or giving you an "insightful" point... a previous mod thought the first, which is understandable, but sadly I think an "insightful" tag would be very appropriate here. So instead I'll just post this comment.

And anyway it's a prime example of the power of information - and why of course dictatorships tend to control just that.

Re:Egypt just turned off all Internet access (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35028658)

Since when are Tunisia and Egypt in the Middle East, instead of North Africa?

Re:Egypt just turned off all Internet access (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35028572)

If only the backbone's disconnected, what's to keep someone from setting up their own twitter-like system (I'm assuming it's too late to grab the identi.ca source, but one programmer can whip up a quick n' dirty twitter clone in a matter of hours) or just using an IRC channel served locally?

Re:FL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35026260)

I'm pretty surprised that documents haven't been leaked regarding this one way or the other, FOIA certainly isn't working.

Re:FL (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35026396)

Are you kidding? FOIA does not apply to people's birth certificates. But Obama voluntarily placed a copy of his official birth certificate on his campaign web site during the entire 2008 campaign just to try to appease the "birthers". Did you ever see any mention of that on the news? No, because the media likes the controversy; it gets them ratings.

Naturally, the Obama campaign web site was taken down after the election, but you can still see copies of his birth certificate at wikipedia, snopes, and numerous other web sites. There are even copies of Hawaiian newspaper archives with his birth announcement on the web. Good luck finding them with Google though. Google search results are so heavily spammed with "birther" nonsense that you have to dig forever trying to find them.

The "birthers" are so rabid that even if you did handed them Obama's original birth certificate they would just say it's fake. It's best to just ignore those crackpots.

Re:FL (3, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35027594)

But Obama voluntarily placed a copy of his official birth certificate on his campaign web site during the entire 2008 campaign

Just hold on there, buster. I saw that so-called "birth certificate" with my own two eyes and I don't know about you but I could not feel that official seal no matter how hard I rubbed my screen (which ended up killing a whole bunch of them little pixies, something like 768 or so, that make up one-a them flat screens and even though the 14" LCD monitor that I bought at the Wal-Mart has a whole passel of them pixies, a bunch of dead ones right square in the middle of the screen kinda messes up the picture. Now it looks like that Bree Olsen (who is 100% white, by the way) has an extra nipple what with all them dead pixies, and an extra nipple does tend to spoil the mood, if you get my meaning). So not only did that Hussein Adolph Obama take my country, but now he's soiled Bree Olsen on top of it. Sumbitch.

But getting back to the so-called "birth certificate" of our phony-baloney president (man, I don't know a soul who voted for that muslin boy) you can tell it's phony because not one single true patriotic web site showed it. That's right. Not a one of them. Don't you think that if it was really his birth certificate then they'd want to clear this mess up with how it's got every right-thinking American ready to go to the mattresses and all?

No-sir. No citizen, No way. (by the way, I've copyrighted that phrase, so don't even think about putting it up on a bumper sticker without you send me a little taste first.

And by the way, I may be a dumb cracker, but I'm smart enough to know that the new Slashdot Zero looks like seven kinds of shit. I'm thinking of having a little talk with that Captain Tacobender or whatever that yankee pudknocker calls hisself and see if I can't persuade him to switch it back to something a little more loser-friendly.

Re:FL (1)

jace_d (1955838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35028424)

Hey man, if you're going to bother with punctuation, sort out your parentheses. mkay? It makes it easier to understand your train of thought.

Re:FL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35027684)

That was a certificate of live birth; however, if it was not of interest, why not tell them publish and be damned. What they did was fight it to the tune of $800,000 in court.

Re:FL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35026718)

The part I thought was funniest about this was that birthers, at least at the beginning, were saying that the election should go to McCain instead. McCain was born in the Canal Zone, which was not a part of the United States at the time but rather a possession. This gave him national status but did not entitle him to citizenship at birth, but rather if it was elected by his parents. This second step makes him not "natural born."

When will they learn? (3, Insightful)

Deathnerd (1734374) | more than 3 years ago | (#35025880)

When you bring down or threaten one site, six more pop up in its place. I would have thought that the lessons learned from fighting torrent sites would translate to government. I guess they'll never really learn.

Row row row FIGHT THE POWAH!

Re:When will they learn? (2)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026158)

Pretty much. Anything with enough demand just ends up turning into a game of Whack-a-Mole, internet or otherwise.
See the war on drugs as an example.

Re:When will they learn? (2)

Velex (120469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026966)

My personal favorite is the war on alcohol, because that one was lost.

Re:When will they learn? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35026214)

Several of these new sites are honeypots for various governments.

Re:When will they learn? (1)

Baseclass (785652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026298)

Personally, I'd like to see a Tor .onion site setup for anonymous leaking. I suspect once something major is leaked, western governments will start blacklisting these sites.

Re:When will they learn? (1)

Chakra5 (1417951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026296)

Not really in this case. This site is more in response to Asanges direction than the governments actions against him or Wikileaks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenLeaks [wikipedia.org]

According to Domscheit-Berg's initial statements, he expected OpenLeaks to bypass WikiLeaks problems by serving only as a safe conduit for whistleblowers to leak information, which would then be passed on to the press, instead of acting as a publisher itself. The organization also intends to be democratically governed, rather than being run by one person or a small group!

I know some want to make Asange and wikileaks a paragon and the govt a demon, but it's a troubled god they worship, valuable as parts of the function may indeed be.

Re:When will they learn? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026620)

Sounds like you're a flavor aid fan. If you want to have something secure then it's going to be run by a small group. If you're just taking the information from anonymous sources without any way of knowing who it is that's leaking it you're going to fail miserably. The unfortunate reality is that if you don't have direct communication with the parties wishing to leak information you've got no way of knowing what they're leaking and why.

I predict that OpenLeaks goes down hard because the organizational structure they're suggesting just doesn't make any sense.

Re:When will they learn? (1)

Chakra5 (1417951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026998)

Sounds like you're a flavor aid fan.

If by that you mean I'm in favor of a new entity that seems to be thinking about the whole deal more holistically then yes please, pass me some of that. http://www.shirky.com/weblog/transcript-of-openleaks-video/ [shirky.com]

If you want to have something secure then it's going to be run by a small group.

What about their model appears unsecure to you,..specifically? There are only 12 of em in the office at present. Or do I miss your point?

If you're just taking the information from anonymous sources without any way of knowing who it is that's leaking it you're going to fail miserably.

Agreed. But what leads you to be sure there won't be avenues to verify or that they are accepting sources that they aren't verifying? Perhaps you're right, in which case I agree, it's a fools errand. But everything I read leads me to believe these guys aren't as dumb as you seem to think they are, and that there will be checks both on their end and furthermore at the publishers end where they will still need to do their job and confirm before they run with a story. And if they fail, so what really? I guess time will tell if the model works or not of course.

But the only reason I can see to be rooting against these guys is guy fawkes worship frankly. Everything gets better if it works, and if it's crap, it fails and we're left with one less channel of free information that so many claim is the point. ...So tell me sir who seems to hope for their failure...is that flavoraid in my hand or perhaps yours?

Re:When will they learn? (2)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026890)

the grey hair principle... kill one and ten will come to the funeral.

and just look at Assange's hair. there's no stopping that flood.

Re:When will they learn? (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35028826)

Wikileaks isnt down; Openleaks folks simply werent satisfied with how Assange was running things.

Lets not make this something it isnt.

Legit or Government sponsored? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35025932)

How do we know if this isn't a government funded website to promote Counter Intelligence to confuse the mass? Conspiracy Theorists start posting!

Re:Legit or Government sponsored? (1)

scotty.m (1881826) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026008)

Yeap, picked it like a scab
It's exactly what they're are doing! Lemmings!

Re:Legit or Government sponsored? (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026042)

I don't get it.

Why can't whistleblowers just post their dirt to facebook? With their commitment to protecting users' data, it'd be all over the place in no time.

Unless Zuckerberg grabs it up to auction to the highest bidder.

Re:Legit or Government sponsored? (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026096)

Why can't whistleblowers just post their dirt to facebook?

Because whistleblowers need the protection of anonymity. That's why we have whistleblower laws.

Re:Legit or Government sponsored? (1)

scotty.m (1881826) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026128)

Manning and Assange are both clearly protected by that whistleblower law. Wait a sec...

Re:Legit or Government sponsored? (3, Insightful)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026770)

Wikileaks did not expose Manning -- Manning did by being an idiot and talking about it. Assange did not blow the whistle, he merely published it, and is deliberately non-anonymous in order to be the Wikileaks Drama Lightning Rod, or something.

Re:Legit or Government sponsored? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026126)

Because the people making leaks would rather not be thrown in prison, sued for everything they could ever earn, have a mysterious accident, have their families brutally massacred or be disappeared through extraordinary rendition. The whole point of wikileaks was to protect the source from identification and therefore harm.

A long term trend? (0)

ksandom (718283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35025934)

This is something I wouldn't have predicted, and I'm wondering if it's going to be along term trend. It's potentially a powerful game changer, and with such power, comes massive responsibility and impact. I hope that those pushing the leaks keep a fairly balanced view of the world so the cause doesn't consume them and push them to the extremes. Because if that happens, it becomes worthless again (and very damaging).

Re:A long term trend? (1)

grantek (979387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026014)

Like the social networking trends of the past few years, I believe the most widely-used leak site will end up being one that limits you to 140-character leaks, called "leets"

Re:A long term trend? (1)

hellkyng (1920978) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026222)

I am wondering how the widespread adoption of these sites might affect people in a position to leak documents. Will we see more legitimate leaks of benefit to all like the recent banking leaks etc, or will we start to see leaks that are more harmful then beneficial such as random joe leaking all ssn's in the customer DB because he thinks parent company is evil etc.

Re:A long term trend? (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026514)

random joe leaking all ssn's in the customer DB because he thinks parent company is evil etc.

This will happen. And the rationale? "teach those people not to do business with a company that does evil"
(hmmm...I saw this exact sentiment here today, regarding the wikileaks DDOS)

Re:A long term trend? (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026974)

Quite honestly, part of me hopes that stuff like that happens to show how stupid our culture is. First off, SSNs weren't designed for identification, older ones will even say "NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION" on the card. SSNs aren't secure and it is utter crap to think that it is a secure password. Seemingly everything uses it for no real reason, it used to be that large universities used it rather than your name or a different ID number, thankfully most of them have stopped using that. Rather than using SSNs, we should focus on making secure forms of identification so identity theft is unlikely.

Re:A long term trend? (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026540)

Sort of like -- well, classical Journalism and it's past masters playing in the rarified air of honest, unbiased, confirmable reportage.

Ah, Edward R. Murrow, we do truly miss you.

And, P.J, we do truly revere you. It would be a sad, sad day if Groklaw ever left the tracks.

dont leak to the wrong people (1, Redundant)

malignant_minded (884324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35025936)

I wonder how long it is until a government or "evil" corporation creates one of these to get the leaks first hand.

Re:dont leak to the wrong people (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35025966)

And see who they're coming from.

Re:dont leak to the wrong people (5, Insightful)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026050)

Yeah, my thought exactly. For all the limitations of Julien Assange, he's not a narc, he won't pass your name to the authorities, and he will try to get your leak out there and make sure that people actually notice. Alternatives to Wikileaks might also do the same, but I wouldn't want to be the first to test the waters. I definitely hope that these guys turn out to be legit though. Competition in leaks would be a very good thing for everybody. Still, let's not ignore that Assange and Wikileaks have a huge head start.

Re:dont leak to the wrong people (0)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026556)

For all the limitations of Julien Assange, he's not a narc, he won't pass your name to the authorities, and he will try to get your leak out there and make sure that people actually notice.

Will he?
One of the complaints that led to the split between wikileaks and openleaks is that Assange was sitting on a backlog of documents relating to other countries.

Re:dont leak to the wrong people (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026668)

Assange for all his weaknesses is in some respects a realist. Those complaints weren't particularly valid. He's got a limited number of people that he can trust to do the redactions and other work necessary to release the material. There's a lot of material in the world that can be leaked. I don't think it's a fair criticism of him or the organization that there's a huge backlog. Choosing to prioritize the materials that are the most interest to the general public is hardly unethical. Organizations have to make priorities or they get nothing done.

It's sort of like if Shakespeare or Mark Twain had chosen to write one act or chapter from each work before moving onto the second. Both men almost undoubtedly had a back log of ideas at various points and only a limited amount of resources with which to realize them.

Re:dont leak to the wrong people (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35026944)

I'm prepared to accept that Assange wouldn't pass the identity of whistleblowers to the authorities, but how can you say "he will try to get your leak out there and make sure that people actually notice"? How many leaks have they published since taking down the Wiki? There may have been a couple more, but I can only recall Collateral Murder and the diplomatic cables. Whether you're a fan of the man or not, I don't think you can say his highest priority remains airing all that needs to be aired. I believe he claims to have closed the submission process because they're inundated with data. Maybe that's true, but there's absolutely no sign of any attempt to clear that backlog.

Where is the advertising ? (5, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35025992)

and who will do its advertising, so that the mass media will HAVE to carry the leaks into the headlines ?

if you think material will just get carried into headlines and prime time news because of the contents, dont fool yourself - entire american public is unaware of what ACTA is, even as of now, despite it has been internationally fought over by all major players in the world. so, its indeed possible to keep public ignorant.

wikileaks is using the publicity assange generates through media and publicity stunts. in case you noticed, assange is always making the opening for a new leak a few weeks before it is published, and continuing to generate publicity for the upcoming leak.

you just dont create a dropbox and expect leaks to be seen by people. corporate contolled media WONT use it. they have successfully kept any potential leak in the dark since watergate, until wikileaks.

openleaks must find a way to make advertising.

Re:Where is the advertising ? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35026132)

you just dont create a dropbox and expect leaks to be seen by people. corporate contolled media WONT use it. they have successfully kept any potential leak in the dark since watergate, until wikileaks. Openleaks must find a way to make advertising.

From their FAQ [openleaks.org] : "OpenLeaks is not involved in the direct editing and release of documents. Our intention is to function, as much as possible, as a mere conduit (akin to the telephone exchange and the post) between the whistleblower and an organization of their choice. This means that OpenLeaks does not accept submissions or publish leaked material directly. "

Re:Where is the advertising ? (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026682)

Which officially makes it worthless. People looking to leak can't trust them because they have to have someway of keeping track of where leaks are coming from and if that's not the case the journalists can't trust them because they have no way of verifying the sources are legit.

Either case does not bode well for the organization.

Re:Where is the advertising ? (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35027446)

"they have to have someway of keeping track of where leaks are coming from and if that's not the case the journalists can't trust them because they have no way of verifying the sources are legit."

WL does not verify the authenticity of leaks by trusting the leaker, it normally verifies them simply by asking the original owner of the document if they are genuine*. Unless were talking about people who are trained to neither confirm or deny, the reaction of the owner is usually enough to confirm if the material is genuine or not.

(* - This is not the only method, WL also uses other simple verification "tricks" that are part of the toolbox of any competent investigative journalist).

Re:Where is the advertising ? (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026670)

"...dont fool yourself - entire american public is unaware of what ACTA is, even as of now, despite it has been internationally fought over by all major players in the world. so, its indeed possible to keep public ignorant. "

You're probably right. But a good question is -- how the hell are the population of the US ever going to learn the truth if there isn't an unfiltered source of news they can read, thus forming their own opinions?

Curiosity, access, the whispered word -- people will find out if they're not wrapped in cotton wool, and there's this thing called the Internet they can use. Change will happen.

Re:Where is the advertising ? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#35027000)

Except for the fact that the vast majority of the internet is, like all other forms of media, prone to biases. The nice thing about the internet is that you can choose to pick your bias, but it will still have bias. Things like Openleaks which only serve to pass on leaks to other organizations doesn't help to solve this problem. Everything is filtered, everything has guidelines to what they will publish or deny. And really, most Americans don't want to think beyond their own world. They want to see a site where the democrats are looked at as incompetent morons and the republicans are brilliant defenders of freedom or they want to see where the republicans are looked at as moronic and the democrats as superior. Neither side wants to embrace the underlying sameness of the 2 parties and see that they can be both wrong and because they don't want to see it, they will cling to the media outlets they already use which will take things out of context to paint a picture for the democrats or republicans that pleases their audience.

Re:Where is the advertising ? (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35027880)

Corporate-controlled media is controlled by corporations. They'll follow any action that will make them profit in the long term. If being the first to break a scandalous story to the world costs them two advertisers, but brings in enough viewers to make other advertisers more profitable, they'll do it. Their competitors will be forced to broadcast the story, just to keep up appearances. Sure, the government can ask for some story not to be reported, but any attempt to actually enforce such a request is just a bigger scandal, and the request itself makes the story that much more interesting to viewers.

It'll be tricky, but this could work out, thanks to greed itself.

Re:Where is the advertising ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35028132)

your approach is incorrect. it assumes there exists no greater potential profit than exposing these leaks. it also forgets that, these leaks will not only harm the profits of the corporations which hold these news outlets through shareholderships or conglomerates, but directly hamper the individuals which own these on the top.

no megacorp will allow a syndicate under its reach to publish information that would damage billions of more profits in other sectors and guaranteed deals, dirty dealings, to gain a few hundred million more in advertising revenue. the advertising revenue, already comes in - there is nowhere else to advertise.

simply your approach assumes independent media. there is no such media.

Re:Where is the advertising ? (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35028474)

While there may not be any large independent media, each company does effectively operate independently. I doubt AOL Time Warner would particularly worry about publishing information damaging to News Corp, or vice versa. There also Gannett, Disney, and Comcast, and they all effectively hate each other. In fact, being such a large company is detrimental, because each division of each company must work with every other company, and nobody wants to make nice deals with the competition. Pay attention to any of the content-provider contract battles [gigaom.com] , and this is obvious.

Advertising revenue is usually not tied to the number of sponsorships. It's tied to the number of viewers. Irritating one sponsor, but increasing viewership by 20% is a profitable move for the network. A single network with an exclusive story can also extend favors a targeted company, offering to release rebuttals and host spokespersons.

Given that the world's largest entertainment conglomerate [wikipedia.org] only brought in $38 billion last year, I find it hard to believe that a shady deal's profits would measure in the billions. A hundred million, perhaps, but then that's well within the range of a smart advertising move.

The conspiracy theory, like all such theories, also requires far more cooperation than is feasible. Anyone involved in a large secret deal would also be suitably above the day-to-day dealings of the news branch to not know about the leaked story before it's released. If the news branch were told not to release any stories about certain rivals, that lets a few hundred people know that a secret deal is taking place. People don't keep secrets that well.

Re:Where is the advertising ? (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35028556)

Most of the general public is not touched by the ACTA directly. Especially the US public as it's primarily an attempt to spread existing US legislation to the rest of the world. It's the rest of the world that's actually really affected by this. For that alone it's no wonder the American public doesn't know/care about it.

And then the ACTA doesn't involve killing or violence against persons. That's also what keeps the general public less interested. Even with ACTA, bittorrent will continue to work and they will still be able to order their counterfeit handbags from Hong Kong based e-bay shops like they do now. It will take years for such a regulation to start to bite, and then it's too late. We're frogs in a pot of water.

Your US corporate-controlled media may be slow to follow; luckily there is still the BBC and many other independent European news agencies that do pick up those stories, that do their homework, and that will bring it out to the masses. And remember WikiLeaks exists for many years already, me as long-term /. reader (some 9-10 years by now - no my ID doesn't reflect that) knew about it from the beginning, but the general public and major news agencies only much more recently picked it up really. I've seen their name in the newspapers occasionally, but only with the Iraq war files they really got well known.

OpenLeaks is "advertising" where they should: primarily the media outlets that would want to use their material. That's likely the core of their marketing - it seems to me WikiLeaks has done the same. Make sure your organisation is known in the geek-scene, and to the outlets. Make sure also that your "drop-box" is secure, secure as in guaranteed anonymity for leakers. That may be the hardest part even, because you know affected parties will chase you for any traces left for where a leak comes from, and that potential wistleblowers want to be sure that they can leak safely and truly anonymously. Those things you don't advertise, those things you have to be, and over time prove so.

Politics (3, Insightful)

Q-Hack! (37846) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026068)

It's one thing to post documents on-line that Governments would rather keep secret. It's another to do like Wikileaks did and edit video to fit their personal views. If these sites would just post and not add their opinion; credibility would improve.

Re:Politics (4, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026230)

I think this argument is utter crap. Wikileaks offered an unedited version of Collateral Murder, and what they did edit they did to clarify things and in my opinion they didn't distort the content in any significant way.

Other documents they have edited have been to remove people's names and they'd have gotten more criticism if they hadn't done it.

Re:Politics (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026336)

I agree. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Every newsroom has an editor. So long as you don't state that opinion is fact, all is fair.

Re:Politics (3, Insightful)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026602)

A reporter, newscaster or presenter will report on the facts, a commentator gives opinion.

Fox News is all commentary and skew and flip stories. BBC News is mostly news casting, and only report on the fact, with no biased slant, in most cases.

Only time you see reporting getting slightly skewed at the BBC is when they are dealing with very sensitive subjects, for example they have embedded journalists in Iraq where the story is that given to them by the American and British forces, and is not representative of what is really going on. 'Collateral Murder' went through the press as the story given by the USA army that was totally inaccurate to what happened. The embedded journalists have to obey the news given out by the forces, if not agencies such as the BBC wont get on the front-line of what is happening. Wikileaks served to undo the PR machine that the US government have.

Re:Politics (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35028612)

Many facts have two faces, when seen from the opposite parties. Wars primarily so - even journalist reporting what they see will see and hear different things whether they are on the American side or on the Iraqi side. Even when reporting about the same facts. It is really really difficult to stick to pure observations without any interpretations, think the difference of "that child is shouting" and "that child is angry". The first is really an observation; the second could very well be an interpretation of the shouting behaviour. Very easy to misinterpret observations because of an expectation/opinion about a situation.

Yet of course all good journalists will do their best to separate fact and opinion. And proper news outlets will mark articles that are not plain reporting as opinion or analyses

Re:Politics (4, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026308)

With the greatest possible respect (watch "Yes Minister" if you don't know that this is a polite way of saying you may be very good at something but have no clue about this subject) they had both an edited version that can be considered "highlights" and the full version. That renders your complaint pointless nitpicking that could be applied to nearly any media source on the planet but can not be applied for this video.
Also Orwell was writing about the USSR in such a way as to get the message across that it could happen in your hometown if everything went wrong. He also sidestepped the ideologies that really are irrelevant if there is totalitarianism hiding behind them by setting it in a fictional place. It wasn't really prediction but extrapolation of the sort of thing that was already occurring and presenting it in such a way that people would take it seriously without bringing in their own ideological baggage.

Re:Politics (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35028506)

Also Orwell was writing about the USSR in such a way as to get the message

With the greatest possible respect, Orwell was writing about the UK.

Re:Politics (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026340)

It's one thing to post documents on-line that Governments would rather keep secret. It's another to do like Wikileaks did and edit video to fit their personal views. If these sites would just post and not add their opinion; credibility would improve.

What news organization does do that? For that matter, what other news organization would also publish the raw footage (as wikileaks did)?

Re:Politics (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35026352)

The "collateral murder" highlights reel was all that was needed. When the soldiers shot the van that was collecting the bodies, that was a war crime.

Re:Politics (1)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35027690)

Unless the camera then zoomed out, the director yelled cut, and the van occupants piled out to congratulate each other on propaganda well done... Probably not the case here, but it wouldn't historically be the first time such a thing has happened.

Re:On the other hand... (1)

Isaac Remuant (1891806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026560)

On the other hand, if they just posted raw content people would claim they're not journalists and, therefore, should not have protections under the first amendment.

Wait, didn't they claim that anyway?

Who knew...

Re:Politics (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026744)

It's another to do like Wikileaks did and edit video to fit their personal views.

I disagree with the notion that wikileaks did edit the video to fit their personal views. They gunned down innocent civilians. Nothing in the longer version I saw changed that.

Re:Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35027424)

I agree with the previous response. Your argument sucks. Collateral murder shows clearly a very very nasty mistake by US forces that they decided to keep secret. They are not being honest to the american people. They are the ones to blame. Wikileaks is about freedom of speach and the right of the people to learn what REALLY HAPENNED. You would have another opinion of wikileaks if your father, brother or son was one of those inocents murdered that day. You would be very grateful to those who let you learn the truth. Think about it.

Re:Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35027866)

If their personal views are "Don't kill unarmed civilians" then I'm fine with that.

Anyone thinking contrary, go remove yourself from the gene pool

Re:Politics (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35028096)

Since WL published the full version along side it's commentary, I think your citicisim is what is lacking credibility. It never ceases to amaze me that such credulous and morally vacuous critiques are parroted ad-nauseum while the hard evidence of real crimes is all but ignored . Where are the authorties? They have utterly failed to follow up on the factual evidence and charge people for the real crimes documented in these leaks, instead they have gone on an expensive and fruitless "investigation" looking for some way to legally muzzle WL.They are openly seeking to curtail the freedom of the press and the majority of the "freedom loving" US public are enthusistically supporting their efforts.

Openleaks is not what we need... (3, Insightful)

neiras (723124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026110)

So these guys plan to release only to 'need-to-know' news organizations, approved by themselves and some sort of vote process? Yeah, that'll work well. If the media won't touch a certain story shopped around by OpenLeaks, we'll never know about it. I don't trust OpenLeaks; I hope they fail hard.

Wikileaks had it right - public disclosure with a reasonable attempt to scrub names not directly responsible for the crimes being exposed.

Re:Openleaks is not what we need... (4, Insightful)

poity (465672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026186)

So some people want to try their own hands at helping.

I hope they fail hard.

You want them to fail because they're not helping in the way you want them to.
Rush Limbaugh, is that you again?

Re:Openleaks is not what we need... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026644)

No, he's right. They need to fail. Basically, they're setting themselves up as a "more responsible" place to leak your information. But if the media doesn't want to air that information (because it goes against their own agenda), then it just goes nowhere. Hopefully the leaker won't have been caught by that time, and can leak it to someone better (WikiLeaks), but if they get caught before then, then the public will never see that information.

Re:Openleaks is not what we need... (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026800)

What's to stop someone from leaking to multiple places?

Re:Openleaks is not what we need... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026882)

Simple: what's the point of leaking to OpenLeaks, if you're also going to leak to WikiLeaks? Presumably, you'd want to leak to OL because they're supposedly more "responsible" and will make sure the information is vetted or whatever and only released "responsibly" by mainstream news sources (yeah right), whereas WL will pretty much just throw it right up on the website, perhaps after redacting some names. Releasing to both would be pointless.

Now, you could also release to some other leaks site, but how many are out there that are actually trustworthy? Are you sure the other leak site isn't really a government honeypot? With WL, you KNOW they're legit, they've proven it multiple times; they're not going to turn you in to your government or whatever. Some other leaks site we've never heard of might not be like that.

So, what I'm envisioning is that someone will leak to OL, but after months of not seeing anything come of it (because the mainstream media isn't interested), will get frustrated and finally release it on WL. But that's a lot of time, and they might get caught.

Re:Openleaks is not what we need... (1)

Palpatine_li (1547707) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026282)

Wikileaks had it right? About what? Actively promoting its father's political view?

Re:Openleaks is not what we need... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026734)

Citation necessary. I've seen people make that assertion all over the place and I have yet to see a shred of evidence that it's the case. I find it hard to believe that given the importance of the war effort and the amount of both interest and material that they've been turning down other leaks in order to stick one to the US government on political grounds. It's much more likely that they selected that material because it's relevant to the right of the people to consent to the parties that govern them.

It strikes me as perfectly within the realm of possibility that they just don't have time to release all of the material they have at once without doing just dumping it online without any redaction or consideration for the consequences.

Re:Openleaks is not what we need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35026304)

well spoken, +5 on that pls.

Re:Openleaks is not what we need... (2)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026430)

Yes read http://cryptome.org/0003/nyt-robs-wl.htm [cryptome.org]
The part about "Even goes so far as to brag the Times publishes documents too, not just editorial gloss of them. Then carefully preens shamelessly about how the Times met repeatedly with US government representatives to vet Wikileaks documents before publication." ie from
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/magazine/30Wikileaks-t.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
"Dean Baquet, our Washington bureau chief, gave the White House an early warning on Nov. 19. The following Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving, Baquet and two colleagues were invited to a windowless room at the State Department, where they encountered an unsmiling crowd. "
"Before each discussion, our Washington bureau sent over a batch of specific cables that we intended to use in the coming days. They were circulated to regional specialists, who funneled their reactions to a small group at State, who came to our daily conversations with a list of priorities and arguments to back them up."

Re:Openleaks is not what we need... (1)

definate (876684) | more than 3 years ago | (#35027252)

I believe that while it's small initially, they're looking at scaling it up, such that there will be a LOT of different users (organizations), which are trusted.

This then allows them to "safely" disseminate the raw information to the various parties, as opposed to having to filter and censor it like WikiLeaks does.

Re:Openleaks is not what we need... (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35027762)

I don't hope they fail, a plurality of organisations taking slightly different approaches is probably a healthy thing here. However to be successful their strategy doesn't just have to appeal to the general public, it has to appeal to people wishing to make leaks.

I suspect most leakers:
a) Favour wide dispersal of the leaks.
b) Will trust Wikileaks, who put their own asses on the line, over some largely anonymous information brokers with no direct capability to publish.

I also think the OpenLeaks strategy is far more risky legally, merely trafficking in classified or trade secret information seems far less likely to be protected than publishing it.

Re:Openleaks is not what we need... (1)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35028304)

No!. Wikileaks does not have it right either. Today's version of Wikileaks only releases information approved by themselves as well! Remember their original mission? Remember when they were supposed to be, you know, an actual wiki. When the leaked information prior to 2010 was actually readily available (note: it's not I just checked). And don't say because it's located somewhere deep in a huge torrent that it's still available. Part of Wikileaks is that it provides publicity to these leaks, however benign they are. But most importantly, what about their 'insurance file'? That sure sounds to me like they're withholding information. I don't trust this new 'leaks' sites either, but to claim Wikileaks is the paragon of "leak" journalism (whatever that means) is shortsighted.

Will it be fare. (-1, Troll)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026118)

Wiki-Leaks seemed to be a bit one sided. Leaking information that fits with their agenda, and keeping out other information. Big Old, Mean Old United States and Europe is so horrible... However in many cases the "Victims" got what they deserved. Or a concession was made for a greater good,

Re:Will it be fare. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026754)

Citation sorely needed. I've seen this view popping up all over the place. Has it honestly not occurred to you that the information was leaked because that's what the people in general wanted to know about? And that they have a limited capacity to review and redact the information?

Just because you don't like what's been leaked does not mean that there's a political bias involved. It's much more likely that the decisions are being made based upon the levels of interest and an attempt at providing for the common good rather than a vendetta against the US.

Re:Will it be fare. (1)

chdig (1050302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35027016)

Wiki-Leaks seemed to be a bit one sided. Leaking information that fits with their agenda, and keeping out other information.

I have no idea where you're coming from with this statement. Wikileaks is exposing the corruption of power, be it in politics, bureaucracy, the banking sector, wherever. The information they've released is relevant for all Americans to understand their power structure -- regardless of any political stripe (note they don't favour the Democrats over the Republicans), as well as those whose countries wheel and deal behind closed doors with the United States.

While I think it would be very helpful to have an organization dedicated to releasing information specific to very particular cases, Wikileaks does a great job of releasing general information important for all of us.
--

Information is the key to democracy

It won't be FARE but will be FAIR (1)

definate (876684) | more than 3 years ago | (#35027328)

Can we stop this nonsense right here. We're an English centric community, which WikiLeaks is apart of. Is it surprising then, that most of the leaks, involve us? In these instances we've been behaving badly, and as such, they're mostly going to be negative.

Would you employ some sort of rating and quota system, such that we release 1 for every country, and go out of our way to balance it? What if we don't have access to material?

We're more interested in ourselves, and not our neighbours, because of this you're going to see more stuff about us. As it is, I'm always quite surprised how much WikiLeaks has actually leaked about non-English speaking countries.

Also, your signature is missing a closing bracket, unless it terminates due to reaching the end of the string. But that would still be sloppy pseudo coding.

OpenLeaks are idiots. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35026196)

The fact that WikiLeaks publishes documents and that its editor in chief is a union member (for journalists) means that even though it shares information with entities like NYT, Guardian, etc, they're protected in a manner that OpenLeaks is not. In a similar fashion, Cryptome is also protected because it publishes material.

I strongly suspect that the folks behind OpenLeaks have not done thorough research into the legal positioning here of themselves vs WikiLeaks and could easily find themselves in a boiling pot.

I, for one, would not want to be caught being a middle-man involved in the exchange of confidential material - which is what OpenLeaks is putting itself up for. I can easily see them being charged with aiding and abetting here....

Where's the Open ? (3, Interesting)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026856)

There's nothing really open about openleaks. Its more a dropbox which is then piped to news agents.

Should have called it closed-except-to-journalistleaks , but I expect the domain was already taken.

Its only a matter of time (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026980)

before one of these sites is used by someone with a bad agenda to leak misinformation that does something horrible globally. You think things are bad with the status quo? I can imagine many people around the world that for their own personal profit or simple love of chaos will some day use a popular site to "leak" information that will do more harm than all the secrets that are being held. I hope not, but I think there is more potential for harm than good in all this.

Re:Its only a matter of time (2)

xero314 (722674) | more than 3 years ago | (#35028226)

Yes because there is no way that any news agency would possibly publish false news reports.

Freenet? (1)

quickgold192 (1014925) | more than 3 years ago | (#35027154)

I imagine this has been suggested before, and I'm sure *all* of these things have been uploaded onto it, but instead of all these single-entity whistleblower avenues why don't whistleblowers just upload their secretz onto Freenet? Is it because you couldn't verify the authenticity of a document that was uploaded completely anonymously? Is it because the secret war plans will just get lost in the shuffle between child porn and random flogs? Or is it because of the low visibility it'll receive? I mean, isn't this what Freenet was created for?

Let the leak war begin! (2)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35027222)

Openleak's first leak was Wikileak server's root password.

5 minutes later, Wikileaks retaliated by posting Openleak's SQL database password.
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