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Why WikiLeaks' Spinoff OpenLeaks Failed

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the couldn't-facebook-assange's-myspace dept.

Censorship 79

Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Wired has published an excerpt of the new WikiLeaks-related book This Machine Kills Secrets, which delves into the launch of the WikiLeaks spinoff OpenLeaks at the Chaos Communication Camp in Berlin last year. The detailed account of the site's debut, with German ex-WikiLeaker Daniel Domscheit-Berg at the helm, reveals that even before the dispute between WikiLeaks and OpenLeaks led to the controversial destruction of the decryption keys for 3,000 of WikiLeaks' encrypted leaks taken by Domscheit-Berg, OpenLeaks was already facing significant problems: Rumors that the group had been infiltrated by the German government, a lack of code open for public auditing and even a failure to get the site online in time for the penetration test it had invited the CCC hackers to perform. The book passage gives a peek into the infighting, bad luck, disorganization and personality problems that has left the world without a real sequel to WikiLeaks despite the dozens of leak-focused sites that have launched in the last two years."

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A Credibility Problem (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41334419)

Destruction of the 3,000 keys was absurd given the risks people took to deliver those to Wikileaks, so Daniel Domscheit-Berg makes Julian Assange look like George Washington.

Re:A Credibility Problem (4, Informative)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 2 years ago | (#41334535)

That, plus OpenLeaks was vaporware and Daniel Domscheit-Berg was kicked out of CCC ('I Doubt Domscheit-Berg's Integrity' - Top German Hacker Slams OpenLeaks Founder [spiegel.de] ) for his self serving behaviour.

If your going to leak something anonymously, why settle for anyone who has not also demonstrated commitment to protecting you as a source in the face of overwhelming international pressure by powerful players [techcrunch.com] , like Wikileaks has and continues to do?

Re:A Credibility Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41334637)

Much better link [wikileaks.org] to the due process free banking blockade against Wikileaks, currently running at 650 or so days...

Re:A Credibility Problem (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#41335899)

OpenLeaks was deliberate "turning" of Dumbshit-Borg, by "intelligence" agencies to divide and discredit WikiLeaks/Assange.

I said -- right here - that we would NEVER see an OpenLeaks site, and that Dumbshit-Borg was being manpulated (wittingly or otherwise) to damage WikiLeaks. The proof was in his destruction of submitted, yet-unreviewed leaks without an alternative plan. This was the real op. OpenLeaks was the cover story.

Also, David Leigh of the Guardian is a Spy (4, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#41336005)

Don't know if he's owned by CIA, MI[5-6] or Mossad.

Recycled bits from Sept, 2011:

David Leigh/Guardian is working in the interest of CIA/MI6 and looking not to collaborate with WikiLeaks, but to ensnare him for prosecution.

Clue: DL Insisting on seeing the actual files

Clue: DL Pressing for the GPG passphrase

Clue: DL Publishing the ENTIRE proceeding and passphrase in a book

Dumbshit-Borg is either a long-time mole or was "turned"

Clue: D-B had full access to all unredacted material

Clue: D-B acrimoniously split with Assange/WikiLeaks over ego-boundary shit and speculative "risk" issues

Clue: D-B in his schism is part of the probable exposure of these cables - portrayed as an "accident", while he was unilaterally and admittedly sabotaging WikiLeaks

Clue: D-B can now say "I told you so" over this exposure of sources - pointing to this as evidence, rather than a situation he perpetrated

The US Army Counterintelligence Agency said in 2008 that WikiLeaks was"a potential force protection, counterintelligence, OPSEC, and INFOSEC threat to the US Army" and PLANNED OPERATIONS to neutralise/discredit WikiLeaks:

"The identification, exposure, or termination of employment of or legal actions against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others from using Wikileaks.org to make such information public."

http://www.scribd.com/doc/28385794/Us-Intel-Wikileaks [scribd.com]

Question: Do you think that the Agency makes these declarations in vain, for their entertainment value?

Question: Do you think they are alone, and that there are not equivalent planned and current operations by the CIA, etc.?

Question: Are the combined actions of DL and D-B implausible as the intended outcome of a counter-WikiLeaks strategy, set in motion by one or more intelligence agencies, including US Army Counterintelligence?

Think about it. Once they set this down IN PRINT, internally, and don't have a "positive" outcome? Sombody goes through the ringer.

This is likely all a setup. One with a scenario that is similar to the one indicated here, if not completely identical. It is one where where David Leigh and Dumbshit-Borg are either pathetic and self-serving dupes, or sickening quislings.

Either way, this is a noose fabricated of intentional actions with plausible deniability. Identify WikiLeaks with Assange's personality, and attack the personality. Attack the credibility of WikiLeaks methodology while distracting from their effectiveness and success in exposing filth, corruption and illegal government action.

Re:A Credibility Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41342083)

yes, you said that. I thought you were wrong. I now see that you were right. And it sucks.

Re:A Credibility Problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41335187)

The criticism of Wikileaks was that they're focusing on megaleaks and have become a news story themselves. They were at risk of becoming a cult of personality, lessso now since it's proven that it's not just Assange, but we're talking about a story which started more than 2 years ago.

For run-of-the-mill whistle blowing (e.g., reporting municipal corruption, standards or safety violations etc.) Wikileaks was losing its touch.

Today I mostly agree with you. It didn't look so simple two years ago though, and Openleaks, if they didn't screw up, could have had traction and purpose.

Re:A Credibility Problem (3)

rastoboy29 (807168) | about 2 years ago | (#41335669)

Mod parent up.

Assange may be a douchebag, but you can't deny he has the courage of his convictions.

Re:A Credibility Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41347227)

Personally I hope he's convicted.

Re:A Credibility Problem (5, Interesting)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41335083)

A *lot* of people suspect that Domscheit-Berg is an intelligence plant. He spent most of his time at Wikileaks trying to sabotage the operation. He was apparently trying to identify contributors while he was their. And then he participated in an obvious effort to discredit Assange after he left.

What's more OpenLeaks was/is planning to refuse Tor submissions, going instead with their own "secure" software (which they refuse to release the source code for openly). Smells a lot like a honeypot to me. I seriously doubt any submission will ever make it to a newspaper. But I do suspect the police/FBI/CIA will make it to the door of anyone submitting.

Re:A Credibility Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41335411)

Take over enemies wifi. Download software in VM. Spoof and and all information you can. Submit the FUCK out of all kinds of "leaks".

"But I do suspect the police/FBI/CIA will make it to the door of anyone submitting."

Re:A Credibility Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41335845)

You forgot step 5: "Laugh ominously...bwahhahahahah"

Anonymity is Dead (1)

EnergyScholar (801915) | about 2 years ago | (#41336903)

I think you greatly underestimate the difficulty of truly anonymous publishing. There are half a dozen advanced hacks capable of determining where the info came from. Especially if you are submitting to a Honeypot, but even if you are not. Yes, I know all about the many methods of anonymity - are you aware of the many methods of defeating them?

Here's what John Young, founder of Cryptome and early Wikileaks Board Member, has to say on this matter: Anonymous Publication is Dead [cryptome.org]

Re:Anonymity is Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41337875)

John Young must know, as he's basically working for the CIA.

Re:Anonymity is Dead (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#41361691)

The problem is that in John Young's article he's trying to setup a hosting solution etc. himself.

What this doesn't imply is what you have suggested - that anonymity in general is dead.

Tell me, if I were to use an open wireless access point, or hack an insecure wireless access point at some random joe's house, or a public access point or similar from a nearby car park, for example, at a busy supermarket, at a service station or so on or even down a quiet side street in a rural area - effectively somewhere where I am either masked by numbers, or masked merely by virtue of being in the arse end of nowhere - and I created a random hotmail account or similar and e-mailed a bunch of leaked documents to somewhere like Wikileaks who would then publish them, how on earth do you think my identity would be discovered? who on earth do you think would track me down and how?

There's so may ways you could do this, even walking through somewhere like Heathrow or a busy train station like London Kings Cross looking like any other business commuter if I accessed wifi from within the gents toilets then again, how would they find out who did it?

There are Wifi cards out there that let you specify a custom MAC address so that isn't going to act as a clue for them, the time for Wikileaks to publish/analyse would likely be so long that it'd grossly mask the time frame the authorities would have to look through CCTV, and when they do what are they looking for? a person with a laptop bag in one of the busiest business commuter stations in the world?

It's still easy as it's ever been to leak and never get caught. You just have to be smart about how you're going to do it. This isn't the same thing as the article you posted discusses though.

Re:A Credibility Problem (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#41335903)

A *lot* of people suspect that Domscheit-Berg is an intelligence plant. He spent most of his time at Wikileaks trying to sabotage the operation. He was apparently trying to identify contributors while he was their. And then he participated in an obvious effort to discredit Assange after he left.

What's more OpenLeaks was/is planning to refuse Tor submissions, going instead with their own "secure" software (which they refuse to release the source code for openly). Smells a lot like a honeypot to me. I seriously doubt any submission will ever make it to a newspaper. But I do suspect the police/FBI/CIA will make it to the door of anyone submitting.

You make some good points. Until he releases the code we cannot rule out that it could be a honeypot. I don't think it would be an FBI/CIA thing though because he's a German and they have their own intelligence agencies in Europe. The code absolutely must be released and while I don't necessarily think we should pin all our faith in Tor or Wikileaks, at least we have the code for Tor and at least Wikileaks actually has leaked in the past.

Prediction: This Forum will soon be Flushed (1)

EnergyScholar (801915) | about 2 years ago | (#41337217)

This particular forum is filling up with lots of info that spy agencies don't like to see widely distributed. I predict that those (few) Slashdot admins who are forum spies will soon 'Slide' this forum off the front page. I.e. They will implement a Forum Slide [cryptome.org] to remove the offending discussion from sight. Watch as a bunch of 'junk' articles soon appear, and this thread becomes hidden. Note that I have exposed and correctly anticipated the actions of the Slashdot forum spies previously, and they have aggressively modded me down and/or silenced me for it, so don't be surprised if this comment gets modded 'troll' pretty quickly.

What a surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41334429)

An organization built upon the premise that you can't trust anyone found out the hard way that they couldn't trust anyone? Shocker.

Re:What a surprise (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41334749)

An organization built upon the premise that you can't trust anyone found out the hard way that they couldn't trust anyone? Shocker.

Well so you say.

The destruction of the leaks (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41334439)

was utterly unforgivable. People risk their life and limb to make them available!

How do we know they ever existed? (2)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#41335023)

Is there any public comment made by Daniel showing he admitted their existence?

Re:How do we know they ever existed? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#41361243)

Yes:

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/08/domscheit-berg-disputes/ [wired.com]

"Domscheit-Berg shocked WikiLeaks supporters this week when he told the German newsweekly Der Spiegel that heâ(TM)d deleted more than 3,500 unpublished documents that he and an associate took with them when they left the organization last year. He said he destroyed the documents because Julian Assange could not guarantee safe handling of the files or their sources."

First link when I Googled it, not hard to find.

Re:The destruction of the leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41335381)

So was Assange's refusal to release the banking documents he so often touted.

In case you didn't know it, the delay, according to all media outlets, was from Assange attempting to monitize the leaks to media. Assange never found someone willing to cough up his extortion price. This is supposedly why he started directly threatening the banks themselves. As he was hoping they would pay his extortion fees to make the information disappear. Seemingly, it did.

"Open" (4, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 2 years ago | (#41334467)

The story of too many of the "open" projects :
* someone creates something worthwhile
* it becomes very popular
* some douchebag says: "I'll make something exactly like this, except it will be better because it's OPEN."
* nothing of value is produced
* Lather, rinse, repeat

Re:"Open" (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#41334625)

The story of too many of the "open" projects :
* someone creates something worthwhile
* it becomes very popular
* some douchebag says: "I'll make something exactly like this, except it will be better because it's OPEN."
* nothing of value is produced
* Lather, rinse, repeat

Only on paper Openleaks is better than Wikileaks in every way technologically. If you understand the technology behind Wikileaks then you understand that Julian Assange is the weakness in the technology behind Wikileaks. Remove Julian Assange and remove the publishing component and focus on making the best possible technology for actual journalists and on paper that makes sense and is probably the best route to take with regard to hackers, developers, programmers, technologists, but once again apparently Daniel wasn't the guy to do it.

Put the code out there and let the community develop Openleaks. But don't diss Openleaks as a technology or diminish the idea because it's an excellent idea and theoretically superior to Wikileaks. Ask any programmer, hacker, or journalist who actually understands the technology involved.

Re:"Open" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41334709)

Remove Julian Assange and remove the publishing component and focus on making the best possible technology for ...

Publishing leaks was the only thing Wikileaks did. If you "remove the publishing component" there are no components left.

Re:"Open" (2)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#41334951)

Remove Julian Assange and remove the publishing component and focus on making the best possible technology for ...

Publishing leaks was the only thing Wikileaks did. If you "remove the publishing component" there are no components left.

Journalist organizations are better set up for publishing leaks. Wikileaks just wasn't well designed as a journalist operation. They never had the critical mass of readership and the way Julian Assange was doing things he had to be in the center of everything and when you put the human in the center of everything it's not hard to corrupt any human and defeat the whole system.

Re:"Open" (1)

retep (108840) | about 2 years ago | (#41335025)

Journalist organizations are better set up for publishing leaks. Wikileaks just wasn't well designed as a journalist operation. They never had the critical mass of readership and the way Julian Assange was doing things he had to be in the center of everything and when you put the human in the center of everything it's not hard to corrupt any human and defeat the whole system.

What makes you think they never had that "critical mass of readership"? I'd argue their most important readership was other journalists, and pretty much every leak they've ever published has been picked up by the press in some form or another. That the general public can read the leaks easily is a side-effect, necessitated by the fact that they want to keep the journalists honest, and by the fact that the term "journalist" should be interpreted fairly inclusively.

Re:"Open" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41335075)

Journalist organizations are better set up for publishing leaks.

Then why not cut out the middleman and leak directly to the journalist organizations. Openleaks is not providing any value by being a useless link in the chain.

Also, you seem to be the only one posting anything in favor of Openleaks. Everyone else realizes it is crap. I'm calling you out on it. I think you are Daniel Domscheit-Berg himself, posting on slashdot to shill for your own organization.

Re:"Open" (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#41335929)

Journalist organizations are better set up for publishing leaks.

Then why not cut out the middleman and leak directly to the journalist organizations. Openleaks is not providing any value by being a useless link in the chain.

Also, you seem to be the only one posting anything in favor of Openleaks. Everyone else realizes it is crap. I'm calling you out on it. I think you are Daniel Domscheit-Berg himself, posting on slashdot to shill for your own organization.

I'm not defending him I'm defending the idea. The fact that he wont release the code, there is no way I can defend the integrity of a man who didn't keep his word on something critical.

Re:"Open" (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 2 years ago | (#41335079)

Wikileaks just wasn't well designed as a journalist operation.

Wait, WikiLeaks was a journalist operation? I thought they just published leaked info.

Re:"Open" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41335159)

Your rose colored glasses version of "Journalism" does not exist anymore, hence Wikileaks.

WRONG!!! 'Journalism' organizations are corrupt! (1)

EnergyScholar (801915) | about 2 years ago | (#41337081)

The REASON Wikileaks was established in the first place was BECAUSE the various 'journalism' organizations have been infiltrated by intelligence agencies. It is IMPOSSIBLE to publish hyper-sensitive stuff! My first-hand exposure to this information began on 27 Nov. 2003, and continued for several years, so I'm not just making this up. See my previous Slashdot posts.

I've told Slashdot about this before: The Plame/Wilson affair, and the unwillingness of ANY journalism organization ANYWHERE to publish their (true!) evidence indicating that G. W. Bush lied to the US public about the reason for going to war in Iraq, sparked Wikileaks. It had been considered before, but that was the impetus to make it happen.

Re:WRONG!!! 'Journalism' organizations are corrupt (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#41338835)

The REASON Wikileaks was established in the first place was BECAUSE the various 'journalism' organizations have been infiltrated by intelligence agencies. It is IMPOSSIBLE to publish hyper-sensitive stuff! My first-hand exposure to this information began on 27 Nov. 2003, and continued for several years, so I'm not just making this up. See my previous Slashdot posts.

I've told Slashdot about this before: The Plame/Wilson affair, and the unwillingness of ANY journalism organization ANYWHERE to publish their (true!) evidence indicating that G. W. Bush lied to the US public about the reason for going to war in Iraq, sparked Wikileaks. It had been considered before, but that was the impetus to make it happen.

What is harder to infiltrate, one man or a team of men?

Re:"Open" (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 2 years ago | (#41334743)

The dustbin of history is littered with "superior" solutions. Implementation is everything.

Re:"Open" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41334961)

Posting anon so I don't undo my moderation. FUCK YOU! I downmodded you for posting this. This is slashdot, motherfcuker. Take your attitude somehwere else.

Paid MICRO$OFT $HILL

Re:"Open" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41335343)

This is slashdot, motherfcuker

ENGLISH motherfucker, DO YOU SPEAK IT?

Newsworthy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41334493)

Yet another "open" project bogged down by politics and massive egos... why is this news?

It's pretty obvious (2)

clevershark (130296) | about 2 years ago | (#41334539)

As soon as DDB split, stealing secrets on his way out, he basically said "hey, I've been working with these guys for years but now I'm deliberately stabbing them in the back for my own selfish benefit so from now on you should trust ME with your secrets!" Yeah right. It's like Sammy The Bull Gravano trying to start a big meth op while in the witness protection program. You literally have to be dumber than a 3rd grader in order to think that this is going to work.

Re:It's pretty obvious (2)

clevershark (130296) | about 2 years ago | (#41334843)

I should have said, destroying secrets on his way out, not stealing them.

Re:It's pretty obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41334903)

No actually I think with out citation to the contrary your original stands.

Re:It's pretty obvious (1)

cffrost (885375) | about 2 years ago | (#41344909)

I should have said, destroying secrets on his way out, not stealing them.

Thank you for adding that. I think it's important to maintain this distinction... The copyright cartels already co-opt our culture; they shouldn't be given further dominion over the English language.

Re:It's pretty obvious (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#41334923)

As soon as DDB split, stealing secrets on his way out, he basically said "hey, I've been working with these guys for years but now I'm deliberately stabbing them in the back for my own selfish benefit so from now on you should trust ME with your secrets!" Yeah right. It's like Sammy The Bull Gravano trying to start a big meth op while in the witness protection program. You literally have to be dumber than a 3rd grader in order to think that this is going to work.

If you understand the Openleaks technology, the idea is you shouldn't have to trust Julian Assange or anyone else with your secrets. The hackers should build the technology not enter the spy war. Julian Assage has brought heat on hackers around the world because he's entering into the spy world and that makes it dangerous for everyone and anyone so Daniel has a point there.

Unfortunately Openleaks is vaporware and no code has been released. Unless he releases the code he deserves the bad reputation hes earning.

Re:It's pretty obvious (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41334993)

If you understand the Openleaks technology, the idea is you shouldn't have to trust Julian Assange or anyone else with your secrets.

Looking at the openleaks website and the video presented there, openleaks "function, as much as possible, as a mere conduit (akin to the telephone exchange and the post) between the whistleblower and an organization".

1. This means openleaks is attempting to perform a Man-in-the-middle attack using a social engineering attack.
2. It means openleaks does not provide the needed services. The conduits (post, telephone, email) are already there. The missing component is the publishing component, and that is what wikileaks provides.
3. Trust. Assange is a walking pillar of trust, and the more the USA is trying to destroy him, the stronger that trust becomes.

The founder of openleaks, DDB, has a track record of stealing information from the previous organisation he worked for. He has proven that he could not be trusted. The best prediction of future behaviour is past behaviour, so only a fool would trust DDB.

No wonder openleaks fails to take off, in a business where trust is EVERYTHING.

Re:It's pretty obvious (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#41335801)

If you understand the Openleaks technology, the idea is you shouldn't have to trust Julian Assange or anyone else with your secrets.

Looking at the openleaks website and the video presented there, openleaks "function, as much as possible, as a mere conduit (akin to the telephone exchange and the post) between the whistleblower and an organization".

1. This means openleaks is attempting to perform a Man-in-the-middle attack using a social engineering attack.
2. It means openleaks does not provide the needed services. The conduits (post, telephone, email) are already there. The missing component is the publishing component, and that is what wikileaks provides.
3. Trust. Assange is a walking pillar of trust, and the more the USA is trying to destroy him, the stronger that trust becomes.

The founder of openleaks, DDB, has a track record of stealing information from the previous organisation he worked for. He has proven that he could not be trusted. The best prediction of future behaviour is past behaviour, so only a fool would trust DDB.

No wonder openleaks fails to take off, in a business where trust is EVERYTHING.

Clearly you don't know what you're talking about. While I'm skeptical of Openleaks for not releasing the code, what you're saying is that somehow it's a man in the middle attack automatically when you haven't even reviewed the code?

So if the code is released and it works, and it simplifies the leaking process to the push of a button, isn't that great? Isn't it great if technology automates the process as much as possible and removes humans from the process as much as possible? As a technologist I can tell you the biggest security vulnerability in any system if the human being. Removing the human beings from the technology is a good move as you shouldn't have to trust any human being.

Does that mean we should just trust the code without auditing it? Hell no. But you have to develop the technology because publishing isn't and never was the issue. If something is big news someone will publish it somewhere, it's a matter of getting the anonymous leak to the right people in a secure automated fashion so that the man in the middle cannot read or modify the transmission. If you're worried about man in the middle attacks you do realize that anyone who can physically take control of Julian Assange has already broken Wikileaks.

Re:It's pretty obvious (1)

retep (108840) | about 2 years ago | (#41335133)

If you understand the Openleaks technology, the idea is you shouldn't have to trust Julian Assange or anyone else with your secrets. The hackers should build the technology not enter the spy war. Julian Assage has brought heat on hackers around the world because he's entering into the spy world and that makes it dangerous for everyone and anyone so Daniel has a point there.

Unfortunately Openleaks is vaporware and no code has been released. Unless he releases the code he deserves the bad reputation hes earning.

You also gotta wonder, what exactly is that technology supposed to be anyway? Tor is readily available, as are file uploading sites and message boards accessible with tor. If you have the technical know-how to use the "Openleaks technology" to publish your leak, you probably already have the know-how to use Tor anyway. Wikileaks also offered "mail-your-leak" dropboxes, a very secure option that has nothing to do with source-code.

The real thing Openleaks could add is vetted technology to remove things like embedded tracking of documents, for instance the metadata in jpegs and word documents, as well as technology to defeat stenographicly hidden per-file tracking codes. I haven't heard of anything from Openleaks even mentioning that stuff, yet defeating can be vital if a leaker wants to remain anonymous. It's a much harder problem than the actual publishing as well. It's also a problem more easily solved by human efforts, such as trusted individuals that re-word and summarize documents and publish the summaries rather than the originals directly.

What Openleaks can't do with technology is vet the leaks to ensure authenticity. For that an organization like Wikileaks makes much more sense, as does traditional journalism.

Re:It's pretty obvious (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#41335867)

If you understand the Openleaks technology, the idea is you shouldn't have to trust Julian Assange or anyone else with your secrets. The hackers should build the technology not enter the spy war. Julian Assage has brought heat on hackers around the world because he's entering into the spy world and that makes it dangerous for everyone and anyone so Daniel has a point there.

Unfortunately Openleaks is vaporware and no code has been released. Unless he releases the code he deserves the bad reputation hes earning.

You also gotta wonder, what exactly is that technology supposed to be anyway? Tor is readily available, as are file uploading sites and message boards accessible with tor. If you have the technical know-how to use the "Openleaks technology" to publish your leak, you probably already have the know-how to use Tor anyway. Wikileaks also offered "mail-your-leak" dropboxes, a very secure option that has nothing to do with source-code.

The real thing Openleaks could add is vetted technology to remove things like embedded tracking of documents, for instance the metadata in jpegs and word documents, as well as technology to defeat stenographicly hidden per-file tracking codes. I haven't heard of anything from Openleaks even mentioning that stuff, yet defeating can be vital if a leaker wants to remain anonymous. It's a much harder problem than the actual publishing as well. It's also a problem more easily solved by human efforts, such as trusted individuals that re-word and summarize documents and publish the summaries rather than the originals directly.

What Openleaks can't do with technology is vet the leaks to ensure authenticity. For that an organization like Wikileaks makes much more sense, as does traditional journalism.

Tor isn't easy to use and doesn't interface well with the web. For example if someone wanted to post a TorButton on Slashdot to receive Anonymous leaks, is Tor secure enough or set up to do that? The other problem is Tor itself isn't perfect as a technology, it too can be compromised. And of course once again most people who are journalists want access to a Tor setup without having to be security experts. Tor is only accessible by security experts at this point and the problem is most journalists don't have the expertise to safely deal with it.

The idea of Openleaks is good. Leaks should be decentralized and the technology should be an anonymous secure channel or secure pipeline.

Re:It's pretty obvious (1)

retep (108840) | about 2 years ago | (#41336291)

Tor isn't easy to use and doesn't interface well with the web. For example if someone wanted to post a TorButton on Slashdot to receive Anonymous leaks, is Tor secure enough or set up to do that? The other problem is Tor itself isn't perfect as a technology, it too can be compromised. And of course once again most people who are journalists want access to a Tor setup without having to be security experts. Tor is only accessible by security experts at this point and the problem is most journalists don't have the expertise to safely deal with it.

If you go to the Tor website, you're presented with some software to download. Click on that, installed the software, and go. Sorry, but this is frankly very easy. There aren't solutions that "work better with the web"; HTML5 doesn't allow Javascript to open connections to arbitrary hosts on the internet, so any "web" solution would still require trusting a server run by people you don't know. Similarly the connection to that server can still be "man-in-the-middled" in a direct, but difficult to detect way. At least with Tor you can download the software on a different computer, unconnected to you.

Any technology-based solution is going to require some knowledge to use safely. Tor is already pretty close to the least-knowledge solution out there, and it has the advantage of being widely used for all sorts of reasons, so use of it doesn't raise that many red-flags by itself.

The idea of Openleaks is good. Leaks should be decentralized and the technology should be an anonymous secure channel or secure pipeline.

And how do you propose this is going to work, yet not require technological competence? At least organizations like Wikileaks and traditional journalism can provide things like maildrops, a non-technological solution that is accessible to people without security expertise.

Maybe this is why Openleaks hasn't released any code: did they go into the project with high hopes, and realized that there didn't exist technological solutions to the problems they were trying to solve?

Re:It's pretty obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41336661)

Tor isn't easy to use and doesn't interface well with the web.

As opposed to...? Openleaks's non-existent system?

For example if someone wanted to post a TorButton on Slashdot to receive Anonymous leaks, is Tor secure enough or set up to do that?

WTF are you talking about? TorButton is a browser extension, not something you post on a website.

The other problem is Tor itself isn't perfect as a technology, it too can be compromised.

ORLY? How about giving a specific example, instead of making a broad claim without backing it up with, you know, facts.

And of course once again most people who are journalists want access to a Tor setup without having to be security experts. Tor is only accessible by security experts at this point and the problem is most journalists don't have the expertise to safely deal with it.

Yes, because downloading a program from a website (Tor Portable), running it and waiting 10 seconds for Firefox+Tor to set itself up is something that requires a PhD in CS, or something.

The idea of Openleaks is good. Leaks should be decentralized and the technology should be an anonymous secure channel or secure pipeline.

It doesn't matter if the "idea is good", when the implementation (and the people implementing it) are shit. Besides, there ALREADY IS A DECENTRALIZED ANONYMOUS SECURE CHANNEL: it's called fucking Tor (or I2P or Freenet).

tl;dr: lrn2internets

Openleaks on paper is better than Wikileaks (0)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#41334579)

It's designed better, the idea is better, it doesn't have the central personality cult of Assange weakness. So why didn't it get off the ground? Possibly because of the personality cult of Assange weakness poisoning the well. If it's not Julian Assange and Wikileaks then his cult of personality suspect it has to be a trap, the government, or that somehow it's traitorous.

Openleaks is a good technology on paper, where is the code? Where is the technology in practice? At this point showing is better than telling.

Re:Openleaks on paper is better than Wikileaks (2)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 2 years ago | (#41334917)

Maybe it was the lack of cult around Domscheit-Berg who shows himself to be every bit an attention whore -- but far less skillful at it than Assange.

And frankly, starting off by stealing then destroying submitted leaks that people went to lengths to procure might not have sent a very positive or encouraging message to the community at large.

Re:Openleaks on paper is better than Wikileaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41342153)

Assange wasn't really like that (attention whore) until the banks started fighting back, cutting his credit card access, then this phony rape story thing appeared. That's when I even first heard his name. Before that, I was only following Wikileaks, the organization. Assange didn't stand out as some big personality figure at that time; even if he was a spokesman.

You can't perform character assassination on a nobody.

If you say "cult of personality" enough times (1)

Burz (138833) | about 2 years ago | (#41336251)

within the same paragraph, can you use up all the oxygen in the room?

The term is misused in much the same way as "conspiracy theorist" is used to denigrate anyone holding suspicions against the wealthy and the powerful (even while the latter have their professional conspiracy theory corps working full time to fill the prisons) no matter how well founded in fact.

In this case, its a bias against individuals who become very reputable/trusted among a subgroup without any accompanying transition to society's inner circles.

Its also interesting to see who gets a pass in this regard, despite their cult-like behavior. Ayn Rand required ideological purity from her associates, and made pronouncements of excommunication of individuals from her Objectivist movement but I don't recall any persistent charges of personality cultism against her and her followers.

Re:If you say "cult of personality" enough times (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#41348661)

within the same paragraph, can you use up all the oxygen in the room?

The term is misused in much the same way as "conspiracy theorist" is used to denigrate anyone holding suspicions against the wealthy and the powerful (even while the latter have their professional conspiracy theory corps working full time to fill the prisons) no matter how well founded in fact.

In this case, its a bias against individuals who become very reputable/trusted among a subgroup without any accompanying transition to society's inner circles.

Its also interesting to see who gets a pass in this regard, despite their cult-like behavior. Ayn Rand required ideological purity from her associates, and made pronouncements of excommunication of individuals from her Objectivist movement but I don't recall any persistent charges of personality cultism against her and her followers.

Objectivists are a cult too. Any time you put a person above a mission it starts looking like a personality cult. Julian Assange has made many questionable and selfish decisions such as that decision to conduct the troll hoax operation.

Re:If you say "cult of personality" enough times (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#41361707)

What is the "troll hoax operation"?

You're using a lot of loaded language as the GP pointed out, but at the same time not making much sense.

Rumors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41334589)

Doesn't everybody know that Daniel Domscheit-Berg is working for the German government?

Obvious why it failed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41334635)

The detailed account of the site's debut, with German ex-WikiLeaker Daniel Domscheit-Berg at the helm

With a name (Domscheit-Berg) that sounds dangerously close to "Dumb Shit Bag," they were doomed from the start.

Domscheit-Berg (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41334723)

Domscheit-Berg is a spook, that's why.

Re:Domscheit-Berg (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#41334901)

Domscheit-Berg is a spook, that's why.

How do you know Wikileaks isn't a false flag front? Anybody can claim someone is a spook with no evidence and how is that any better than the people who claim Julian Assange is a sex offender? Wrong is wrong. That said I am disappointed that Openleaks never got off the ground. Daniel it's time to release the code if you have any and get Openleaks built or let someone else build it.

Re:Domscheit-Berg (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 years ago | (#41335291)

Domscheit-Berg is a spook, that's why.

How do you know Wikileaks isn't a false flag front?

Because they have an actual track record of publishing leaks.

Anybody can claim someone is a spook with no evidence

There is evidence. You may not believe the evidence, but that doesn't mean there is none.

how is that any better than the people who claim Julian Assange is a sex offender?

It is completely different. Julian is being accused by people with guns who have the authority to imprison him. Daniel is being accused in the court of public opinion, which has a very different standard of proof.

Re:Domscheit-Berg (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#41335703)

Domscheit-Berg is a spook, that's why.

How do you know Wikileaks isn't a false flag front?

Because they have an actual track record of publishing leaks.

Anybody can claim someone is a spook with no evidence

There is evidence. You may not believe the evidence, but that doesn't mean there is none.

how is that any better than the people who claim Julian Assange is a sex offender?

It is completely different. Julian is being accused by people with guns who have the authority to imprison him. Daniel is being accused in the court of public opinion, which has a very different standard of proof.

Evidence? How do you find evidence of someone being a spook? And even if somehow you believe he is, it doesn't mean he knows he's a spook being used by this or that government. It's not like the governments are going to admit to the spook that it's a government front. The spook could be just as much of a victim as everyone else in the process.

Re:Domscheit-Berg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41335991)

Domscheit-Berg is a failure. Deal with it shill.

Re:Domscheit-Berg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41338859)

I don't think it is a false flag, but I do believe that half the stuff that gets posted there is put there by agencies of various countries.

Re:Domscheit-Berg (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 2 years ago | (#41335091)

Domscheit-Berg is a spook, that's why.

Hatta is a spook.

See, I can make shit up too.

Re:Domscheit-Berg (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#41335191)

Really, there is no need for racial slurs here. Who modded this bigoted epithet up to +3?

Re:Domscheit-Berg (2)

SydShamino (547793) | about 2 years ago | (#41335325)

Spook is another word for spy or secret agent, which is the most obvious definition from the context. I don't think anyone else but you instead thought of its other use as a racial epithet. It's also a term for a ghost or apparition, but again, from context, everyone seems to have figured that one out.

Re:Domscheit-Berg (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#41335679)

Spook is another word for spy or secret agent, which is the most obvious definition from the context. I don't think anyone else but you instead thought of its other use as a racial epithet. It's also a term for a ghost or apparition, but again, from context, everyone seems to have figured that one out.

The problem with the term is that anyone can be labeled a spook and you can have people who are spooks who never know they are spooks. There are unwitting spooks who think they aren't.

Re:Domscheit-Berg (1)

jalefkowit (101585) | about 2 years ago | (#41336803)

Anyone can be labeled a spook and you can have people who are spooks who never know they are spooks. There are unwitting spooks who think they aren't.

No there aren't. If you are unwittingly providing intelligence to a spy or other intelligence operative, that makes you an "asset" [wikipedia.org] , not a spook. The spook would be whomever is exploiting you to get to the information.

Re:Domscheit-Berg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41344927)

Really, there is no need for racial slurs here. Who modded this bigoted epithet up to +3?

The 1950s called, they want their jerk store back.

We need open leaks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41335065)

What we really need, IMHO, is a culture of open leaks (notice the casing) through technology, and not centralized organizations or buzzwords. Such a culture would encourage whistle-blowers to dump their evidence on BitTorrent (or whatever P2P protocols be best) in a way that is most difficult to trace, give each dump an initial benefit of doubt by seeding and proliferating it, and investigate the credibility of the leak (anything can be a hoax or gov poisoning the well) based on available evidence.

The latter is the most difficult part, and constitutes the sole argument for centralized organizations constituting an advantage. WikiLeaks can vet the leakers based on their own authority, while keeping their identity secret. Of course we already have people who can do that and say that the data floating on P2P under so-and-so magnet URI is the real deal - we used to call such people journalists, but today any blogger can grow in reputation to become one.

I used to support WikiLeaks [nhunderground.com] (even got banned from the Gentoo Forum (partially) for that), and mirrored them the best I could. But, ultimately, the commies crowded me out. I will not be a part of the same movement as Occupy Wall Street! I also wanted to see more leaks hurting the greater evils of this world, and less focus (for now) on tactically undermining the "lesser evil" of Uncle Sam as it fights against those greater evils...

I would much rather support leaks directly by seeding them on P2P, and pitching in to any credible blogger who asserts their authenticity. Bloggers must create a system of watching each-other's leak-related posts, doing their own investigations, and blowing a whistle on fraudulent "whistle-blowers". It would be an evolving system based on earned reputation for truth.

Given Enough Eyeballs, All Secrets And Lies Are Shallow!

--libman

Openleaks?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41335185)

"isn’t designed to actually make anything public. Instead, it aims to securely pass on leaked content to partnered media organizations and nonprofits"

So it's a whistle-blower website that is designed to restrict and slow the dissemination of whistle-blower documents through a series of closed, moderated and heavily encrypted filters? I'm sure that will make the governments and corporations of the world happy(er) but is it really a "better" form of getting needed information to the public? While much more legal and less controversial it also seems to be much easier to control by those who wish to see that needed information never sees the light of day. Wikileaks has significant troubles to be sure, but at least they were brave (or foolish) enough to release information no matter how it will anger those with political, military or monetary power.

Re:Openleaks?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41335979)

And of course report them back to the US or German Governments should they not like what was almost leaked.

Domscheit-Berg is a cunt. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41335329)

Domscheit-Berg is a cunt. plain for the world to see. nothing gave him the right to destroy access to information that other people possibly risked their lives to provide. nothing.

What a name (1)

trev.norris (2010080) | about 2 years ago | (#41336455)

Am I the only one that read "Domscheit-Berg" as "DumbShit-Berg"?

Re:What a name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41341515)

No. Anyone trusting DDB must also be a moron.

OpenLeaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41337461)

Seems like the only reason the "openleaks" came into being was to loose the Bank of America info that Wikileaks had.

I seem to have missed the real camp (1)

Pf0tzenpfritz (1402005) | about 2 years ago | (#41345061)

Hippies, "burning man" and heavy storms (190mph - I can't remember a single storm of this strength in this area, ever. And I happen to live there.) I must have been to the wrong camp, last year. The camp that I remember was so full of arrogant wanna-be hackers and carreer hipsters desperately looking for someone to honour their self-importance that I left the second day. Somebody writing for Wired, however, might have fit in perfectly... The whole hackerspace hype and popularisation of the hacker myth IMHO had a more devastating impact on the scene than all the 1990s hysteria and anti-hacker-legistlation of the last ten years.

Wikileaks (1)

Atyq (2733523) | about 2 years ago | (#41379135)

Wikileaks is based in Switzerland: I'm proud of my country ...
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