Friday, December 10, 2010

Openleaks to Close the Leaks

A group from Wikileaks is starting an alternative to it, calling it Openleaks, with a slightly different modus operandi. Whether this is true or just another hoax to discredit Wikileaks, the plans presented so far imply more of a seal than a leak.

I'm not that sure about the authenticity of these news. So far, they seem to be spread mainly in Swedish media, such as Dagens Nyheter. It can be fake news originating from forces struggling to discredit Wikileaks and Julian Assange – and there's a lot of that, right now.

We will see on Monday, December 13, when the Openleaks.org website is supposed to open.

Anyway, the idea of Openleaks is actually to be less open than Wikileaks. The news material they get is not to be published by them, but sent on to other select media. That way they avoid being sued and such, they imagine, but it also means that they allow traditional media to act on the material as they see fit – or not act at all. In other words, pretty much like any old news agency, such as AP and UPI.

The very basic idea of the Internet is that all information should be freely accessible to all, which is exactly what Wikileaks is about. Openleaks, with its closed concept, is planning the opposite. It is way off, and it will not work. Any news agency only working towards other news media is much weaker than one daring to depend on the world public for its support and continued activity.

The ones behind the Openleaks idea, if it's not just a fake, want to take over the success of Wikileaks, but avoid the risks. Good luck with that. The only thing it will lead to is voluntary censorship, to stay out of problems, until nothing of any interest to anyone remains.

Wikileaks Should Leak More
Not that Wikileaks stands the test of crisis that well. Now, it's mostly inaccessible, because of attacks to its website from who knows how many enemies, high and low. The Wikileaks revelations are not accessible to the general public.

They should have predicted this, and initially acted to make such sabotage impossible, or at least less successful. The Internet contains the solution: When information is spread out over millions websites, how to censor it?

So why didn't they do that, initially? Why didn't Wikileaks publish all the material at once, and make it easy for countless of other websites to copy it, as well as for every Internet user to catch it on their hard disks?

I believe it has to do with vanity. Wikileaks and its Editor in Chief Julian Assange want everybody to go to their website, and return to it for more news. They want to be exclusive with the source material. So, they have become an easy target for the forces sabotaging their work, and they have deviated from the basic principle of the Internet.


I am reminded of Robespierre, the blood thirsty agitator in the French revolutionary Parliament. He led the persecution and execution of so many aristocrats, as well as members of his own Parliament.

As things got worse, he made threatening speeches about planning to reveal accusations against several of his fellow members. But before he had a chance to do so, other members spoke, accused him of similar crimes, and got him arrested. After some turmoil, Robespierre was swiftly guillotined.

Let's hope Julian Assange escapes such a fate, but let's also hope that he realizes how serious the situation is, and hurries to publish all the material Wikileaks possesses, and not only on their own website. Until this is done, the threats to him, to Wikileaks, and to the relative freedom of the whole Internet, are at great risk.

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