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Friday, January 28, 2011
Wikileaks Rival Goes Public

A former WikiLeaks spokesman launched the rival website Friday, allowing whistleblowers more control over the secrets they spill.

OpenLeaks considers itself a non-profit community and service provider for whistleblowers and organizations, media, and individuals who engage in promoting transparency.

The difference between the new group and WikiLeaks is that 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 the website's members so that they can provide a safe and trusted leaking option for whistleblowers.

In addition, OpenLeaks clais that it would make the process of submitting leaks safe and easy and would not focus on review or publishing (the other parts of the leaking process). That will be done by members of the OpenLeaks community: NGOs, media, independent organizations, and more. These participants will be diverse in nature and in regionality, coming from all over the globe in later phases, OpenLeaks said.

"The split between submission and publication of leaked documents makes the whole process safer for all who participate in it, and at the same time makes scaling so much easier," OpenLeaks said in a statement.

Besides developing and building the technical platform, OpenLeaks wants to encourage leaking all over the world while minimizing risks for whistleblowers. With this goal in mind OpenLeaks is creating a Knowledge Base that covers as many countries as possible, giving answers to questions with regard to local legislation, source and whistleblower protection, precedence cases and more.

OpenLeaks added that it would provide as much clarity as is feasible about its finances and update such information on our website at regular intervals.

"Concerning finances, there have been rumors that we will commercialize whistleblowing and sell content. This is not true. We are not creating a profit-oriented organization, and our services will generally be free of charge, for both our partners as well as sources. Our Knowledge Base will also be free for all," OpenLeaks said.

On the other hand, OpenLeak needs to to build and secure the infrastructure (servers, bandwidth, and other capacities) and therefore it encourages companies to help them expand their infrastructure by adding resources to it and also provide means for donations from supporters.

Currently, OpenLeaks is not yet operational with regard to actually having members that accept documents, since the website is in the alpha phase. OpenLeaks plans to start the beta phase in the second half of 2011.

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