Posts Tagged ‘Wikileaks’

A World of Wikileaks

Friday, December 10th, 2010

The global publicity resulting from the publication of the US diplomatic cables in the Guardian, New York Times, Wikileaks and other newspapers during the past two weeks has focused attention on the power of leaking.

Now several new operations are joining the fray by offering wikileaks-type portals.

Yesterday, Brussels Leaks was set up by anonymous founders, who cited WikiLeaks as its inspiration. The site welcomes tips-offs, files, and other disclosures about issues of social, environmental or political importance in Europe.

They say:

Having worked in Brussels for a long while now in various capacities we know (as anyone who works in political fields in Brussels for a short space of time) that plenty of big decisions are made on the basis of individual whims, be it whims shaped through connections to lobby groups, consultants or NGOs. Not all are bad, of course, but we’ve heard about a lot of decisions made based on questionable sources of information…There are plenty of good people in powerful positions who too often see shocking information pass them by. How do we know this? We’ve been there.

Another site that has been in the works for some time is Openleaks which is spearheaded by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who split from WikiLeaks in September after clashing with founder Julian Assange. I interviewed Daniel in September for my book and he outlined to me this new site which would de-centralise the publication of leaks.

Openleaks will allow leakers to anonymously submit information to a secure online drop box. The site won’t publish the information itself but will allow leakers to specify their preferred publication outlets whether that be through the media, trade union or an NGO. This is a good plan as it is through the centralised publication and the identifiable figurehead of Julian Assange that Wikileaks is most vulnerable.

Russian political activist and blogger Alexei Navalny, has set up his own whistleblowing site. Interestingly, Assange was dismissive of Chinese activists who hoped to set up a WikiLeaks type project in that country. He told Forbes magazine:

It’s not something that’s easy to do right…We encouraged them to come to us to work with us. It would be nice to have more Chinese speakers working with us in a dedicated way. But what they’d set up had no meaningful security. They have no reputation you can trust. It’s very easy and very dangerous to do it wrong.

If you know of any other Wikileaks inspired sites then do let me know.

WikiLeaks cables

Friday, December 10th, 2010

There’s been a distinct lack of posts on the blog by me. Turns out I have a good excuse. I’ve been busily working through the US diplomatic cables for the past few months and the fruits of that labour began appearing last week in The Guardian newspaper.

I’ll be posting a few of my directly authored pieces but in the meantime here is a podcast I did with Jonathan Powell, former chief of staff to Tony Blair. I’d just raced through the snow to get to the Guardian so my usual fast delivery is at warp speed. Have to remember to breathe…slow down.

Politics Weekly: Secrets and leaks

Jonathan Powell and I discuss WikiLeaks and how governments keep secrets in a digital age on the Guardian’s Politics Weekly podcast.

The data revolution: How WikiLeaks is changing journalism

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

A panel discussion at the Frontline Club on how online data and its dissemination is changing journalism and the relationship between public and power.

The panel comprised Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief (via online link up); journalist, academic and freedom of expression activist Heather Brooke, whose successful campaigning led to the full release of MPs’ expenses files; media lawyer Mark Stephens of Finers, Stephens Innocent and Simon Rogers, editor of The Guardian’s Datablog.

Chaired by Paddy O’Connell, the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House.


Newsnight interview: Wikileaks

Friday, July 30th, 2010

I took part in a Newsnight interview to discuss the leak of Afghan War intelligence documents to whistleblower site Wikileaks. Adrian Lamo, the journalist who disclosed the source of the leak, also appeared.