Ex-WikiLeaks staff to launch rival site: report

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A group of former WikiLeaks collaborators who quit the project are to launch a new campaigning site next week to protest against its founder, a Swedish newspaper said on Thursday.

Respected daily Dagens Nyheter said the decision was made to launch the site, Openleaks, in protest against Julian Assange. It did not elaborate.

“Our long-term goal is to build a strong, transparent platform to support whistleblowers, both in terms of technology and politics, while at the same time encouraging others to start similar projects,” the newspaper quoted a source connected to the new site as saying.

The report, headlined “‘New WikiLeaks’ rebels against Assange,” said the person wished to remain anonymous.

Unusually, the newspaper printed the article in both English and Swedish on the front page of its website, .

The source said a short-term goal was to complete the technical infrastructure and ensure that “the organization continues to be democratically governed by all its members, rather than limited to one group or individual,” an apparent reference to Assange’s leading role at WikiLeaks.

Assange, who was remanded in custody in Britain after an arrest warrant issued in Sweden over accusations of sexual misconduct, has been the public face of WikiLeaks.

The WikiLeaks site has attracted international attention in the past two weeks with leaks of secret U.S. diplomatic cables, angering Washington.

The newspaper also said it had documents which showed discontent within WikiLeaks and that accessibility issues with the site earlier this year had been arranged by insiders as a signal for Assange to step back.

The report said that though the new website was also aimed at providing the means for whistleblowers to publish information, it would not itself publish information directly.

Instead, other organizations would access the Openleaks system and then present their audience with the material.

Documents would be processed and published by various collaborating groups such as the media, non-profit organizations, trade unions or other groups.

“As a result of our intention not to publish any document directly and in our own name, we do not expect to experience the kind of political pressure which WikiLeaks is under at this time,” the report quoted another person as saying.

“In that aspect, it is quite interesting to see how little of politicians’ anger seems directed at the newspapers using WikiLeaks sources,” the person said.

Reporting by Patrick Lannin