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Former WikiLeaks insiders to set up rival site

RIA Novosti

17:47 10/12/2010

MOSCOW, December 10 (RIA Novosti) - A rival site for WikiLeaks will be set by former insiders of the whistleblowing website, Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported.

The new site, Openleaks, is expected to be launched on Monday. The site will allow whistleblowers to leak information to the public anonymously but instead of hosting documents itself, it will act as an intermediary between whistleblowers and other groups including media organizations.

"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," an Openleaks organizer, who wished to remain anonymous, told the newspaper. "As a short-term goal, this is about completing the technical infrastructure and ensuring that the organization continues to be democratically governed by all its members, rather than limited to one group or individual."

"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," a source told Dagens Nyheter. "In that aspect, it is quite interesting to see how little of politicians' anger seems directed at the newspapers using WikiLeaks sources."

The paper reported that former WikiLeaks workers sabotaged the site earlier this year to convince the site's founder Julian Assange to step down.

"We broke from WikiLeaks because a few ex-WikiLeaks members have been very unhappy with the way Assange was conducting things," a former WikiLeaks member and key player in the new site, Herbert Snorrason, was quoted as saying by the paper.

The whistleblowing site recently published part of over 250,000 confidential U.S. embassy cables. WikiLeaks came under increasing international pressure after the publication, but world leaders have tried to downplay the adverse impact of the leak.

Facebook and Twitter have begun shutting down the accounts of WikiLeaks supporters, used to coordinate hacker attacks on websites critical of the whistleblowing site, world media said on Thursday.

The 39-year-old Australian enigmatic Assange currently tops an online poll for Time Person of the Year. The choice will be made by the editors of the magazine next Wednesday.

On Wednesday, a source in the Kremlin told RIA Novosti Assange should be nominated for a Nobel Prize.

Assange was arrested in London on December 7. His extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted on sex assault charges, is pending.

The arrest of Assange indicates a problem with democracy, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

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