WikiLeaks rival OpenLeaks to launch soon: founder

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The founder of OpenLeaks, a rival project to WikiLeaks, said Friday that the new service would begin in the next few weeks with a full release scheduled towards the end of the year.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a former WikiLeaks spokesman, said: "A small alpha phase test will begin in the next few weeks."

"A beta test phase will begin in the summer ... and we are looking at a full release towards the end of the year," he added.

Unlike WikiLeaks, OpenLeaks will not publish leaked documents directly online but instead make leaks available to partner media and other organisations.

"We are just a mechanism to accept documents from sources and these sources decide who they want to give it to ... we are actually a very neutral mechanism," said Domscheit-Berg.

It would be a not-for-profit organisation with all the services free, he added.

Media taking part in the project would have an OpenLeaks section on their websites where whistleblowers can submit information. OpenLeaks ensures the anonymity of the sources, Domscheit-Berg explained.

"All we are doing is providing the conduit and protecting the anonymity of the source. That's what we're good at, we're technology experts," he told AFP.

He added he wanted to work with similar whistleblowing organisations that have sprung up in the wake of WikiLeaks' success.

"We don't see them as competitors but as something that can help these organisations to create more robust solutions, so we'd like to exchange knowledge and experience," he said.

Founded in 2006, WikiLeaks emerged into the media spotlight last year with major document leaks on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It then unleashed a major diplomatic storm by releasing thousands of secret US embassy cables.

Domscheit-Berg said he believed OpenLeaks would be at least as successful as WikiLeaks. "I think we're going to be way more efficient," he said.

However, the aim is to be less high-profile, he added. Since OpenLeaks will not be publishing any documents of its own, "we are unlikely to come under the same scrutiny as WikiLeaks," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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