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John Simkin

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Although Wikileaks has done some good work several key members have become concerned about the way the organisation is being run. They have have now established OpenLeaks:

About OpenLeaks

OpenLeaks is, to put it in a nutshell, a well-intentioned bunch of people with an idea. We met through varying circumstances, as is often the case, and like most web-based groups, we live here, there, everywhere, and nowhere.


The basic ideas behind OpenLeaks originated as a set of ideas for extending WikiLeaks. The focus was originally technical, and its main aspects were presented in an application to the Knight Foundation, which raised considerable interest, but was ultimately denied. WikiLeaks however, does not provide an environment that allows us to follow our ideas, which prompted us to found the OpenLeaks project in September of 2010.

Our idea

We are using our collective experience in an attempt to support, and help others to support whistleblowers; thus making the leaking of information more widespread, while simultaneously reducing the personal risk to those who fight corruption. Along the way, we shall also gather and document knowledge about leaking and make it accessible through our Knowledge Base.

OpenLeaks is unique in that we do not receive or release documents ourselves. Instead, we provide the technology and experience from our past to enable more entities, institutions and others, to process information that may be vital to our society.

This constitutes the OpenLeaks Community: something much more effective than any single whistleblowing entity. We are not atop some hierarchy, distantly guiding the flow of data, but more in between it, providing the soil for the creation of a new form of social network by adapting our systems to the needs of our users and bringing them together. We encourage our users to communicate securely between themselves, tackle problems together and exchange information about data journalism. We think that providing our technology and experience to a balanced mix of members from all around the world that share the same need is another effective way to make progress happen.


This is a gradual process, and will be achieved over the coming months. We are beginning an alpha stage now, during which we will integrate some users that match our requirements for this active development phase. This should end around second quarter next year, at which time we plan to enter the beta phase and open the system to more users which fit a wider range of profiles.

OpenLeaks team members

OpenLeaks currently has a dozen staff coming from various backgrounds. The two public contacts for press inquiries are the following:

Daniel Domscheit-Berg is a German journalist and transparency advocate. He has spoken on numerous occasions about whistleblowing and transparency, as well as its implications on democracy. Daniel worked with WikiLeaks for three years, acting as spokesperson and editor. In his life before WikiLeaks, he worked in the IT industry specializing in network design and security.

Herbert Snorrason is an Icelandic historian who originally got involved with this whole field by accident. After a chance contact with WikiLeaks, he was increasingly entangled in that organization, until winding up as a chat moderator for a couple of months in 2010. Disagreeing with the direction that project seemed to be headed in, he left and found himself helping get OpenLeaks started.


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