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WikiLeaks crippled by ex-associates, sources say

By Reuters
Thursday, February 10, 2011 12:58 EDT
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LONDON – WikiLeaks’s ability to receive new leaks has been crippled after a disaffected programmer unplugged a component which guaranteed anonymity to would-be leakers, activists and journalists who have worked with the site say.

Details of the breakdown are contained in a book by estranged Assange collaborator Daniel Domscheit-Berg which is due to be published on Friday, a source familiar with the contents of the book told Reuters.

Neither Wikileaks’s embattled Australian founder, Julian Assange, nor members of his entourage responded to an e-mailed request from Reuters for comment but a WikiLeaks spokesman confirmed the website’s submission system was being overhauled.

Domscheit-Berg also took a backlog of leaks sent to the WikiLeaks website with him when he left, the source familiar with the contents of “Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website,” said.

In a statement issued to the Forbes website on Wednesday, Kristinn Hrafnsson, a WikiLeaks spokesman, said the website was suing Domscheit-Berg, who with Assange served until late last year as one of WikiLeaks’s two principal spokesmen.

“In (his) book Domscheit-Berg confesses to various acts of sabotage against the organization. The former WikiLeaks staffer admits to having damaged the site’s primary submission system and stolen material,” Hrafnsson’s statement said.

“The sabotage and concern over motives led to an overhaul of the entire submission system, an ongoing project that is not being expedited due to its complex nature and the organizations need to focus its resources on publication and defense,” Hrafnsson added.

CRIPPLED FOR MONTHS

The activists and journalists who have worked with WikiLeaks and Assange, who faces a sexual misconduct investigation in Sweden, say the website’s ability to receive new leaks of data has been crippled, if not totally disabled, for months.

Domscheit-Berg recently announced that he was creating a WikiLeaks spinoff or rival called OpenLeaks.org with support from a former WikiLeaks programer, believed to be a German, whose programing skills are more dazzling than Assange’s.

Precisely how much material sent in to WikiLeaks is now under the control of Domscheit-Berg and the programmer, known only as “The Architect,” is unclear.

Domscheit-Berg has not publicly characterized the subject matter or volume of material he has stashed away, though he has indicated that at some point, he might be willing to cede control over it back to Assange.

In an e-mail to Reuters, Domscheit-Berg said he planned to offer a public clarification of what happened at a news conference scheduled for Thursday.

To avoid what Domscheit-Berg has condemned as Assange’s dictatorial leadership of WikiLeaks, OpenLeaks will be a more decentralized organization, he has said.

The new website will not itself publish or analyze leaks which it receives but instead with serve as a conduit to relay the information to partners in the website, who could include media outlets, NGO groups, and labor unions.

WikiLeaks insiders say Assange still has control over substantial quantities of data leaked to the website before the WikiLeaks founder became entangled last August in a sexual misconduct case in Sweden. He has said in the past this includes a huge cache of data from the hard-drive of a Bank of America executive.

In an interview with the German weekly magazine Stern, Domscheit-Berg is quoted saying that Assange’s cache of bank data is old and “completely unspectacular.”

(Editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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  • Anonymous

    So Daniel dumbs**t-borg is not a responsible individual, but is hoping to “compete” at his new openleaks?????

    Somehow, this is the last crappy dood on the planet I would trust with ANYTHING!

    But on a more positive note:

    Sudan Atrocities, Swedish Oil Politics and Wikileaks

    Now you may be acquainted with this report on atrocities in Sudan related to oil exploration, but were you aware of the possible connections to Sweden’s obsession with extraditing Assange of Wikileaks back to Sweden?

    Carl Bildt, Sweden’s present Minister of Foreign Affairs, was a director off Lundin Petroleum during that time. When Bildt was the prime minister a few years back, he appointed Beatrice Ask, presently Sweden’s Justice Minister, to her first cabinet appointment.

    The original report on this can be found at the site below:

    http://www.ecosonline.org/reports/2010/UNPAID_DEBT_fullreportweb.pdf

    A brief description from another site:

    http://www.liquida.com/page/7491240/
    Carl Bildt was a member of the board of directors of Lundin Oil while a consortium of Swedish, Austrian and Malaysian companies were directly involved in starting and financing a bloody battle for oil resources.

    The conflict killed 12,000 and forced another 160,000 from their homes.

    The European Coalition on Oil in Sudan found that war crimes and crimes against humanity were perpetrated from 1997 – 2003, while the Swedes were leading the consortium….

    Synopsis of events:

    Originally, the bizarre and flimsy case against Assange was dropped due to lack of evidence.

    Suddenly, Justice Minister Beatrice Ask, who was appointed originally by Carl Bildt, pressured the Swedish Prosecution Authority, which falls under her jurisdiction, to reopen the case.

    Wonder if Bildt is worried about some information which might implicate him and Lundin in those Wikileaked cables?

    It should be pointed out that Carl Bildt, Minister of Foreign Affairs, was also a director at the British MI6 cutout, Hakluyt & Company (ostensibly an international business intelligence company), and a recently public fellow, one Frank Wisner, Jr., is presently a director at the very same outfit.

    Now it should be noted that Carl Bildt, quite the well-connected fellow, frequently attends those international Bilderberg meetings, with the likes of Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller and the usual suspects of global finance and politics.

    He is both listed as a member, and a specific addressee, in a declassified fax (Declassifying Authority: Office of the Secretary of Defense, also one of the addressees) and attendee listing dated 23 May 1996, from the executive secretary of that organization at that time, Maja Blanck (Fax # +31 20 624 4299).

    (Here’s some recent listings)
    http://cryptome.org/0001/bilderberg-2010-2.htm
    http://www.bilderbergmeetings.org/governance.html

  • Anonymous

    He sounds like a jealous spiteful ingrate looking to cash in on Assange’s fame after admitting to sabotaging his employers computers and stealing information. Then he cries that his boss is a dictator? I suspect all his book is good for is taking a wikileak on.

  • valles

    Very aptly named fellow

  • kiboshki

    Great. Ego is now officially more important than openness.

    What started off as a system that could potentially bring increased liberty to human beings at the expense of overbearing governments and ultra-wealthy special interests is rapidly devolving into a spat between douchebags.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TRCGTVH7SXIVAQMN6VHRMIG6ZM john wilson

    Perhaps he may have a received a bit of spare change from BOA for his efforts? Of course i would trust this man with my leaked documents, NOT.

  • Robert Shaftoe

    This is exactly the type of in-fighting BofA and their crappy little security team (who is being PWNed by Anonymous as we speak) said they would try to incite.

    This is exactly what they said they would do, including taking-down the SUBMISSION apparatus of Wikileaks. If you were looking for the CIA/BofA plant, you found one in Domscheit-Berg.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly!

    http://tiny.cc/9l0so

    “The three security service companies proposed the following tactics for going after WikiLeaks: “Create concern over the security of the infrastructure. Create exposure stories. If the process is believed to not be secure they are done. Cyber attacks against the infrastructure to get data on document submitters. This would kill the project. Since the servers are now in Sweden and France putting a team together to get access is more straightforward.” Part of their plan involves turning Salon’s Glenn Greenwald against WikiLeaks.”

  • http://madisonleathersmith.com leathersmith

    Operation Dumb$hit-head

    throw a few million at the wall and see what sticks

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t worry a lot about a side issue like this.

    The fact is that wikileaks proved one thing – you can no longer hide information indefinitely. Now that the technology exists, the truth will be known. This is a good thing. Transparency allow us to better observe the power-masters.

    An aside – I noticed the Patriot Act includes a “Money Laundering Control Act”. Any chance when it gets renewed we could apply this to our congresspeople?

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