WikiLeaks is dead. Long live WikiLeaks.
That’s the basic message Wednesday from secrets blog Cryptome, which published an essay outlining why the release of secret US State Department cables effectively struck a death knell to WikiLeaks as a service to the whistleblower community.
WikiLeaks as a secrets outlet was once a thriving, vibrant online community: a technology apparatus that allowed for the transmission of data with complete anonymity. Today it is completely seized by the international furor over US diplomatic cables allegedly given to the site by a lone US Army private.
It once had a massive backlog of files and new document caches were appearing daily. Since it began releasing cables, that river of data has all but dried up.
“At the rate of 20 cables a day it will take 13,000 days to finish — some 35 years,” Cryptome noted.
“The original merits of Wikileaks have been lost in its transformation into a publicity and fund-raising vehicle for Julian Assange as indicated in the redesign website which billboards him,” Cryptome resigns in its second paragraph.
“Meanwhile the original purpose of Wikileaks is dead in the water,” the site opines. “Thousands of mirror carcasses floating on the Internet sea, none offering new material except the wee drops of cables which at the current rate will require the passive sites to last redundantly decades when they could be offering material Wikileaks does not.”
All that remains are a series of “bombshell releases” ahead of his book tour, they suggest.
“There will be those who continue to milk the promise of Wikileaks, arguing vehemently for its protection and continuation, but not acknowledging in its current configuration sheltered by main stream partners it is not a threat or threatened — standard bloviation of the media to magnify its importance,” Cryptome concludes. “The shift of focus to Bradley Manning and Adrian Lamo indicates the Assange threat angle is withering and needs to be goosed with journalistic and lawyerly flim-flam so common to awaken readers and juries dozing with disinterest.”
Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the former spokesman for WikiLeaks, also plans on releasing a book as a tell-all on his time with the site — along with a new site to continue the ideals of the former whistleblower platform.
The new site, dubbed OpenLeaks, aims to cut out the figurehead by allowing whistleblowers the ability to send information directly to media outlets of their choosing. The site would not actively publish the information as WikiLeaks has done, but instead would serve as a media waypoint service for the anonymous passage of sensitive files.
OpenLeaks will also be an open-source project, which the creator hopes will encourage other upstarts to adopt similar technical approaches. Berg similarly criticized WikiLeaks for failing to live up to what he called “its open-source promise.”