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WikiLeaks Insiders Resign 210

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.
Americano writes "Wired reports that at least six WikiLeaks insiders, including Daniel Domscheit-Berg, WikiLeaks' spokesman in Germany, have resigned in the past few weeks. Those who have spoken with Wired cite differences and disputes with Julian Assange, and his autocratic leadership style, as the motivation for their departure. From the article: 'Key members of WikiLeaks were angered to learn last month that Assange had secretly provided media outlets with embargoed access to the vast database, under an arrangement similar to the one WikiLeaks made with three newspapers that released documents from the Afghanistan war in July. WikiLeaks is set to release the Iraq trove on Oct. 18, according to ex-staffers — far too early, in the view of some of them, to properly redact the names of US collaborators and informants in Iraq.'"
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WikiLeaks Insiders Resign

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  • Oh really (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RMH101 (636144) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @07:35AM (#33721204)
    My immediate reaction was "they've been leant on". I'd imagine the US government has been putting pressure directly on any individual involved in the hope of a) weakening Wikileaks and b) causing dissent and reducing their credibility.
  • Flameware (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @08:09AM (#33721268)
    Skipping the wired (and poster "Americanos") spin at looking right at the chat logs they are basing it on (reproduced below), it is pretty clear that this Domscheit-Berg character keeps trying to weasel out of Assanges clear to the point question - did he run to Newsweek with this tabloid crap [newsweek.com]. When pressed to answer question he goes all childish in his answers and avoids the question. You'd be hard pressed not to fire an employee like that, in any organization. I guess the bags of money [nytimes.com] from the WWR [thedailybeast.com] is finally beginning to pay off dividends [arabcrunch.com].

    Domscheit-Berg: what are the agreements re iraq? i need to understand what the plan is there, and what the constraints are Assange: "A person in close contact with other WikiLeaks activists around Europe, who asked for anonymity when discussing a sensitive topic, says that many of them were privately concerned that Assange has continued to spread allegations of dirty tricks and hint at conspiracies against him without justification. Insiders say that some people affiliated with the website are already Assange: brainsorming whether ther e might be some way to persuade their front man to step aside, or failing that, even to oust him." Domscheit-Berg: what does that have to do with me? Domscheit-Berg: and where is this from? Assange: Why do you think it has something to do with you? Domscheit-Berg: probably because you alleg this was me Domscheit-Berg: but other than that just about nothing Domscheit-Berg: as discussed yesterday, this is an ongoing discussion that lots of people have voiced concern about Domscheit-Berg: you should face this, rather than trying to shoot at the only person that even cares to be honest about it towards you Assange: No, three people have "relayed" your messages already. Domscheit-Berg: what messages? Domscheit-Berg: and what three people? Domscheit-Berg: this issue was discussed Domscheit-Berg: [Redacted] and i talked about it, [Redacted] talked about it, [Redacted] talked about it, [Redacted] talked about it Domscheit-Berg: lots of people that care for this project have issued that precise suggestion Domscheit-Berg: its not me that is spreading this message Domscheit-Berg: it would just be the natural step to take Domscheit-Berg: and thats what pretty much anyone says Assange: Was this you? Domscheit-Berg: i didnt speak to newsweek or other media representatives about this Domscheit-Berg: i spoke to people we work with and that have an interest in and care about this project Domscheit-Berg: and there is nothing wrong about this Domscheit-Berg: it'd actually be needed much more, and i can still only recommend you to finally start listening to such concerns Domscheit-Berg: especially when one fuckup is happening after the other Assange: who, exactly? Domscheit-Berg: who exactly what? Assange: Who have you spoken to about this issue? Domscheit-Berg: i already told you up there Assange: those are the only persons? Domscheit-Berg: some folks from the club have asked me about it and i have issued that i think this would be the best behaviour Domscheit-Berg: thats my opinion Domscheit-Berg: and this is also in light to calm down the anger there about what happened in 2007 Assange: how many people at the club? Domscheit-Berg: i dont have to answer to you on this j Domscheit-Berg: this debate is fuckin all over the place, and no one understands why you go into denial, especially not the people that know about other incidents Assange: How many people at the club? Assange: In what venue? Domscheit-Berg: in private chats Domscheit-Berg: but i will not answe

  • Re:Oh really (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @08:57AM (#33721442) Homepage

    When an organization has been publicly demonized by a government, it's hard to avoid thinking that if it falls apart, it's due to the actions of that government.

    One piece of why this explanation may be BS: If these volunteers wanted to continue working for the cause Wikileaks represents, but without Assange, they could fairly easily set up their own servers, see if Assange is interested in releasing the Wikileaks data to them, and even if not set up a forked project. If they're worried that it's become too autocratic, their forked project could be formally more democratic. These volunteers probably have the skills, experience, and cajones to make this sort of thing work. So not doing anything like this suggests that this is similar to a politician wanting to spend more time with his family.

    At the same time, I've run voluntary organizations before. Volunteers come and go all the time, sometimes over policy disagreements. That's just the way it is.

  • by Lehk228 (705449) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @08:58AM (#33721458) Journal
    tell me again how leaking to wiki leaks is safer than just firing up a proxy chain / tor and posting to 4chan?
  • by nedlohs (1335013) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:10AM (#33721598)

    Because they hopefully some expertise whereas the random guy who wants to leak something probably hasn't even heard any of the terms "proxy chain", "tor", or "4chan".

    Because wikileaks claims to do some checking which will give the leak more weight than some random post to 4chan.

    Because wikileaks has media contacts and can push the leaked data out to them, which would be very hard for most people to do anonymously.

  • Re:Oh really (Score:2, Interesting)

    by digitig (1056110) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:18AM (#33721736)

    Wow the idea that Assange is narcissistic

    No, the idea is that Assange has suddenly become intolerably narcissistic at just the same time as big players want to discredit him. Now, it is possible that the publicity has gone to his head, but it's a slightly more complex idea than yours.

  • by CitizenPlusPlus (1867870) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:26AM (#33721876)
    May WikiLeaks long continue to embody the tradition of: raising hell and getting the facts out; which a free press has a duty to honor.
  • Re:Flameware (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:45AM (#33722208)
    I think I'm safe in assuming that the CCC is the [wikipedia.org] CCC.

    I'm not up on my Wikileaks history other than that it was founded in 2007. Big question here seems to be what happened in 2007 that would anger (the CCC || people in the CCC)?

  • Re:Flameware (Score:2, Interesting)

    by digitig (1056110) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:54AM (#33722396)
    But he did admit that he had passed it on to others, and got annoyed and refused to cooperate when he was pressed on the question of who the others were. If this were anything but Wikileaks then we'd expect that to be a disciplinary matter. Because this is Wikileaks, of course, Assange shouldn't be surprised that the team don't take leaks of information seriously. I think he's yet to learn the lesson of the goose, the gander, and their respective sauces. It's not a management-style failure, it's a sense-of-irony failure.
  • by rhizome (115711) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @10:25AM (#33722856) Homepage Journal

    FTA: "When he quizzed Assange in an online chat, Assange responded by accusing Domscheit-Berg of leaking information about discontent within WikiLeaks to a columnist for Newsweek".

    Which is when Domscheit-Berg tries to change the subject, gets all pissy and starts whining about how nobody likes Assange.

    You know, FTA...

  • Re:Flameware (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Abcd1234 (188840) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @10:51AM (#33723286) Homepage

    Instead, his only concern is the leak itself

    Which is deliciously ironic... apparently the seekers of transparency, themselves, need not be transparent. Nice.

    Meanwhile, Assange's paranoid need to root out this defector is clearly preventing wikileaks from actually doing the job they exist to do, as evidenced by that very transcript.

  • redacted? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Snodgrass (446409) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @10:56AM (#33723372) Homepage

    Domscheit-Berg: [Redacted] and i talked about it, [Redacted] talked about it, [Redacted] talked about it, [Redacted] talked about it

    And here I thought that no secrets were worth keeping.

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