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NY Times Considers Creating a WikiLeaks Type Site 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the greatest-form-of-flattery dept.
eko3 writes "The New York Times is considering options to create an in-house submission system that could make it easier for would-be leakers to provide large files to the paper. From the article: 'Executive editor Bill Keller told The Cutline that he couldn't go into details, "especially since nothing is nailed down." But when asked if he could envision a system like Al Jazeera's Transparency Unit, Keller said the paper has been "looking at something along those lines."'"
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NY Times Considers Creating a WikiLeaks Type Site

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  • by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @03:28PM (#35012122) Journal

    This is the New York Times hoping to get a scoop for free so they can increase readership without actually doing any real investigative journalism for themselves.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I think that concept was established over 20 years ago.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So what? If NY Times can get a "scoop" on anything that bloggers can't immediately get a hold of, then it's a win-win, for them as well as public.. It is easy to shut down a blogger or even someone like Assange. NY Times is different ballgame.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by icebike (68054)

        I missed the Sarcasm emoticon in your post just after you said:

        It is easy to shut down a blogger or even someone like Assange. NY Times is different ballgame

        The NY Times is all located in the US, in New York state, and mostly in New York City. So a take down notice is easily delivered. Besides, the NYT is the lapdog of the liberal left, and not likely to leak anything of importance.

        First Amendment you claim? If you still believe it has any teeth in the light of recent history you are delusional.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          yeah, lapdog for the liberal left [wikipedia.org].

          Apparently that word means something different in USAsia.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I believe First Amendment will prevail if it is given a chance. But if take someone like Assange, put out a smear campaign and put him away for something else, then 1st Amendment is irrelevant.

          You can't put away NY Times because you can't say "NY Times raped kids" or similar garbage. Any NY Times case would have to be fought over the actual publication, not proxy charges.

          If Assange worked for NY Times, the published leaks would have been more selective (ie. no point in leaking useless chitchat), but funding

          • You really think that the New York Times would have published anything like what Wikileaks did? Or, do you think that the New York Times would have just turned the other way and decided not to deal with it and the liabilities. And really, the problem with the New York Times is that it doesn't -want- to stir up anything. While the New York Times (and all other mainstream media for that matter) has no problem attacking either the Republican or Democrat party, they still believe in the utter importance of Amer
            • by Luckyo (1726890)

              You really think that the New York Times would have published anything like what Wikileaks did?

              Not "think" but "know". NYT was one of the three major papers whom wikileaks used as their fact-checkers and editors for all their latest major leaks.

              So yes, we know that NYT would, and in fact by proxy did publish those facts.

        • Besides, the NYT is the lapdog of the liberal left..

          Informative? Hardly [youtube.com].

        • by thenewt (1974712)

          the NYT is the lapdog of the liberal left, and not likely to leak anything of importance.

          That's the richest comment I've read on Slashdot in a long time. Hooh, boy.

        • by mcvos (645701)

          Besides, the NYT is the lapdog of the liberal left, and not likely to leak anything of importance.

          Yet a lot of people in the US are claiming that the WikiLeaks stuff (which NYT helped in getting published) is very important.

          Your "lapdog" comment shows your bias. It's not something you can draw credible conclusions from (except about you).

      • by slick7 (1703596)

        So what? If NY Times can get a "scoop" on anything that bloggers can't immediately get a hold of, then it's a win-win, for them as well as public.. It is easy to shut down a blogger or even someone like Assange. NY Times is different ballgame.

        You're right, it is a new ball game, the NYT can sanitize the "leaks" thereby allowing business as usual. The NYT is nothing more than a propaganda machine using Himmler's techniques more effectively.

      • by jopsen (885607)

        It is easy to shut down a blogger or even someone like Assange. NY Times is different ballgame.

        Yes, but if NY Times thinks they might get sued badly they won't publish it... Assange and the hordes of bloggers won't stop posting...
        I remember a lot fuss about an AACS encryption key a few years ago... Which showed just how cowardly individual organizations can be when they have to stand up for free speech...
        Yes, the information wasn't important in any way, but the question of whether you could censor it was... I was actually surprised that no big news papers jump on the story... It's my feeling that

    • by ISoldat53 (977164) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @03:52PM (#35012400)
      This is the outfit that help us get into the Iraq War.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Which one? The first one or the current one? Trick question! Actually, the figurehead of the "Liberal Media" loves killing foreigners.
    • by severoon (536737) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @04:03PM (#35012542) Journal
      Allow me to sum up: "NYT considers direction change: future is finding, reporting news, editors say."
    • by poetmatt (793785)

      not only that, but they'll submit it to the government to water it down because they don't want to rock the boat or actually do journalistic work.

      • I think that's an insult to journalistic values! Why kowtow to the govt to get their money when much more is there to be had through blackmail?

        • by poetmatt (793785)

          I'd love to see the new york times answer that question.

          lately however, they've been pretty much not covering anything the gov't doesn't want them to.

      • Agree with the parent. Trusting the NY Times to publish the unvarnished truth is wishful thinking. Watch the first 2 minutes of the interview below. The NYT's executive editor Bill Keller admits that the government censors their publication,

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvMn4q4FNHg [youtube.com]
    • by 91degrees (207121)
      Why is this a bad thing? Their readers just want the stories. They don't care about how they got them as long as they stories are true.
    • by jopsen (885607)
      Yes, and then some other journalist who decides that by comparing it to wikileaks he can turn that into a story... The cool thing about wikileaks is that it's not a cooperate enterprise with it's own agenda...
      If it were an attempt by the New York Times to show support for wikileaks, then maybe they should just host a mirror... Like everybody else... :)
      • Actually, when I read the title, my mind translated it to, "Embrace, extend, extinguish." I've been wondering when some other enterprise would follow where Bill Gate's lead . . . . Support for Wikileaks? Never. They mean to beat Julian and company at their own game.
      • by peragrin (659227)

        Acutally it is. Julian has shown time and again that he is only doing wikileaks for the money.

        The threaten lawsuit againist the gaurdian for releasing documents early. Complaining that the Newspaper was releasing court documents that showed Assange lied to the public about what was going on.

        No one is holding Julian liable when he lies. He stopped talking to the media about his case when he got caught in the last one.

        Wikileaks doesn't need Julian Assange. It would be a far better outfit if he left.

        • by mcvos (645701)

          Acutally it is. Julian has shown time and again that he is only doing wikileaks for the money.

          No he hasn't. He needs money to keep WikiLeaks alive, yes. But his salary is nothing compared to what most other people in charge of an organisation (for-profit or non-profit) would get.

          I fully admit that some of his actions are bordering on blackmail, but I'm pretty sure he's doing it for WikiLeaks, and not for his own wallet.

          • by peragrin (659227)

            he is paying himself $86,000 a year, and living rent free in other peoples homes.

            If he had a home I could understand it, but he was flying between other peoples mansions to live in.

            • by mcvos (645701)

              I thought it was $68k a year. But he is constantly travelling. And I don't think he's always sleeping in a mansion like he is right now. It could just as easily be on a couch in an apartment. Consider that leaders of many other organisations get at least twice as much, and get to own these kind of mansions, I'm not overly upset about Assange's income. There are much worse things to worry about here.

              • by peragrin (659227)

                Like how he lied when he said he couldn't get certain court documents and then the guardian publishes them a couple of weeks later? He stopped talking to the media right about then too.

                Or how about a complete lack of respect of the laws of a foreign country? Sweden won't extradite someone they are pressing charges against, and won't extradite anyone if capital punishment is an option. Yet those where his defense on why he shouldn't be allowed to be extradited to Sweden.

                If your going to go to a foreign co

                • by mcvos (645701)

                  What does any of this have to do with the money he's in it for, according to you? I'm not claiming he's a paragon of virtue. He definitely has some serious ego issues, and he made plenty of mistakes and bad judgements, behaves erratically, and occasionally bordering on the malicious, when he feels wronged somehow. He has a strong internal sense of justice that he considers more important than any external laws or morality. But he's not in it for the money.

                  Sweden won't extradite someone they are pressing charges against, and won't extradite anyone if capital punishment is an option.

                  But is Sweden actually pressing charges against him?

    • by metacell (523607)

      And? Isn't the main thing that vital information becomes available to the public?

      And if NYTimes can make it cheaper and easier for themselves, isn't that a good thing? Much like rationalising a manufacturing process.

    • by melikamp (631205)
      Yeah, they just need to find time and talent to edit out sensitive parts without ANY help from the government or whichever party has most to lose if it's dumped raw, and then publicize the result while listening to thinly veiled death threats coming from US congresscritters. Piece of cake.
    • Actually, what is pathetic about this, is that should the New York Times actually get sensitive government information, they will run it by the State Department and Langley and Fort Meade boys first to see if it's OK to publish it, just like they did when they had the scoop the on NSA-Telecom deal. Ask yourself this - if you risk your life and your freedom to release sensitive information about government wrong-doing - do you give it to a guy outside of US control or to a newspaper who asks permission fro
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @03:28PM (#35012132)

    The NY Times *may* have once had some real balls, back in the Vietnam/Watergate days. People used to really believe in them (and the press in general) back in those days too. Anyone remember the scene at the end of Firestarter [imdb.com] where the guy takes the girl to the New York Times, knowing it's one of the few places she can tell her story that's safe from the government? Pretty typical attitude back in the "All the President's Men" era, when reporters regularly stood up to the government (or at least were perceived to).

    But today they certainly don't have the guts to do it right. They will insist on editorial control of what gets actually posted, and once submitters see their stuff disappearing into a black hole (because the Times doesn't have the guts to publish anything that might offend their advertisers or subscribers, or *really* bring the government down on them), they'll go back to Wikileaks or other sites. No one wants to man-up and blow the whistle, only to have the NY Times kill their voice just as surely as the government would.

    People don't believe in the press anymore. They've seen too many instances (like the second Iraq War) where the press served as little more than a cheerleader for the government, for big business, for nationalism, etc. No one still believes that The New York Times will be (or even could be) as free as Wikileaks.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by oldmac31310 (1845668)
      That, and they would hold stories back for months or years as they have already done in the past - at the request of the government no less. I have no confidence in this and no one else should have either.
    • by Hatta (162192)

      Wikileaks doesn't exactly do it right either. The right thing to do is to upload your data to RapidShare, et al. Then post it to USENET. Then dump it on Freenet.

      • by melikamp (631205)
        Amen. Governments and their corporate whelps will learn the hard way that in presence of Internet, the price of privacy is obscurity, and only a private individual can afford to pay it. Since they cannot obscure themselves, they could as well come out and play in the open, stop lying, start listening, and treat everyone fairly, or face the inevitable embarrassment of being caught with their pants down.
    • by metrometro (1092237) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @04:22PM (#35012782)

      Your smug superiority doesn't match the data. The New York Times has been agressively covering wikileaks material, and indeed is their preferred US outlet. While they are certainly not "as free as" Wikileaks itself, I would argue that an org with a little transparency and accountability (sometimes opposing interests to freedom) would be preferable to what Wikileaks has given us.

      Or better yet, an ecosystem of many, many outlets to choose from. Which is exactly what the Times, and Al Jazeera are working towards. So why are you pissing on it, +5 Insightful?

      • >their preferred US outlet

        Just plain wrong: WikiLeaks spurned New York Times, but Guardian leaked State Department cables [washingtonpost.com].

        The rest of your comment defending that propaganda rag is pretty hilarious.

        • by 19061969 (939279)
          Except of course that the Guardian is a British newspaper and can't be a preferred US outlet. Not saying that I disagree with your point about the NYT.
          • Thanks for the response, but if you'd glanced for a moment at the article to which I linked, you could've save yourself the misplaced effort at internet pedantry:

            But the Times wasn't on WikiLeaks' list of original recipients. The newspaper got its hands on the trove of about 250,000 cables thanks to the Guardian newspaper of Great Britain, which quietly passed the Times the raw material that it had received as one of five news organizations favored by WikiLeaks.

      • by lehphyro (1465921)
        This is not the first time NYTimes goes against wikileaks: http://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/30359666491920385 [twitter.com] They didn't get the cablegate data because of some issues on Iraq data. So I don't think NYTimes is the wikileaks' preferred US outlet
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'd also like to point out the largest black eye that the New York Times still carries to this day.

        Sitting on the Illegal U.S. Wiretapping Story for a year during the early Bush Administration.

        Care to defend how a Corporate news agency will able to achieve the likes of what Wiki-leaks is doing?

      • Uh, then why only one new article in the last month?

        http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/world/statessecrets.html

      • Uh, then why only one new article in the last month?

        http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/world/statessecrets.html
      • by 7-Vodka (195504)
        BULLSHIT
    • by h00manist (800926)

      People don't believe in the press anymore.

      All true. However having dozens of secured, separate places to submit content, makes it easier for the leakers, and the people who receive it, knowing that if they don't publish it, someone else may do it anyway, and they will just be held to account for hiding instead of publishing. Indeed being the first place to openly accept and publish leaked content has been very hard for Wikileaks, so the copycats are actually overdue compliments and protection in this case, I think.

  • Aren't we a little late on the fadwagon NYT?
  • to gain access to the submission page? Not sure how the paywall would work on that one.
  • I see nothing wrong with this. An anonymous way to provide documents and video to the media would be great.
  • But instead I got some filet mignon. It was tasty.
  • *insert "NY times raped me" joke here*

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @03:55PM (#35012444)

    They expect leakers to sign up and watch a 30-second ad before commenting.

    Never gonna happen.

  • Would the NYT keep the submitter anonymous at all costs, and if not wouldn't this just become a honeypot for the US (or any) government?
    • by metacell (523607)

      For the submission system to be worth a damn, the submitters would have to be anonymous to NYTimes as well. No data on submitters, not even IP address, should be saved.

      • If there's a timestamp on the submission, and the NYT's ISP has records of IP's connecting - then it starts getting easier to track back. Maybe something like TOR could help obfuscate the submitter, but I don't know enough about that stuff to say if there's even "right" way to do it...
        • by flonker (526111)

          I'd assume that the NYT has its own servers, therefore the NYT's ISP only provides bandwidth, and it is nearly impossible to log every connection at the upstream level. By nearly impossible, I mean that it would take a lot of disk space, and would be prohibitively expensive. Further Tor would definitely provide anonymity, as that is what it is designed for.

  • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @03:56PM (#35012470) Homepage

    There's very little "wiki" to Wikileaks. As for leaking stuff, they pride themselves on having the stuff vetted and confirmed by a team of professional journalists.

    So it's a website with a bunch of journalists. And some pointy haired boss in NYT is saying "Ooooh, we should set up one of those!"

    The only question is: why to whistle blowers go to Wikileaks instead of NYT?

  • by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @04:06PM (#35012568) Homepage Journal
    being in U.S. ? the country where everything is under the mercy of secret government agencies ?

    after what happened with cryptome http://bsd.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1910704&cid=34556662 [slashdot.org] , do you think that ANYone would trust nyt and leak ? nsa has been able to infiltrate a swiss establishment as such. they dont even need to infiltrate new york times.
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @04:08PM (#35012600)

    I hope that "Executive editor Bill Keller" has the common sense to restrain himself, when suddenly, after his LeakSite is online, chicks start trying to hit on him in bars. Otherwise, he can play cards with Julian Assange behind bars.

    Assassinating the publishers of leaks is a dirty business. Assassinating their characters is a better, cleaner option.

  • I find it sadly funny that we are followers, by a long ways, in the spectrum of transparency. We're being led by news organizations that are based in states who's record on transparency would on the surface seem to be much lower than our own.
  • Narcs! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dr. Spork (142693) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @04:23PM (#35012796)
    Um, the NYT are all too eager to kiss the asses of the people in power, and you know they would sell out their leakers in a heartbeat for a pat on the head from their corporate masters. Not in a million years would I leak any information to an NYT leak site. For all the many faults of Julien Assange, at least you know he's not gonna sell you out and that he'll try to really distribute the information he gets.
  • First AlJazeera and now NYT. IF they implement these things well and IF this catches on, this could be the biggest contribution Wikileaks has made to the World. Those are big ifs and the devil is in the details, but one can be hopeful.
  • let me spell it out: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Oh yes. Let me see if I understand this correctly. A major media outlet, the NY Times, wants to create a wikileaks type environment providing leakers a way to submit files to the newspaper. Does anyone honestly believe the NY Times, or any large newspaper for that matter, is free to report whatever it wants? Their handlers (CIA, etc) have them on a leash so tight that they are nothing more than a shadow of what they should have been. They are a joke. If anyone has anything really substantial to reveal, they

    • by Thud457 (234763)
      That's why when I want to uncover some Earth-shattering conspiracy, I send the information directly to the "New Frontiersman".
  • Executive editor Bill Keller told The Cutline that he couldn't go into details, "especially since nothing is nailed down."

    Gotta love the plain-jane speak that gets drilled into journalists. You'd never hear that from the stupid tech corporations. If it were Microsoft:

    Vice president Bill Lumbergh told The Cutline that he couldn't go into details, "because we still are finalizing our enterprise solution implemention --- plus, it's patented."

  • by Voline (207517) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @10:15PM (#35016106)

    If the point to leaking documents is to get information to the public about wrongdoing by powerful institutions like governments and large corporations so that the public can do something about it, The New York Times is not where I'd send the information.

    The Times had evidence of the Bush Administration program to illegally wiretap American Citizens but, at the urging of the White House, sat on the story [fair.org] for a year until after the 2004 elections before publishing. The public might have taken action to punish the perpetrators of this crime by voting them out of office. But the Times made sure that the powerful lawbreakers avoided any accountability [blogspot.com] for their crimes.

    Go ahead and leak information about crimes to The New York Times. But if that information implicates powerful people or institutions in the US, don't expect them to publish until the criminals have safely gotten away with it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is this the same NYT that refused to print the climategate emails???

    “The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.” Andrew Revkin, Environment Editor, New York Times Nov 20, 2009.

  • As many have pointed out, the NYT would have to be extremely trusted, and also the government they operate their servers in (though to a lesser extent).

    However, services like this, are very interesting.

    Perhaps, the new role of WikiLeaks is to provide the anonymity services, and then immediately disseminate this information verbatim to the various news services. This could mean:

    • The news organizations would be put under the same competitive pressure.
    • The anonymity would be provided by WikiLeaks.
    • The news servic
  • It may have just struck them that there is an appetite for truth out there that wikileaks is busy feeding. They are in the prime position to embrace, extend, extinguish. In their extinguish phase,I suspect they'll begin turning on wikileaks and Julian Assange by scandalising, spreading doubt and making them out to be the enemy,and naturally the public will sing in chorus,forgetting all the truth wikileaks had revealed ,and embracing the old king as the real voice of truth. Disclaimer: this is my very pessi
  • NY Times Considers Creating a WikiLeaks Type Site

    Funny, I hadn't realized that Wikileaks was involved in typography as well.

  • Great, now the NY Times can supress stories that displease their corporate masters and cut out the middleman. There was a time in the not so distant past that led people to believe if only a story could be taken to the New York Times or the Washington Post that the minions of the press would then work tirelessly to get the storty out and expose the corrupt evil-doers. We now know, in the case of Judith Miller's coverups at the NYTimes that helped the re-election of George Bush in 2004 and the Post's meeti
  • They should be banned from anything Wikileaks related.

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