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Quote Of The Day: Glenn Greenwald On This Whole Wikileaks Kerfuffle

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, August 30 2011

As far as OpenLeaks is concerned, I have found the whole thing to be strange from the beginning, because if you look at the way in which this sort of dissident faction left Wikileaks and began this competing organization, what you'll find is that the differences that supposedly motivated it were very trivial and petty and personalized. It was obvious to me that what motivated it was not any ideological objections to what Wikileaks was doing but rather very standard trite trivial petty internecine conflicts between Domscheit-Berg and Julian Assange and others, the kind of thing that organizations have all the time. And yet OpenLeaks, despite not having done anything of any significance, or anything, significant or otherwise, received an enormous amount of attention from the media as if it was some kind of very significant competitor to Wikileaks.

 

— Salon's Glenn Greenwald, speaking to Internet security enthusiast Nadim Kobeissi for his radio show, Chomp.fm.

In case you missed it, the German daily Der Spiegel has been incrementally reporting on the slow slide of Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the former spokesman for Wikileaks in Germany who left the organization this year to found his own, competing effort, and publish a book. Domscheit-Berg announced, and Wikileaks confirmed, that he took a tranche of unreleased files with him when he left Wikileaks — and appears, one way or another, to have doomed those documents to remain forever unreleased. Der Spiegel also reported that a prominent hacker club in Germany expelled Domscheit-Berg rather than conduct a security test of OpenLeaks' submission mechanism, as he had asked.

Now, the news of the day is that Wikileaks may have released unredacted names in its own latest release of thousands of sensitive State Department cables — part of a 250,000-item database; that the release may have put in jeopardy the lives of activists and foreign officials; and that anyway, an encryption key has somehow made it into the wild that unlocks the complete, unredacted archive of Wikileaks documents that Assange released to the world during the run-up to his detention in the U.K. as a bomb to be detonated should anything happen to him. The State Department has been preparing almost a year for the possible release of contacts' names.

In short, a mix of unverified rumors and stormcloud-watching reportage paints a bleak picture of the potential consequences for this "internecine" struggle.