You might remember Daniel Domscheit-Berg as the angry ex-Wikileakian who felt that the perfect time to announce his competing group (openleaks.org)—and coincidentally, publicize his upcoming book—would be right when Wikileaks was releasing the first of the State Department cables, since obviously his own activities were far more important than anything in those documents. Now we have more information on what Domscheit-Berg was up to before and since then, and it's very interesting to compare it to the reported tactics of the corporate plot to smear Wikileaks. Here's one of the smear campaign tactics:
- Feed the fuel between the feuding groups. Disinformation. Create messages around actions to sabotage or discredit the opposing organization.
And here's Domscheit-Berg recounting how he and others sabotaged Wikileaks and stole unpublished documents on their way out the door:
WikiLeaks’ most prominent defector confirmed that he and other disaffected volunteers had taken the site’s software-based secure-submission platform when they left the project, leaving the site technically unable to receive new material. [...] In the process, the group also took with them a backlog of previously submitted, leaked material — an action that has now prompted legal threats by WikiLeaks' Berlin lawyer.
Here's another of the reported smear campaign tactics:
- Create concern over the security of the infrastructure. Create exposure stories. If the process is believed to not be secure they are done.
And what do we hear from Domscheit-Berg?
"Children shouldn’t play with guns," Domscheit-Berg writes. "That was our argument for removing the submission platform from Julian’s control ... We will only return the material to Julian if and when he can prove that he can store the material securely and handle it carefully and responsibly." [...] Domscheit-Berg warns that anyone who visits the site to read submission instructions could be monitored. "The current system has become a security risk for everyone involved," he writes.
None of which proves that Domscheit-Berg is actually receiving checks from the companies that are trying to discredit and destroy Wikileaks, of course—but if he isn't, he should be, since he certainly is doing their dirty work for them in just the way they'd outlined.
Domscheit-Berg does at least make one of his motivations clear when he admits that "sometimes I hate [Julian Assange] so much that I’m afraid I’d resort to physical violence if our paths ever cross again." Reports that the chip on his shoulder reached such startling proportions only after he'd been called "Daniel Damn Shitbag" one too many times, while extremely amusing, could not be confirmed.
My belief that I couldn't possibly trust this self-serving nimrod and his openleaks.org site any less than I already did turns out to have been a serious failure of imagination.