Wikileaks Traitor - Daniel Domscheit-Berg | The Jackal

24 Aug 2011

Wikileaks Traitor - Daniel Domscheit-Berg

After Daniel Domscheit-Berg was suspended in August 2010, he went about destroying leaked documents held by the well known whistle-blower site Wikileaks.

Perhaps the falling out with Assange had something to do with Domscheit-Berg, while still working for Wikileaks, setting up a rival website called OpenLeaks. At a Chaos Computer Club event in August 2011, he announced its preliminary launch and invited hackers to test the security of the system.

Because of this, the Chaos Computer Club criticized Domscheit-Berg for exploiting the good name of the club to promote his OpenLeaks project and expelled him forthwith.

Domscheit-Berg's motivation to promote his website seems to have no moral bounds. But I think there's more to his sabotage of Wikileaks than just unhealthy competition and self promotion.

Although Domscheit-Berg has claimed that he destroyed the data because he was protecting sources from being compromised, a belief that he has an ulterior motive for his sabotage is also held by Assange, who claims Domscheit-Berg wаs іn contact wіth the FBI аnd iѕ assisting the US investigation іnto Wikileaks.

The main issue here though is that the documents reportedly destroyed are of significant public importance. Wikileaks has confirmed that Domscheit-Berg deleted 5 gigabytes of data relating to the Bank of America, the internal communications of 20 neo-Nazi organisations and US intercept information for "over a hundred internet companies," destroyed videos of a major US atrocity in Afghanistan and data relating to the entire US no-fly list.

But it's not just Domscheit-Berg who has been criticized. Wikileaks has had a plethora of abuse for not ensuring the data was secure. If reports that Domscheit-Berg repeatedly tried to blackmail Wikileaks, then hopefully the data still exists. In some cases, the leaked information will still be held by the initial source, so could presumably be recovered. However the added cost in time and danger is significant.

In terms of Domscheit-Berg's conduct, it's a clear case of sabotage aimed at destroying Wikileaks. They've reported that Domscheit-Berg threatened tо make available private communications, tо forces that oppose Wikileaks. Although the details are still unresolved, Domscheit-Berg has ultimately damaged his own credibility, and I presume his online persona and undertakings will be short lived.

Negotiations with the former volunteer ended because the mediator believes Domscheit-Berg is untrustworthy. A belief held with good reason... In his book written about his time at Wikileaks and the eventual falling out with Julian Assange, Domscheit-Berg confesses to various acts of sabotage against the Wikileaks organization, admiting to having damaged the sites primary submission system and stolen material.

In a statement put out on 20 Aug, Wikileaks makes it's case:
Mr. Domscheit-Berg has acted dishonestly, he has admitted to stealing WikiLeaks property, and has admitted to the deliberate sabotage of Wikileaks’ operations, impeding it from carrying out the will of its sources. He has lied, constantly, and flagrantly, to the public, to us, to our lawyers, and to the mediator, Andy Müller-Maguhn. 
I really do hope Wikileaks can survive Domscheit-Berg's despicable conduct as well as an unlawful Washington instigated financial blockade enforced by the big US financial companies, a prime suspect in the leaking of the Afghan war files, Bradley Manning being imprisoned pending trial, Julian Assange under house arrest pending extradition, and over 100 WikiLeaks supporters arrested and/or raided. The world would be worse off without them.