Thursday, January 6, 2011

Daniel Domscheit-Berg: Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website

The publisher provided this product description: Former WikiLeaks Insider and Spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg Authors an Exposé of the “World’s Most Dangerous Website.” In an eye-opening account, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the former spokesman of WikiLeaks, reveals never-disclosed details about the inner workings of the increasingly controversial organization that has struck fear into governments and business organizations worldwide and prompted the Pentagon to convene a 120-man task force. In addition to Germany and the U.S., Inside WikiLeaks will be published simultaneously in 12 other countries. Under the pseudonym Daniel Schmitt, Domscheit-Berg was the effective No. 2 at WikiLeaks and the organization’s most public face, after Julian Assange. In this book, he reveals the evolution, finances, and inner tensions of the whistleblower organization, beginning with his first meeting with Assange in December 2007. He also describes what led to his September 2010 withdrawal from WikiLeaks, including his disenchantment with the organization’s lack of transparency, its abandonment of political neutrality, and Assange’s increasing concentration of power. What has been made public so far about WikiLeaks is only a small fraction of the truth. With Domscheit-Berg’s insider knowledge, he is uniquely able to tell the full story. A computer scientist who worked in IT security prior to devoting himself full-time to WikiLeaks, he remains committed to freedom of information on the Internet. Today he is working on a more transparent secret-sharing website called OpenLeaks, developed by former WikiLeaks people, to be launched in early 2011.

Daniel Domscheit-Berg (previously known under the pseudonym Daniel Schmitt) (born 1978) is a German technology activist. He is best known for his prior work as spokesperson and effective number two in WikiLeaks, a whistleblower organisation. Before working with Wikileaks, Domscheit-Berg was involved with the German hacker group the Chaos Computer Club. He is planning on opening a new website for anonymous, online leaks called OpenLeaks, in December, 2010. A novel about his experience and separation from WikiLeaks is planned for release in Germany in January, 2011, titled "Inside WikiLeaks: My Time at the World's Most Dangerous Website". An English translation is expected in April 2011 by Australian publisher Scribe Publications. Among the criticisms Domscheit-Berg mentions are an organization culture which was too centered around the figure of one individual, head of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, an authoritarian style which was contrary to the transparency-focused mission of the organization, and a rush to unleash big news stories in lieu of steadily building up the organization. Domscheit-Berg is highlighted in the Swedish Sveriges Television (Swedens' Television) programme, WikiRebels - The Documentary, released in the second week of December 2010.

From Tech Crunch: As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stews in a British jail, with a U.S. indictment reportedly imminent on top of the alleged Swedish sex crimes he was arrested for in the first place, some of his former staffers are already preparing to launch a competing site for whistleblowers called OpenLeaks. The new site will be headed up by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Assange’s former right-hand man who left last September, after bristling under Assange’s autocratic ways. OpenLeaks will be structured a bit differently than WikiLeaks. It will be designed to accept leaks in a secure and anonymous manner, but won’t publish them itself. Instead, OpenLeaks will work with other publishers, including newspapers and websites around the world, which will asses the newsworthiness of any leaked documents, and edit and redact them as appropriate before releasing them. In this way, OpenLeaks hopes to address one of the biggest early criticisms against WikiLeaks: that it publishes sensitive documents indiscriminately without regard for the safety of people who may be mentioned in those documents. This was certainly the case with the Afghanistan war documents, and is one of the main reason why the WikiLeaks defectors set up OpenLeaks. In an online chat at the time, in reference to the way Assange handled the first leak of Afghanistan war documents, Domscheit-Berg accused him of behaving “like some kind of emperor or slave trader.”

From The Australian: A defector from the WikiLeaks website has spoken of a siege mentality within an organisation run by its founder, Julian Assange, allegedly as a personal fiefdom. In an interview with The Times the German defector gave a blistering insider's insight into the workings of WikiLeaks, which appears to operate as secretly as the institutions that it infiltrates. Until this month "Daniel Schmitt" was the second most public face of WikiLeaks after Mr Assange, giving hundreds of interviews in defence of the organisation's mission to put classified documents directly on the internet. This was his first interview with the international media since breaking cover at the weekend. He has dropped his pseudonym and now uses his real name, Daniel Domscheit-Berg. He is 32, a former hacker and lives in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin with his wife, an expert on e-governance. Initially, the WikiLeaks experiment was hailed as a turning point in investigative journalism and Mr Domscheit-Berg, as its press spokesman, was at the helm. Then things started to go wrong. "The aim of the platform when it started in 2006 was to inform intelligent people and supply them with a basis of solid facts for intelligent decisions," he told The Times. "But it became a problem as soon as we started to take sides."


  1. I own (and write me at to make a bid.

    Governments welcome to bid to explain their side of the story.