Surprise presentation by Openleaks' Daniel Domscheit-Berg at 27c3


Wikileaks defector Daniel Domscheit-Berg, formerly aka Daniel Schmidt, gave a previously unannounced talk earlier today at the Chaos Communication Congress taking place in Germany. Daniel is a former spokesperson and "number two guy" at Wikileaks; he left the organization after a highly-publicized falling-out with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and vowed to create a Wikileaks alternative, Openleaks. He is also writing a tell-all book about his time at Wikileaks, due out in mid-Feb. 2011, likely in advance of Julian Assange's own memoirs.

At the moment, I can't find an archived recording or slides, but information activist/freelance reporter Heather Brooke was live-tweeting it earlier (she was also at the Assange court hearing in London, for context; she's been on WL-related stories for some time). According to her live-tweeted notes, Daniel said:

• There were many bottlenecks in Wikileaks. Openleaks aims to solve that problem by decentralizing.

• Wikileaks has its place, but cloning it will not lead to more leak projects. A different approach is needed.

• Idealism must carry any leak project. The commercial motive isn't sustainable. An academic model would lack technical expertise.

• Openleaks will focus on how to get more leaks. It will be up to others to open up the publication side.

• Goal is to give leakers a safe and secure space and grow a community of people who believe the public have a right to know.

• They plan to "clean" data of identifying material so sources are "as safe as possible." Openleaks members will be 50% chosen by creators, 50% through public vote. Daniel: "We want to be diverse and neutral."

The project's first stage will be working with media and NGOs to test out the system, with site opening in January and beta phase scheduled for in April 2011. They're not using social media, according to tweeted notes of Daniel's talk, ergo the Twitter account @openleaks is a fake.

Something big, or something vaporware? Time will tell.

Related— Forbes published this article today: "Wikileak's Stepchildren," with a focus on Openleaks and other region-specific leak sites springing up around the world.

Thanks for live-tweeting this, Heather — your stream was the only coverage of this presentation. And for all reading this post, you can follow her on Twitter here.