This video is Part Two of Four parts.
comments here or on twitter.com/exiledsurfer
In Part Two of my interview with Daniel Domscheit-Berg, i raised the question that both he and Julian Assange are suffering a "lack of trust" in the public sphere:
"That's not something that is in my personal experience, but it is good to know".
When i mentioned an activist known by the name of Manuel Pineiro, he shook his head and responded:
"He made some tweet once that was really so misled, i don't even remember what it was. I am trying to avoid paying too much attention to all of that. It's like people commenting only book before they have actually read it. If i give me too much of that i'll lose my faith and….and…"
Moving the interview away from the personal, having just used one example of back-channel discontent with him, I asked him about the data which he has been holding since his separation from Wikileaks. After a short exchange about his book and what he called "bad translation", i expressed my desire to "mediate" the turnover of the data to Wikileaks:
"Well, that is what we want as well. When we left WikiLeaks, there were people that had this data, so they asked Julian 'who do we hand it over to'. Julian was just for three weeks too busy to answer that question. He said he was too busy with the Iraq release, it didn't matter to him, and basically there was just no one who could take over that data. So what do you do? We decided after three weeks that we would store it in a place, and whenever someone at Wikileaks would have the time or the muse to finally take care of this material, and store it properly someplace, we would do this. And that has what we have tried since then."
"There have been at least three occasions since then where people have contacted me and asked about the data where i have said we would like to turn it over; we just need to find a way how to do that.
When i pressed him on whether he had any suggestions how that could be done, he responded:
"There are many ways how that could be done. We can deposit it with somebody that is mutually trusted. We can deposit it with somebody that Wikileaks trusts. I don't care… I can deposit it at a German court, and someone that can authenticate himself can pick it up there. I really don't care."
I asked him if he would be against going to the Frontline Club ( a la Rudolph Elmer) and handing over the data publicly:
"Why would i go somewhere… It's just like people have been accusing me that there were contacts asking about the data, [who allegedthat] 'we said we would hand it over, but we never did'. So why didn't anyone take it from us? Why would i go to the Frontline club and have a news role for him that people are handing over data to him as similar to Rudy Elmer? Why doesn't Julian…"
I cut him off, and emphasized that i don't see it that way, and recognized that he had strain feelings about it, and thought it would be a simple way to make a public gesture like that, get the data there and leave it behind him. He responded:
"No, i don't think that's the best way to do it. I don't want to be stopped on my way to the Frontline Club either because 'whoever' wants to get the data. I don't see that this is something that i have to BRING. Rather it is something that they should pickup because they finally should start CARING about the promise they gave to these whistleblowers."
I pressed him on which Julian's lawyers he had contacted in this regard:
"Well, the German lawyer sent me a letter about it. That's the most ridiculous part: is that now people are donating to the Julian Assange Defense Fund, so thatJulian's lawyer in Germany can write me letters that contain nothing but hot air. That's a very efficient way at burning money i guess, for something that was all the time available. Wenever wanted to have it, and we have been explicitly saying that we want to give it back all the time."
"We're not talking about all the bad feelings from time gone by, because we are turning over source-sensitive data to someone that is not responsible, [Julian] and is not handling in the way he suggests he is doing. So that whole part is still completely open."
I chuckled, and made the suggestion that one day they would sit down and laugh about all of this, and Daniel strongly disagreed:
"I don't think so, because Julian would never be able to excuse himself."
I added that i though that they maybe both had apologies to make to each other.
"Yeah, but…" [shakes head and looks away].
He agreed with me that things are maybe still too fresh. Having depositedmy message, i moved on to ask him about the submission process code that also disappeared from Wikileaks after their departure:
"That's again Julian's disinterest in taking care of this. There was a submission process that was active until the beginning of 2010. And that is still with Wikileaks. So nothing has changed there. They could have just rolled back to the old submission system. That's what actually we had planned for the hand-over phase for three weeks. We had been hands-on helping the remaining technical folks to roll back to the old system."
I mentioned reading a quote somewhere about him no longer trusting Julian with the "strength" of the new submission system:
"The person who has developed the system does not trust Julian's capability and responsibility anymore. that's perfectly simple. The system is just a more enhanced version of that. It's a completely new development whereas the old system was part of the Wiki, part of the submission code of the Wiki. It's just a more sophisticated solution. The person who has developed it has spent a lot of time doing that, and it is his free choice to not provide that any longer if he feels that it's being abused. And that's what happens;Julian is abusing the power of this organization all the time. That is something that we decided not to support any longer."