This video is Part Three of Four parts.
comments here or on twitter.com/exiledsurfer
In Part Three of my interview with Daniel Domscheit-Berg, i raised the issue of him doing exactly what he accuses Julian of in personalizing OpenLeaks. If you don't want Wikileaks to be about Julian Assange, then stop talking about him in every interview, and stop granting interviews about OpenLeaks:
"Well, first of all, two misunderstandings: First of all, i believe that every public project needs public faces; that's the same for OpenLeaks as it is for WikiLeaks. So we're not looking at some sort of organization that has some sort of Max Headroom figure, just a virtual representative or so, but there's nothing wrong about having public faces. That was not the problem with WikiLeaks either. The problem was that Julian decided that WikiLeaks is all HIS. If you read the quote on Wired, where he is aging he is the philosopher, the financier, the original coder, all the rest, he's the heart and soul- that was what was not true. That was what got unhealthy, because it developed in a direction of him building a cult around his own personality."
I interjected that it appears to many of us watching from the outside that OPenLeaks is just HIS flavor of public imagery:
"It's actually not true, because there are many more people that are doing more work on this than i am… and there is Herbert as a spokesperson as well. And there are going to be more spokespeople in the future."
Daniel agreed with me that his life has changed a lot in the last six months, and told me what it felt like being in the spotlight, and what he would rather be doing with his time:
"At some point in time it's going to be over. It's not my favorite kind of living, you know. [ I would rather ] continue teaching my son soldering, which is something that we began during the 27 c3 in December, and he is really passionate about it. WE are starting to move away from soldering to some programming on the arduino. That's what i would rather do, or take a walk somewhere in nature."
"On the other hand, it is what is necessary as well. At least i have good support in our team, because the story is not yet clear."
I raised the issue of a cultural gap that i perceive when listening to him and Julian speak; how American and Australian culture is more individualistic while German decision making culture is much more collective; WikiLeaks has the appearance of going against the system, while OpenLeaks has the appearance of being part of the system:
"I have some attachment to the CCC, to the whole culture; but that's not at a level that i feel part of the system,and that i want to protect my position or status in that system. It's not the efficiency either. I like the whole point of being disruptive, of disrupting the system in the way that WikiLeaks was doing that; it was part of it's original appeal to me. What i didn't like about it is that wasn't a project that was trying to tear down hierarchies, but that it's just trying to build up a new one. Thats the same thing that has happened with all sorts of new revolutions so far: they murder one system and establish a new one."
"Julian is not somebody that i would trust up until today to abandon that power; he is rather hungry for that power, and that is what worried me. That's what makes a project less efficient. So maybe in that case i wondered or cared about the efficiency as well. Just look at what the talk is about… it's all about stuff that is really not important. That is not something that i am responsible for."
His response to my challenge that often his language and choice of issues to discuss contributes to keeping the focus away from what is important:
"I'm sure that if i wouldn't say anything, there would be less to talk about in that respect. But we are at a stage where i think it is very important that this debate happens, because Wikileaks has become completely irresponsible. As a tool it is wielded by one man, and how that man wants to make politics. That's what Wikileaks was about to get rid of. We wanted to get rid of people that were in power but act unaccountably. I think [WikiLeaks] has become a political force, and that force is steered by one man. That is pretty close to what i can perceive as a cult."
On the question of whether OpenLeaks would only be making raw source data available to partner organizations, or also to the average blogger-on-the-street and community journalist forums such as FireDog Lake or the many faces of Anonymous, Daniel anawered:
"The data will flow into a document pool that includes all of the documents that are not under some sort of exclusive embargo any more. All of the organizations that have access to the material will have access to that. On theater hand there is a type of access that you could say is a 'read-only' access, where you cannot actually receive a document exclusively for yourself, because you are not an organization that can run a submission platform and defend it legally, as the press can easily do, for example.
I asked for confirmation that people like "me" would have read-only access to documents also, and Daniel continued:
"We're not so sure how much we can open it up because of scaleability issues. Generally, we are committed to opening it up as much as we can technically. What most people don't get about the concept that we have is that in the end, there will be more platforms that can simply insure that raw data is published. You can't let everyone have access because your service will never scale technically. [Mirroring] is something that we can definitely talk about . We are still at the stage of building this step by step on solid ground, and to make sure that we are not stumbling over our own feet. "
"Generally i can say that we will not have a problem with too few people having access to the data, quite the contrary: There is going to be many many platforms that will publish raw data. Maybe they will only publish data on environmental issues, or maybe they will only publish stuff that no one else wants to publish. In the end i think this is more robust than whatever we have today."