2011-08-19 Daniel Domscheit-Berg and the WikiLeaks servers [UPDATE]

Today, Daniel Domscheit-Berg confirmed to Heise that he was planning to destroy the WikiLeaks documents he took with him when he left the organization. As we have reported, he had recently publicly denied that he took these documents.

According to Domscheit-Berg, WikiLeaks did not react fast enough when he removed the data in September 2010; he says first contact was made by the end of October. Andy Müller Maguhn recently stated that he had been trying to mediate and retrieve the data for eleven months - which would be September.

The time from August to October 2010 was very turbulent for WikiLeaks, as its editor in chief Julian Assange was fighting accusations of sexual misconduct in Sweden. He also had his luggage stolen when he traveled from Stockholm to Berlin. It did not facilitate proceedings that the WikiLeaks email system was taken down around this time.

The plans to destroy the WikiLeaks submissions are likely to cause outrage amongst the community. Domscheit-Berg invited the leakers to resubmit to a platform of their choice - a very unrealistic prospect, as they would likely have destroyed the documents after submission as they could be used as evidence against them.

As Andy Müller Maguhn pointed out, it will be difficult to take legal steps against these plans, because this would mean that WikiLeaks would have to describe the data involved.

Yet, there is another detail in the recent Heise article that is of particular interest. Domscheit-Berg admits to having removed the data in September - after he was suspended - from four servers that were sponsored by him. From all we know, WikiLeaks collected a substantial amount of donations via the Wau Holland Foundation from early 2010 onwards. According to the annual report of the foundation, WikiLeaks spent 59,5925.46 Euros on technical infrastructure over the year 2010.

Certainly, there would have been no need to purchase equipment at his own expense from early 2010 onwards, and one is left puzzled why Domscheit-Berg, who is not shy to underline his investments into WikiLeaks, has not brought this up before.

Domscheit-Berg is currently in the process of launching his own submission system, Openleaks.


Spiegel reporter Holger Stark tweets the following: "The old cache of unreleased #WikiLeaks docs seems 2 be gone 4ever. #DDB said 2 me that he has destroyed it. See new #SPIEGEL #openleaks #ccc"

If you are running short of

If you are running short of material you could always crack open the insurance file.

Reading the linked article makes one wonder how two such unpleasant, shallow, and self-infatuated individuals like Assange and Domscheit-Berg managed to find each other.

If I may quote from Robert Manne's article on Wikileaks
"At the time of its foundation, Wikileaks claimed to have more than a million documents. Almost certainly all came from China.
[To John Young of crptome]'if we were to front as a Ploughshares (peace) organisation...We have the collective sources, personalities and learning to be, or rather appear to be, the reclusive ubermensch of the 4th estate.
[Later in 2007] "We are going to f*** them all. Chinese mostly but not entirely a feint."

This is not the point

Rather, the point is that DDB is in the possession of submissions that could potentially be published, to which Wikileaks does not have access.

While personally I think the

While personally I think the insurance file is probably nothing more than a video from afghanistan that was received encrypted and Wikileaks wasn't able to crack, Wikileaks' claim is that file is full of diabolically ground-breaking revelations.

So you have plenty of material you could release if you wish to.

One more try

The point is not whether Wikileaks has a sufficient amount of documents in the pipeline for future releases. It is completely irrelevant whether they have 10, 1000 or 10,000 documents sitting on a hard drive in Ellingham Hall that are waiting to be published.

Rather, the point is that DDB is in the possession of documents, which had not yet been surveyed. These documents were submitted to Wikileaks, and he took them away because he thought they would not be safe with Wikileaks, and now he is planning to destroy them for the same reason.

These documents have a right to be surveyed, and published, if they are of relevance. The total amount of documents, which Wikileaks has in its possession, does not have any impact on this.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer