The philosophy behind Openleaks

Daniel Domscheit-Berg, once of Wikileaks and now working on the OpenLeaks project, spoke last last year about his plans and how to bring truly transparent information:

Here’s a rough transcript. Extract:

There’s project staff that has to manage all of this, that has to take care of all the servers.

There’s the whole public that wants to be informed, that wants some buzz going on, some website they can go to and see what’s happening.

There are NGOs. There’s the press. There potentially is the government that has their own interests.

So these are all sorts of different parties. And what we found out what is one of the most important points here is that they all scale completely differently. Some of these are very quick. They are very dynamic. If you had a system to manage them efficiently, you could pull in a lot of resources. And others are very slow. They need time to do work properly. They are stuck in their own organizations that have slow processes or whatever. So they all have different capabilities to scale, and that’s why all of that has to be broken down somehow, so that you can address all of these areas in the fashion that is most suitable for them.

If we look at how leaks work, actually, we can see two different areas. Or basically actually that is a—it’s going from the local scale to a global scale, and there’s a lot in between. But if you look at the local scale, on a per-country level for example, or if you go even lower in the regional or physically local level, then these have localized problems. So you need to make sure that you transport the information as close to where it matters as possible, just because something about corruption in a small department in a small town here in Germany or in another place in the world will just drown in the flood of let’s say in the vicinity of a release of a few thousand documents from a war, or diplomatic cables or whatever.

So these two cannot compete with each other, or they cannot even coexist with each other, because one thing is just going to shut up the other thing. So what you need to make sure is that you distribute the material as close to where it matters as possible.

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