Daniel Domscheit-Berg at 26C3, talking about WikiLeaks, December 27, 2009
|Born||1978 (age 35–36)|
|Other names||Daniel Schmitt|
|Known for||former spokesperson for WikiLeaks, founder of OpenLeaks|
Daniel Domscheit-Berg (né Berg; born 1978), previously known under the pseudonym Daniel Schmitt, is a German technology activist. He is best known for his role until September 2010 as a spokesperson for whistleblower organization WikiLeaks in Germany, and his subsequent sabotage of the Wikileaks organisation. He is the author of Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website (2011).
After leaving WikiLeaks, he announced plans in January 2011 to open a new website for anonymous online leaks called OpenLeaks. At a Chaos Computer Club (CCC) event in August 2011, he announced its preliminary launch and invited hackers to test the security of the OpenLeaks system, as a result of which the CCC criticized him for exploiting the good name of the club to promote his OpenLeaks project and expelled him from their club, despite his lack of membership. This decision was revoked in February 2012. In September 2011, several news organizations cited Domscheit-Berg's split from Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as one of a series of events and errors that led to the release that month of all 251,287 United States diplomatic cables in the Cablegate affair.
In 2011, he was named by Foreign Policy magazine in its FP Top 100 Global Thinkers, with Sami Ben Gharbia and Alexey Navalny. In his response to the Best Idea question for that article Domscheit-Berg stated Occupy Wall Street.
Domscheit-Berg began working with WikiLeaks after meeting Assange at the Chaos Computer Club's annual conference (24C3) in 2007. On 25 September 2010, after reportedly being suspended by Assange for questioning him too much, Domscheit-Berg told Der Spiegel that he was resigning, saying "WikiLeaks has a structural problem. I no longer want to take responsibility for it, and that's why I am leaving the project."
A book about his experience with and separation from WikiLeaks was released in Germany in February 2011, entitled Inside WikiLeaks: Meine Zeit bei der gefährlichsten Website der Welt ("My Time at the World's Most Dangerous Website"). An English translation followed some days later by Australian publisher Scribe Publications. In Domscheit-Berg's book he criticizes Julian Assange's leadership style and handling of the Afghan War Diaries.
Domscheit-Berg stated he would destroy WikiLeaks data when leaving WikiLeaks. He wanted to be sure that duplicates would be confirmed deleted by a notary with an affidavit. In leaving, WikiLeaks state that Domscheit-Berg representing OpenLeaks, held the organisation to ransom over the unpublished documents and internal organisation communications with mediations by a member of the hacker collective Chaos Computer Club between OpenLeaks and WikiLeaks. Domscheit-Berg apparently told weekly Der Freitag that "I took no documents from WikiLeaks with me", leading to suspension of mediations. Domscheit-Berg was eventually kicked out of Chaos Computer Club due to his conduct during the mediation and for requesting the Chaos Computer Club to test OpenLeaks' security. This decision was revoked in February 2012 by the general assembly of the Chaos Computer Club.
WikiLeaks and other sources later confirmed the destruction of over 3500 unpublished whistleblower communications with some communications containing hundreds of documents, including the US government's No Fly List, 5 GB of Bank of America leaks, insider information from 20 right-wing organizations and proof of torture and government abuse of a Latin American country.
In December 2010, Domscheit-Berg announced the intention to start a site named "OpenLeaks" with the intention of being more transparent than WikiLeaks. "In these last months, the WikiLeaks organization has not been open any more. It lost its open-source promise."
Instead of publishing the documents, Domscheit-Berg said that his proposed OpenLeaks process would send the leaked documents to various news entities or publishers.
OpenLeaks was supposed to start public operations in January 2011. However on 23 December 2012 Domscheit-Berg announced on the website that the organisation will not go ahead as previously intended, and would now only focus on spreading information and expertise regarding how to set up and run leak websites rather than directly facilitating leaks themselves.
OpenLeaks has two public contacts, Daniel Domscheit-Berg and Herbert Snorrason, both previously involved in WikiLeaks.
Book: Inside WikiLeaks
- Daniel Domscheit-Berg (2011) (in German), Inside WikiLeaks: Meine Zeit bei der gefährlichsten Website der Welt (German), Berlin: Econ Verlag, ISBN 978-3-430-20121-6
- Daniel Domscheit-Berg (2011) (in German), Inside WikiLeaks: my time with Julian Assange at the world's most dangerous website, Carlton North, City of Melbourne: Scribe Publications, ISBN 978-1-921844-05-8
- Daniel Domscheit-Berg (2011) (in German), Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website, New York City: Random House, ISBN 978-0-307-95191-5
- For his use of "Daniel Schmitt," see "'The Only Option Left for Me Is an Orderly Departure'", Der Spiegel, September 27, 2010.
- Tweedie, Neil; Swaine, Jon (2010-12-11). "WikiLeaks Julian Assange: the most dangerous man in the world?". The Daily Telegraph.
- "Hacker distanzieren sich von OpenLeaks", Der Spiegel, August 13, 2011.
- "Ex-Sprecher vernichtete WikiLeaks-Dateien", Der Spiegel, August 21, 2011.
- CCC revokes decision to expel Domscheit-Berg
- Stöcker, Christian. "A Dispatch Disaster in Six Acts", Der Spiegel, September 1, 2011.
- Mackey, Robert et al. "All Leaked U.S. Cables Were Made Available Online as WikiLeaks Splintered", The New York Times, September 1, 2011.
- Greenwald, Glenn. "Facts and myths in the WikiLeaks/Guardian saga", Salon, September 2, 2011.
- Hosenball, Mark (2010-12-15). "Julian Assange vs. the world". National Post.
- "WikiLeaks Spokesman Quits: 'The Only Option Left for Me Is an Orderly Departure'". Der Spiegel. 27 September 2010.
- Brown, Craig (12 February 2011). "War of the WikiFreaks: Inside WikiLeaks by Daniel Domscheit-Berg". Daily Mail (London).
- Unpublished Iraq War Logs Trigger Internal WikiLeaks Revolt|Threat Level. Wired.com. Retrieved on 2011-02-14.
- WikiRebels - The Documentary. Sveriges Television. 2010-12-12. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
- "WikiLeaks said to be in disarray". United Press International. 2010-09-28. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
- Collins, Hugh (2010-12-10). "Former Wikileaks Employee Daniel Domscheit-Berg to Publish Tell-All Book". AOL News. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
- "Scribe News: Scribe acquires rights to Inside WikiLeaks: my time at the world's most dangerous website". Scribe Publications. 2010-12-10. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
- Boyes, Roger (2010-09-28). "WikiLeaks defector Daniel Domscheit-Berg reveals Julian Assange's siege mentality". The Australian. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
- "Dissatisfaction with Assange: Former WikiLeaks Activists to Launch New Whistleblowing Site". Der Spiegel. 2010-12-01. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
- "OpenLeaks-Founder wants to destroy WikiLeaks datas". Retrieved on 2011-02-14.
- Gosztola, Kevin (2011-08-21). "OpenLeaks Founder Destroys Cache of Unreleased WikiLeaks Documents".
- "WikiLeaks Statement on Daniel Domscheit-Berg and OpenLeaks". 2011-08-20.
- Moughty, Sarah (2011-08-22). "Ex-WikiLeaks Spokesman Destroyed Thousands of Unpublished Docs".
- "We can confirm that the DDB ...". Twitter. 2011-08-21.
- Marsh, Heather (2011-08-21). "Former WikiLeaks spokesman destroyed unreleased files".
- "We can confirm that the DDB". Twitter. 2011-08-21.
- "We can confirm that the DDB ...". Twitter. 2011-08-21.
- Renata, Avila (2011-08-15). "Open Letter".
- "About OpenLeaks". OpenLeaks. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
- Piven, Ben (17 December 2010). "Copycat WikiLeaks sites make waves". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
- Greenberg, Andy, "WikiLeaks' Stepchildren", Forbes, 17 January 2011, p. 20.
- "Scribe Publications online" (in German). Retrieved 2011-02-09.
- "Random House online" (in German). Retrieved 2011-02-10.
- McAllester, Matt. "Exit Interview." (of Domscheit-Berg) The New York Times. February 18, 2011.
- Zetter, Kim. "Former WikiLeaks Spokesman Disputes Claims About Destroyed Files." Wired. August 23, 2011.
- "'I Doubt Domscheit-Berg's Integrity': Top German Hacker Slams OpenLeaks Founder." Der Spiegel. August 15, 2011.
- Last, Jonathan V. "When Daniel Met Julian." The Weekly Standard. April 15, 2011. Volume 16, No. 31.
- Taylor, Adam. "WikiLeaks' Bank Of America Bombshell May Have Been Destroyed." Business Insider. August 22, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Daniel Domscheit-Berg.|
- Daniel Domscheit-Berg collected news and commentary at Der Spiegel
- A conversation on the ideological split between Wikileaks/Openleaks, Fillip