Fed up with what they perceive as autocratic leadership, former members of St Julian d'Assange's core inner circle at WikiLeaks will start a breakaway site on Monday called OpenLeaks. The site will act as an intermediary between whistleblowers and the press, reports Dagens Nyheter.
Defectors include Daniel Domscheit-Berg, otherwise known as Daniel Schmitt, who made a high-profile exit from WikiLeaks in September, and Herbert Snorrason, an Icelandic student. Both resigned in September. Snorrason is quoted as telling Assange, in an online chat log acquired by WiReD:
And you're not even fulfilling your role as a leader right now. A leader communicates and cultivates trust in himself. You are doing the exact opposite. You behave like some kind of emperor or slave trader.
Snorrason's departure was fomented by this declaration from Assange:
I am the heart and soul of this organization, its founder, philosopher, spokesperson, original coder, organizer, financier and all the rest. If you have a problem with me, piss off.
And he did.
According to the Swedish newspaper, the former inner circle "were dissatisfied with the operation's association with Assange's personal problems and how he used the organisation in his explanation of the criminal charges."
Assange handed himself in to police earlier this week, and is remanded in London pending an extradition hearing next week following a request from the Swedish authorities which want to speak to him in relation to two alleged sexual offences. ®