WikiLeaks Statement on Daniel Domscheit-Berg and OpenLeaks
Sat Aug 20 23:41:31 2011 GMT
Five days short of a year ago, on 25 August 2010, WikiLeaks suspended former employee "Daniel Domscheit-Berg". Over the last 11 months, we have tried to negotiate the return of various materials taken by Mr. Domscheit-Berg, including internal communications and over 3000 unpublished, private whistleblower communications to WikiLeaks. Mr. Domscheit-Berg has repeatedly attempted to blackmail WikiLeaks by threatening to make available, to forces that oppose WikiLeaks, these private communications and to which Mr. Domscheit-Berg is not a party. He has stated he will commit this action, should WikiLeaks move to charge him with sabotage or theft. Mr. Domscheit-Berg has refused to return the various materials he has stolen, saying he needs them, solely, to carry out this threat. Mr. Domscheit-Berg has already, secretly, and with malicious intent, disclosed portions of the private communications content to other parties, to the harm of WikiLeaks.
The negotiations have now been terminated by the mediator, Andy Müller-Maguhn, who has stated that he doubts Mr. Domscheit-Berg's integrity and claimed willingness to return the material and that under those circumstances Müller-Maguhn cannot meaningfully continue to mediate. In response, Mr. Domscheit-Berg has stated that he has, or is about to, destroy thousands of unpublished whistleblowers disclosures sent to WikiLeaks. The material is irreplaceable and includes substantial information on many issues of public importance, human rights abuses, mass telecommunications interception, banking and the planning of dozens of neo-nazi groups. Our sources have in some cases risked their lives or freedom attempting to convey these disclosures to WikiLeaks and to the public.
As a matter of policy and implementation WikiLeaks does not collect or retain source identifying information, so fortunately, source identities for this material are not significantly at risk.
WikiLeaks has only made one prior formal statement regarding Mr. Domscheit-Berg, which we issued in February and repeat here:
WikiLeaks has been taking legal action against former employee, Daniel Domscheit-Berg who was suspended from the organization in September. The reasons for these actions will gradually become clear, but some are hinted at by extracts from Domscheit-Berg's book.
In the book Domscheit-Berg confesses to various acts of sabotage against the organization. The former WikiLeaks staffer admits to having damaged the sites primary submission system and stolen material.
The sabotage and concern over motives led to an overhaul of the entire submission system, an ongoing project that is not being expedited due to its complex nature and the organization´s need to focus its resources on publication and defense.
It should be noted that Domscheit-Berg´s roles within WikiLeaks were limited and started to diminish almost a year ago as his integrity and stability were questioned. He has falsely misrepresented himself in the press as a programmer, computer-scientist, security expert, architect, editor, founder, director and spokesman. He is not a founder or co-founder and nor was there any contact with him during the founding years. He did not even have an email address with the organization until 2008 (we launched in December 2006). He cannot program and wrote not a single program for the organization, at any time.
Domscheit-Berg was never an architect for the organization, technically, or in matters of policy. He was a spokesperson for WikiLeaks in Germany at various times, but he was never the spokesman for WikiLeaks, nor was he ever WikiLeaks editor, although he subedited some articles. He was also never a computer scientist, or computer security expert, although he was a computer science student many years ago. His accounts of the crucial times in WikiLeaks history since April last year are therefore based upon limited information or malicious falsifications.
In order to provide an environment which would encourage Mr. Domscheit-Berg to return what he has stolen and not to use it for malicious purposes, we have made no further statements until today.
This diplomatic silence has been difficult for us, and, is perhaps a warning lesson about secret diplomacy. While we have been silent in order to maximize the chances of regaining the material that was entrusted to us, Mr. Domscheit-Berg has issued dozens of legally harmful falsehoods including during our ongoing legal conflict with the Pentagon, during the imprisonment and investigation of two alleged sources, Bradley Manning and Rudolf Elmer and during the imprisonment and extradition hearings of our founder Julian Assange.
Mr. Manning is imprisoned pending trial, Mr. Assange is under house arrest pending extradition. Over 100 WikiLeaks supporters have been arrested or raided by the FBI, Scotland Yard and other police or intelligence services. Publicly declared task forces into WikiLeaks over the last year include the Pentagon (120 personnel), the State Department, the FBI, the US Department of Justice and the CIA. Concurrently, a "secret" Grand Jury in Washington (Alexandria) has been considering whether to indict Julian Assange with espionage as a result of Wikileaks' publishing.
Mr. Domscheit-Berg has acted dishonestly, he has admitted to stealing WikiLeaks property, and has admitted to the deliberate sabotage of Wikileaks’ operations, impeding it from carrying out the will of its sources. He has lied, constantly, and flagrantly, to the public, to us, to our lawyers, and to the mediator, Andy Müller-Maguhn.
We are making this public statement in a final attempt to make Mr. Domscheit-Berg return the data he has stolen, before he destroys it. This material was entrusted to WikiLeaks specifically by our sources, who often go to significant risks to bring us materials under the basis that we will bring their revelations to the public and defend them from censorship. Every day that passes compromises the will of these sources and the efforts they have undertaken.
Mr. Domscheit-Berg has illegitimately taken this data along with Wikileaks’ secure online submissions system, funds and internal documentation. He has sabotaged years of work, none of which was his own. We have had to recreate this work under difficult circumstances. This rebuilding comes at a significant cost to Wikileaks, which is under an unlawful Washington instigated financial blockade enforced by the big US financial companies. This cost is ultimately borne by the public, who fight to keep our operations afloat with contributions of twenty dollars a month or less.
Statement by Julian Assange Sat Aug 20 20:21:04 2011 UTC
WikiLeaks does not record or retain source identifying information, however the claimed destruction of documents entrusted to WikiLeaks between January 2010 and August 2010 demands the revelation of inside information so sources can make their own risk assessments.
Early in 2010, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, (then "Daniel Berg", "Daniel Schmitt") (born 1978), who was responsible for keeping selected WikiLeaks backups, met and entered into a relationship with Anke Domscheit-Berg (then, "Anke Domscheit") (born 1968) who described her job title as "Director Government Relations" for Microsoft, Germany.
DDB told me that ADB's role was to interface with the German government on behalf of Microsoft. He was proud that he had been to a party at the German ministry of the interior, as ADB's consort, and that ADB was on intimate terms with senior figures in the German government and bureaucracy.
DDB told me that he had moved into ADBs house in Berlin, without any counter-intelligence cover, going so far as to place his legal name on a street visible mail box and the interior door and that he would work from this location.
At this point WikiLeaks issued a policy directive that DDB not be permitted contact with source material.
ADB and DDB officially married within a few weeks and changed their surnames to "Domscheit-Berg".
DDB secretly, and in clear violation of WikiLeaks internal security directives, recorded internal WikiLeaks encrypted "chat" conversations. He initially publicly denied having done so, but attempted to place many of these recordings into his ghostwritten book, most of which were rejected by his publishers' lawyers as violations of german privacy law. Others he secretly conveyed to hostile media, such as Wired magazine, which had been involved in the arrest and persecution of US intelligence analyst Bradley Manning.
His book, "Inside WikiLeaks", contains many proven malicious libels and breaches of WikiLeaks security policies. The book is promoted throughout U.S. military book stores, by the U.S. military.
After DDB's suspension in August 2010, he managed, through guile, to convince a German WikiLeaks system administrator, who was an old associate of DDB's, to obtain the keys and data for a large quantity of then pending WikiLeaks whistleblower disclosures.
In the last year there has been publicly declared task forces or investigations into WikiLeaks by the CIA, the Pentagon, the FBI, the Department of State, the DoJ, ASIO, ASIS, and the AFP (the last has now been publicly cancelled, finding that no Australian laws have been broken). Many other agencies, such as the NSA have also been involved, but not publicly declared.
I have received a warning from a current Western intelligence officer that DDB has been in contact with the FBI, on more than one occasion, and that the information from this contact was "helpful". I do not know if DDB was complicit with the reported contact.
David House, of the Bradley Manning Support Network, stated publicly, and repeatedly, that U.S. investigative authorities attempted to bribe him to become an informant and infiltrate WikiLeaks activities.
I have been told that the girlfriend of a Berlin-based Israeli intelligence officer attended the wedding of ADB and DDB. This may not be significant.
I have received intelligence from current Western intelligence officer, that Anke Domscheit Berg, personally, came into contact with the CIA during her time working for the McKinsey & Company consulting group. This was a direct, volunteered statement of fact and warning, and not a statement of speculation. I do not know if ADB was complicit in the reported