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Whistleblower | 18.08.2011 10:30 | Steffen Kraft source: http://www.freitag.


Open Dispute about Openness

The expulsion of Daniel Domscheit-Berg does damage to the reputation of the CCC and endangers Openleaks. Now the activists want to destroy their keys for the WikiLeaks-datas.
Those who tried to call Daniel Domscheit-Berg within the last few days could consider themselves happy if the co-founder of Openleaks at least answered the call at all. Earlier this week he rather packed up tents in Finowfurt (Brandenburg) than being responsive to the fundamental criticism the hacker association Chaos Computer Club (CCC) passed on his whistleblower platform and his person via Spiegel-interview and press release. Maybe it was the best reaction for Daniel Domscheit-Berg himself. Maybe it was even the best for his project Openleaks. Because that what the activists thought about when packing the tents up should end now the conflict which flames up over and over again since his exit from WikiLeaks and which endangers the future of OpenLeaks since last week at the latest. But lets start with the beginnings. It was a little bomb lit by CCC-Board member Andy Mller-Maguhn on Sunday morning when he sent a press release to the German Press Agency (dpa) and later on in the afternoon directly to the data journalist Detlef Borchers. It contained a resolution the hacker-club came to only once before in its existing and which the CCC board concluded on Saturday in a vespertine ad-hoc meeting: The board of the CCC excludes Daniel Domscheit-Berg from the club because he damaged the reputation of the association. The delict of Domscheit-Berg is that he was suggestive about this years event organized by the Chaos Communication Camp or its attendees and/or alternatively the members of the CCC taking over doing a kind of security check for his whistleblower platform Openleaks. Uprising against the board Alone the announcement at the Camp about exposing OpenLeaks to a public endurance test was insolent told Andy Muller-Maguhn the Spiegel at the same time. After all the CCC is not the TV (German Technical Control Board). Mller-Maguhn mailed to Der Freitag: He already announced that test as such in his presentation and therefore wilfully accepted the effects in the press. This might not be the true reason for the exclusion. While Daniel Domscheit-Berg in fact announced in Finowfurt that the submission system of OpenLeaks will be online for an endurance test he did not allude his hope for the test being done by the CCC. We call hackers and users in general but first of all within the scope of the Chaos Communication Camp for testing our system, of course also the security of it. We hope that we can gain some insights due to this stress test about how we can make this system even safer the ideal thing would be the call back: OpenLeaks is so secure that even after 5 days of constant fire it still has its documents. he said in an interview with Der Freitag, which, together with the consumer platform Foodwatch, the taz, the Danish daily paper Information and the Portuguese weekly paper Expresso, accompanies the test as partners.

Now the board is fiercely criticized within the CCC. For example that Domscheit-Berg had no chance to comment on this or to even counter the allegedly created impression in public before his excommunication. Even if this is not included in the articles of the CCC one could, if such a step is decided on (and I consider that as a mistake), give Daniel the possibility to put down his membership himself. We should be that civilized. demands the well-known CCC-member Felix von Leitner in his blog. The spokespersons of the club didnt want to comment that publicly. Right now there is no official statement by the CCC about the exclusion of Daniel Domscheit-Berg and OpenLeaks. None of the CCC spokespersons will answer questions to this topic at this moment, since the internal debate about the resolution of the board is still ongoing, said Constanze Kurz. Only Frank Riegler talks clearer on the website This sacking is precipitate, inappropriate and deeply emotional instead of well-considered and rational matches my personal opinion very well. Also Andy Mller-Maguhn acknowledges: the CCC spokespersons dont comment because they personally dont agree to this resolution and dont want to comment on it. Massive security breach According to CCC members the real reason for the exclusion would be a conflict about unpublished whistleblower-documents which were taken from Assanges platform by Domscheit-Berg and other WikiLeaks-drop-outs and hold back by them until WikiLeaks plausibly ensures the safety of the persons named in these documents, as Domscheit-Berg says. Mller-Maguhn states he tried to mediate in this conflict in the last months. By now he came to the decision that Domscheit-Berg handles the faces quite flexible and is not trustworthy in my eyes. For example he (Domscheit-Berg) claimed in Freitag that OpenLeaks has no access to the plain text of the leaks taken by the former WikiLeaks activists when they left. This would be untrue. Furthermore Domscheit-Berg would come up repeatedly with ne arguments why he doesnt hand over the datas. When asked about that Domscheit-Berg confirmed that the relevant phrasing in the Freitaginterview was imprecise and slipped through when he authorized it. In fact some of the activists could have theoretically access to the datas but Openleaks wouldnt use the files. The activists want to state that publicly and definitely destroy now all electronic keys OpenLeaks have for this data treasure. Since such keys can be copied as often as desired the destruction of all keys cant be proved. So he thinks about giving an affidavit, says Domscheit-Berg: But I dont want to promise that right now. First I have to talk to a lawyer. Andy Mller-Maguhn, for one, got told by the Openleaks activists months ago that they no longer accept him as an intermediator. The Reason: We gave him a part of the datas, namely the WikiLeaks archive. After that a huge security breach followed which endangered third persons said Domscheit-Berg. Andy Mller-Maguhn didnt want to comment on this accusation before the end of the internal voting of the CCC.