Why Whack-a-Mole won't work against the likes of Wikileaks

Imitators are not only inevitable, one is all set to launch

Security expert Bruce Schneier weighs in with five points about Wikileaks and the fourth rests upon the fact that any secret is only as secure as the least trusted person who knows it.

This has little to do with WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks is just a website. The real story is that "least trusted person" who decided to violate his security clearance and make these cables public. In the 1970s, he would have mailed them to a newspaper. Today, he used WikiLeaks. Tomorrow, he will have his choice of a dozen similar websites. If WikiLeaks didn't exist, he could have made them available via BitTorrent.

So here it is tomorrow and while there may not be a dozen alternatives to Wikileaks there is about to be one, according to this Computerworld story:

Several key figures behind WikiLeaks have left the project and are preparing to launch a rival whistleblower website called Openleaks, according to Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyhete (DN.se)

The new website is set to launch on Monday. Unlike WikiLeaks, it will not directly receive or publish leaked information, according to the newspaper, which quoted unnamed sources that it said were part of the new operation.

Openleaks instead will function as a neutral, non-political intermediary that will link up whistleblowers with organizations that they are interested in sharing the information with, the paper said.

Let the debate begin on whether this change in distribution model is significant or not - I have my doubts. However, I have no doubts at all regarding another goal expressed by a source quoted in the Swedish newspaper's version of the story:

"Our long term goal is to build a strong, transparent platform to support whistleblowers -- both in terms of technology and politics -- while at the same time encouraging others to start similar projects," says a colleague wishing to remain anonymous. (emphasis mine)

In other words, it won't be long before we see Schneier's dozen.

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