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Whistle-blower WikiLeaks may soon have a rival

world Updated: Nov 06, 2010 13:59 IST

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Whistle-blower website WikiLeaks may soon face some competition, with a group of former staffers of the company pursuing plans for a rival document-leaking venture, a media report said.

Some WikiLeaks staffers had left the organisation after disagreements with founder Julian Assange.

One of the leaders of the new initiative is top WikiLeaks executive Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who quit in September.

"Domscheit-Berg, a German, is planning to launch new technology to assist whistle-blowers who want to leak documents," the Wall Street Journal quoted people familiar with the development as saying.

"There is some indication that Daniel and some others are setting up a similar venue, and we wish them luck," said Kristinn Hrafnsson, a WikiLeaks spokesman.

"It would be good to have more organisations like WikiLeaks." The website has come under intense pressure after publishing classified US military documents about the Iraqi and Afghan wars.

In media interviews since leaving WikiLeaks, Domscheit-Berg has complained that the group, while pursuing leaks about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, has "neglected to publish a stack of lower-profile but still important documents it has received from other parts of the world."

Assange's leadership style and strategy has caused friction inside WikiLeaks, the Journal report said.

"Julian Assange reacted to any criticism with the allegation that I was disobedient to him and disloyal to the project," it quoted Domscheit-Berg as saying in a September interview.

Assange has also come under fire in Sweden, where prosecutors are investigating allegations that he raped a woman and molested another.

Denying the allegations, Assange said they were an attempt to smear him. He also said he is considering seeking asylum in Switzerland.