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Wall Street Journal launches own WikiLeaks

SafeHouse for whisteblowers

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A new chapter has started in the long and complex story of Julian Assange’s relationship with mainstream media, with the Wall Street Journal launching a competitor whistleblower site.

SafeHouse is soliciting whistleblower documents covering “politics, government, banking, Wall Street, deals and finance, corporations, labor, law, national security and foreign affairs.”

It promises a system “built to be secure” (but demonstrates its first security ‘fail’ by presenting a certificate error; it's a trivial error, but one which could frighten someone with secret documents and not much technical know-how).

SafeHouse certificate fail

The WSJ joins Al Jazeera in offering a whistleblower site. According to The Atlantic, WSJ.com managing editor Kevin Delaney said: “Clearly there is a digital context for reporting and that means we need a modern infrastructure so that sources can send documents to us."

Delaney also says he wants to project the same sense of security and anonymity for leakers as WikiLeaks, but warns that such claims can’t be treated as absolute because “it’s a technical product”. A “Bradley Manning” would, however, be a disaster for an organization like the Wall Street Journal, since it would probably bring with legal jeopardy and the risk of lawsuit if a whistleblower was unmasked.

Delaney also said data uploaded to the site will be discarded as quickly as possible. ®

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