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Make him a wiki he can't refuse: MafiaLeaks takes on the Godfathers

Informers urged to tattle on their capo di tutti capi

The horse's head from The Godfather

An anonymous group of brave – some might say suicidal – Italians has set up MafiaLeaks, an information-gathering website modeled on its wiki namesake that invites tipsters to report members of the Cosa Nostra.

"There are fewer than 10 of us – with families. Everything we do to do with MafiaLeaks, we do after work, using money from our own pockets," one told the BBC, under the understandable cloak of anonymity.

The website seeks intelligence from victims and informers who know of mafia activity. To report information, they'll need to download and install online privacy tool Tor and, once the information has been sent in, it will only remain on the system for 20 days before being automatically purged.

Any data that comes it will be circulated among "trusted persons," consisting of cops investigating organized crime, teams from existing anti-Mafia groups, and journalists to publicize any confirmed information.

The site is being run using Globaleak's latest build of its distributed information-sharing system, so there's no central server to hack, just lots of individual nodes. The open-source software, developed by European researchers independently from WikiLeaks, is used by whistleblowing wikis around the world.

The MafiaLeaks team needs volunteers to become "trusted people," as well as help running the system. In a section of its website titled "We're hiring!" the group said it is looking for individuals who have a working knowledge of the network analysis tool Xplico, but said the primary qualities required are "0% knowledge in Penetration Tests, 10% of knowledge in Vulnerability Assessment, 20% in Information Gathering and, 70% high ideals."

A benefits package including life insurance or a tolerance for equine cranial bedmates isn’t mentioned. ®

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