nonymous is set to take Wikileaks on at its own game with the launch of its own whistleblowing network: TYLER.
According to the hacker collective, the network will be ‘secure, no cost and decentralized’ and will circumvent some of the problems inherent in Wikileaks.
Speaking to the Voice of Russia, an unnamed hacker confirmed that the network — set to launch on the day that some believe the Mayans predicted the world would end (21 December 2012) — was being created because of the growing rift between Anonymous and Wikileaks.
The whistleblowing organisation, it says, has begun using coercive fund-raising techniques and has been less than transparent about its own finances. This kind of rhetoric is in stark contrast to the relationship the two entities previously had, with Anonymous members frequently coming to the defence of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange.
The biggest bug bear, it seems, comes from the fact that Wikileaks now charges people to see leaked documents which it previously allowed them to see for free. In a Pastebin, Anonymous said that Wikileaks “has chosen to dishonor and insult Anonymous and all information activists”
“What we would like to see released — either legitimately or leaked to Anonymous by a WikiLeaks insider — is the WikiLeaks financial records. We do not possess these, but should they be delivered to us we would certainly disclose them. An organization that preaches transparency to the world should provide it for themselves”, the Anonymous member said.
The reason this has stung Anonymous so deeply, Russia Today reports, is that members of the hacker collective take credit for a number of the files released to Wikileaks — two-million of the Syria files for instance.
The hacker also seemed angry at Assange’s threats to close Wikileaks down if it didn’t get the funding it needed:
Julian has threatened on at least one previous occasion to pull the plug on the project because the fundraising was not meeting his expectations. It was at that time that Anonymous began planning to field our own alternative disclosure platforms. Julian desperately needs WikiLeaks, and he is the only one that can pull the plug on the project. I rather think that so long as he is in dire straits, he will not do so — despite any threats from him to the contrary.
Wikileaks meanwhile insists that while the presence of the paywall is regrettable, it is entirely necessary:
WikiLeaks faces unprecedented costs due to involvement in over 12 concurrent legal matters around the world, including our litigation of the US military in the Bradley Manning case. Our FBI file as of the start of the year had grown to 42 135 pages.
According to Anonymous:
TYLER will be P2P encrypted software, in which every function of a disclosure platform will be handled and shared by everyone who downloads and deploys the software. In theory, this makes it sort of like BitCoin or other P2P platforms in that there is virtually no way to attack it or shut it down. It would also obviously be thoroughly decentralized.
There’s one question that this begs. If the two biggest anti-authoritarian organisations online are bickering with each other, who’s really winning?