After “turning its back” on WikiLeaks, hackers plan to launch their own disclosure platform
Anonymous has announced it is working on a secret-busting platform that will compete with WikiLeaks, following a disagreement between the hackers and Julian Assange’s organisation earlier this month.Anonymous has said that it will no longer supply any kind of information to Assange’s organisation.
Called TYLER, the free, “secure and decentralised” website will not rely on donations, a point of conflict with WikiLeaks, and will be launched on 21 December – the day when some people believe the world will end.
It’s not the end of the world
Earlier this month, most WikiLeaks pages started displaying a pop-up banner urging readers to donate to the website. The banner would disappear after a certain period of time, but the readers also had the option to remove it instantly by either donating, or sharing information about the campaign on Facebook or Twitter.
After criticism on social networks, the “paywall” was removed, but it reappeared the next day. That prompted Anonymous to publish a statement, disassociating itself from the website.
In the statement, the group noted that 14 members of Anonymous have been indicted in the US for attacks in support of WikiLeaks, including Jeremy Hammond, who is accused of leaking the infamous Stratfor files.
“WikiLeaks has chosen to dishonor and insult Anonymous and all information activists by prostituting the Stratfor Files and other disclosures that Hammond and Manning stand accused of supplying,” read a statement from the group on AnonPaste.
A member of Anonymous told The Voice Of Russia that the work on the TYLER project started months before the disagreement with WikiLeaks. “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.”
The hacker organisation has previously referred to WikiLeaks as the “Julian Assange one-man show”. This viewpoint was confirmed in the interview: “There is a pervasive myth in the media and the world that WikiLeaks is this vast collective of activists making the decisions for the organization. This is not at all true. WikiLeaks is a publishing business that was solely created, owned and operated by Julian Assange.”
In contrast, TYLER will have no known leadership and will not be hosted on a static server. Anonymous have chosen a peer-to-peer hosting model for the website, supported by proprietary 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,” said the Anonymous member.
Earlier, the group promised to publish a “detailed dossier of all the unethical actions perpetrated by WikiLeaks”. This hasn’t happened yet, but the Anonymous member interviewed by the Russian news site said that the group has a real interest in the financial records of WikiLeaks. “An organization that preaches transparency to the world should provide it for themselves,” he added.
Anonymous already operates several smaller WikiLeaks alternatives – AnonLeaks, HackerLeaks and LocalLeaks.
Meanwhile in the UK, ‘hacktivists’ have broken into the UKPoliceonline.co.uk community website and have acquired a number of police email addresses. The breach was discovered when one former officer received a message from the group, asking police and armed forces to join its protest campaign on Bonfire Night, a date of special significance to Anonymous.
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