WSJ launches WikiLeaks inspired SafeHouse

With a desire to Cash on the popularity of WikiLeaks, a site which came to limelight since its release of private international cables and the ongoing legal issues surrounding its former leader Julian Assange; The Wall Street Journal has launched SafeHouse, which encourages readers to share information concerning “fraud, abuse, pollution, insider trading, and other harms” in an anonymous manner.

The service will be using a secure upload system that will encrypt its contents and keep tipsters anonymous. According to WSJ, the site is for those who have newsworthy contracts, correspondence, e-mails, financial records or databases from companies, government agencies or non-profits; which they want the world to know about OR press the right authorities to act on. The publication underlines that the site is hosted on secure servers managed for its own editors.

Though, WSJ assures that the identity of the tipster will be kept anonymous, but if a tipster chooses to reveal his/her name, then it’ll help the editors.

It’s not surprising that a publication like WSJ has started a WikiLeaks inspired service. Since the WikiLeaks shut down after Cablegate and its existence on mirror sites since then; the world was toying with an idea of a site which is more effective but is also more reliable than WL. Notably, The New York Times has also been toying with the idea of launching its own WikiLeaks-type service to aid whistle-blowers.

It’s expected that Wall Street Journal will not be publishing any tip, just on the criterion of how sensational it is. The service will be censoring, via in-house editors, most tips before pressing the publish button. Thus SafeHouse, can be seen as another citizen journalist or whistle-blower initiative, where the publication is collating newsworthy reports from the ordinary and influential people alike.

Talking of competition, SafeHouse will have a few competitors too.

First, are a number of WikiLeaks mirror sites and publications which are supporting WikiLeaks in its efforts. Second is the OpenLeaks, founded by former WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who decided to jump ship with the former site, as a result of Assange’s tightening grip over the organization. Third can be the one from The New York Times. --------

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