Washington: Whistle-blower WikiLeaks, which became popular after publishing secret files of US military related to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, will now face a competition from a similar website that is to be launched by its former employees.
A group that includes former WikiLeaks staffers who left the organisation after disagreements with founder Julian Assange is pursuing plans for a rival document-leaking venture, said people familiar with their plans, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
One of the leaders of the new initiative is Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a top WikiLeaks lieutenant who quit in September.
Domscheit-Berg, a German, is planning to launch new technology to assist whistle-blowers who want to leak documents, said people with knowledge of the matter.
"There is some indication that Daniel and some others are setting up a similar venue, and we wish them luck," said Kristinn Hrafnsson, a WikiLeaks spokesman, in a recent interview in London. "It would be good to have more organisations like WikiLeaks."
Hrafnsson said another WikiLeaks insider, a "technician", also quit the group and that "two or three volunteers" have left. He declined to identify them. He said reports of friction within WikiLeaks are "quite overblown."
Domscheit-Berg has earlier complained that WikiLeaks, while pursuing the leaks about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that dramatically raised the site`s profile, has neglected to publish a stack of lower-profile but still important documents it has received from other parts of the world.
Speaking in London last week, Assange said WikiLeaks has temporarily stopped accepting new documents because it has too large a backlog and not enough resources to publish them at the moment. He gave no details.
"I think it is not right to be receiving documents that people may wish to get out urgently if you`re not in a position to publish them within a reasonable period of time," Assange was quoted as saying.