Several key figures behind WikiLeaks have left the project and are preparing to launch a rival whistleblower website called Openleaks, according to Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
The new website is set to launch on Monday. Unlike WikiLeaks, it will not directly receive or publish leaked information, according to the newspaper, which quoted unnamed sources that it said were part of the new operation.
Openleaks instead will function as a neutral, non-political intermediary that will link up whistleblowers with organisations that they are interested in sharing the information with, the paper said.
According to DN.se , the organisations that are expected to collaborate with Openleaks in processing and publishing leaked documents include media outlets, non-profit organizations, trade groups, trade unions and other unspecified groups.
All editorial responsibility and control for the leaked information will rest with the group that ultimately publishes the information. Openleaks' role apparently will be purely that of a trusted "messenger" between the whistleblower and the receiving organisation.
The impetus for the move apparently comes from a growing sense of frustration about the state of affairs within WikiLeaks, particularly the leadership of founder Julian Assange, according to the Swedish newspaper. "The problem was not linked to outsiders trying to sabotage, but came from the inside as a signal to Julian Assange to step down," the paper said.
Several of Assange's colleagues are apparently uneasy about how news of Assanges's personal problems is overshadowing the work that WikiLeaks is doing. Assange's top-down management style also appears to have played a factor, the paper said.
Plans for the purported new whistleblower site come as Assange himself is locked up in a UK jail cell after his arrest on Tuesday, after he turned himself in for police questioning. Assange is wanted in Sweden on sexual molestation and rape charges.
The 39 year-old is being held without bail. His next court hearing is scheduled for December 14.