Knight Center
Knight Center


Localeaks: New WikiLeaks-like website collects anonymous news tips for local U.S. newspapers

With whistle-blower website WikiLeaks under siege, other WikiLeaks wannabes are popping up all over the web. The latest copycat site is Localeaks, developed by a journalism college student, that provides a drop-box for leaked information for 1,400 U.S. newspapers, reported ReadWriteWeb.

Matt Terenzio, an entrepreneurial journalism student at the City University of New York's graduate school of journalism, developed an online, encrypted system that allows would-be whistleblowers to "leak" anonymous tips.

LocalLeaks calls itself "a service for concerned citizens of the U.S. to provide anonymous tips to their local and state news organizations." It says it allows the whistleblower to send the “leak” or “tip” to any newspaper, from the Los Angeles Times to the Chicago Tribune to the Boston Globe. The user first chooses the state and then the newspaper that the news tip will go to.

Similar WikiLeaks-like websites also are springing up all over Europe, Reuters reported. The New York Times also is reportedly considering creating its own WikiLeaks-esque system.

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange continues to maintain he has done nothing wrong, the Associated Press said. On Sunday, Assange appeared on 60 Minutes where he criticized the U.S. government for going after WikiLeaks in disregard of press freedom and freedom of expression. "If you're a whistle-blower—and you have material that is important—we will accept it, we will defend you, and we will publish it. You can't turn away material simply because it comes from the United States," Assange said.

This blog is produced at The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin and funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.


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