Shadow and Light
Much of Assange's work at WikiLeaks was done with the help of German computer scientist Daniel Domscheit-Berg.
For more than a year he has been at the helm of a project anticipated by some as WikiLeaks' heir apparent. Domscheit-Berg registered the domain for OpenLeaks.org in 2010, two days after he resigned from WikiLeaks.
Domscheit-Berg wrote in his memoir that he could no longer work with Assange or accomplish what he felt was WikiLeaks' goal since the massive 2010 leaks began. He wrote that Assange was a "megalomaniac" and that he could run a more transparent and focused site.
OpenLeaks is now live, but it doesn't publish any leaks. It doesn't edit or release documents, but enables third parties to publish them.
For example, if someone had information that revealed something untoward was happening in higher education, he or she could send that to an education organization without OpenLeaks even having access to it. Have a story and documents for a news organization? Use OpenLeaks to send it securely, the group says.
Watch a video that describes how OpenLeaks works.
Other sites touted last year as WikiLeaks 2.0 don't appear to have taken off. Websites don't work, and it's unclear who is running what organization anymore, if they still exist. There's a general opaqueness in online leaking, which isn't surprising, given all the stresses involved in the practice.
One site mentioned sometimes by hackers and others is wikispooks.com. The site "invites 'whistleblower' type material through an anonymous upload facility which can be utilized in as secure a fashion as is possible on the vast spying machine that is today's World Wide Web."
CNN e-mailed an address on the Wikispooks site -- the only way it provides to communicate. CNN received a reply declining to talk about WikiSpooks. But the writer, whose identity CNN cannot verify, provided three links: The first describes what WikiSpooks is; the others address its "rationale" and "Anonymous Uploads."
There are other organizations happy to discuss their efforts to facilitate leaks online.
One of them is 100Reporters, which launched in October. The brainchild of former New York Times reporters relies on a network of experienced journalists who report stories focused on global corruption.
The site's "Whistleblower Alley" allows users to anonymously upload information and tips, said founder Diana Schemo. When a message is sent, it is automatically encrypted. Schemo receives a notice alerting her to the message. Only she possesses a code that can unscramble the encryption, Schemo explained.
The site isn't designed to receive large caches of documents, so someone sending a message would have to write that they have documents they'd like to send, and then 100Reporters decides whether to provide that person access to transmit those documents. The site explains in detail the various measures the group takes to help ensure security.
The idea for 100Reporters was conceived in 2010, the same year WikiLeaks became internationally famous for leaking the Afghan War Log and the Iraq War Diary, and the Arab Spring began to take root.
"We saw that people in different countries had trouble getting out information about corruption without tipping off a regime that would crack down on them," Schemo said. 100Reporters is funded by the Ford Foundation, and several experienced lawyers advise the organization for free.
Whistleblower Alley has not received any document leaks from whistle-blowers that have been vetted and become stories, said Schemo, but the site continues to get tips that turn into larger stories that its reporters work on.
100Reporters was well into its development when Al Jazeera launched its "Transparency Unit" in January 2011, which also says it offers a secure way for leakers to upload information.
According to Al Jazeera, only certain journalists within the organization who work with the unit can access the information.
This past year the unit has been embroiled in controversy for publishing a document dubbed "The Palestine Papers," a play on the Pentagon Papers, which were leaked to The New York Times by a whistle-blower in the 1970s.
The Palestine Papers contained minutes of a meeting among negotiators with the Palestinian Authority, the United States and Israel, according to Al Jazeera's reporting.
The news outlet said it was the largest leak of confidential files in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, contained more than 1,600 documents and offered "an unprecedented window" into Israeli, Palestinian Authority, U.S., European and Arab relations and "closed-door" negotiations. The international press covered the release of the papers and reaction to them. "Palestine papers" became a trending topic on Twitter.
Al Jazeera obtained the documents and then shared them with the Guardian, according to journalists with the British newspaper.
The leak prompted Saeb Erakat, the former Palestinian chief negotiator, to file a complaint citing privacy violations with the United Kingdom's broadcasting regulator. The regulator ruled in favor of the media in October, the Guardian reported.
Al Jazeera spokesman Osama Saeed declined a request by CNN to talk about the transparency unit.