Courage in the digital era

Daniel Domscheit-Berg
Today at Medea (Malmö Universty), a few lucky ones had got out of bed for an early morning seminar with former Wikileaks spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg.

Daniel was to give us an insight to his new platform Openleaks, and together with lawyer Jennie Kastberg and researcher Stefan Larsson discuss issues such as openness, the juridical status of whistle blowers in different countries and different kinds of organizations.

As soon as Daniel started telling us about Openleaks, some kind of mindshift took place in the room. This was no ordinary session on a new, bright business idea, this was a discussion on some of the most fundamental humanistic questions. Our right to speak our mind, our joint responsibility for building a better world, and what we can do in order to make this possible.

Whistle blowing as a part of the system

Sweden is a great country for whistle blowers, at least in theory. Daniel told us a story of a German woman working at a hospital with the elderly, who reported things she felt, was treated the wrong way at the hospital. Today, many years later, she has lost a number of lawsuits, she is never to get a job in her profession again, and there’s been no improvement in her former workplace. In Sweden, people working in health care must report any mishandling or violations they encounter in their work.

Regulations like these are of course much harder to implement in the private sector, where the employer may feel a fear of loosing his or her job if revealing shady business activities, poor working conditions e.g. Still, people in Sweden have the right to speak their mind, as long as they have presented the problem to the company’s management, and they haven’t resolved it.

A plattform to canalize courage

To be a whistle blower requires a lot of courage. Courage that may be hard to keep on to for days and weeks, while you’re looking for the right moment, the right journalist or the right organization to share your experiences with. Openleak’s vision is to offer a platform that works as a bridge between whistle blowers and people or organizations that know how to handle this kind of information. As Daniel put it – using Openleks gives courageous people the opportunity to share their information in minutes, when in momentum.

Openleaks may not be an answer to all our problems, but it’s an important building block in making the world a tiny bit better.