Brussels Leaks

Unmasking the decision-making process

Who are we? Can we be trusted?

So it’s been a day and already we’re slightly overwhelmed by the feedback. The first contact we had was from journalist @quarsan .

He asked some sensible questions and said it was OK for us to put the answers here. Thanks.

How can people trust you?

Most of us have been in Brussels for a long while working in various capacities for media outlets. Nobody here is affiliated with an industry or other lobby group.

What we see all the time (and we’re sure you’ve seen) are people working for lobby groups or powerful institutions who want to get information out there, but can’t. Even if they had personal connections with us, they just didn’t feel comfortable passing on documents. And sometimes we did get the documents, but couldn’t get them out there because our known personal connection to ‘that person’ might put them in danger (i.e. job security).

We thought for a while it’d be a good idea to set up a website to allow people to anonymously upload files or send tip-offs on issues which we could use to either publish ourselves or send on to relevant people.

Wikileaks – something we have no connection with other than ideals – showed the power of this. As we say on the website, we are not necessarily expecting outrageous revelations but there is a lot of important information out there – information which might help an NGO explain why the European Commission is failing to act on something in particular, for instance. This isn’t necessarily all about media; it’s about getting documents out there to help society. That’s what is important to us.

The people we know trust us personally, and if the website fails then so be it, we can carry on.

How do you know we are not a lobbyist or political group? We’re not and in the coming months that should become plainly obvious. We’re paying for the website and encryption tools out of our own pockets, and we all have (bar one person) full time jobs outside of this.

Connection to the media?

No one works for a media outlet (some did but don’t anymore). We all have journalistic/communications experience within Brussels one way or another and have already passed leaked documents, for instance, to journalists.

We’re not sure how we’ll go forward with this; we’re taking a ‘wait and see’ approach. If nothing comes of it then it’s a shame but we continue working in a similar vein anyway through our day jobs. What is certain is that there is an appetite out there for what we are trying to offer and one way or another, with or without us, it will be realised.


Written by brusselsleaks

December 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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