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Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website

3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  630 ratings  ·  96 reviews
An exposé of the “World’s Most Dangerous Website” from a former WikiLeaks insider

The basis for the movie The Fifth Estate (starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange), this eye-opening account by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the former spokesman of WikiLeaks, reveals never-disclosed details about the inner workings of the increasingly controversial organization that has str...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by Crown (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,123)
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Peter
Apr 03, 2011 Peter rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody in particular...
Shelves: nonfiction, politics
A difficult book to judge. In large part, it seems to be one side of a battle over a broken relationship. Not knowing the other side, how am I to judge who's right? And why should I bother?

In this particular case, the dispute is between the book's co-author, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, and famed Wikileaks director Julian Assange. I'll credit Domscheit-Berg and/or his co-author Tina Klopp (who I presume is a ghost writer), with showing some restraint; they paint Assange as an arrogant and irresponsibl...more
Sarah
*So far I'm approaching this book as I often tend to, first and foremost, as an interest in the cult of personality. In that respect, meditations on the subject of leadership and generally how one person or a great idea really can change the world are my source of inspiration, here. There are too many threads of thought to follow there, so I will leave it at that for now. I don't doubt your own ability to spearhead that subject independently.

*Otherwise, this story is obviously a one sided versio...more
Stuart
Fascinating account of the rise and fall(?) of Wikileaks. I read it cover to cover over two days.

It clearly recounts the early history of Wikileaks and in a way is the account of a breakup of the relationship between Julian Assange and Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Also it is the story of a start-up. It shows what can be done by two driven guys sleeping on sofas with an old server and a concept to sell to the world. Assange is portrayed as brilliant, eccentric and manipulative and Domscheit-Berg often...more
Vasil Kolev
I'll probably need to read Julian Assange's book when it comes out, to compare the picture, but what's said in this book looks right.

There are no technical details on the wikileaks setup, there's nothing that can be used to trace people or disrupt the site, in this regard the book (and the conduct of Daniel Domscheit-Berg) are proper and professional.

It paints the story of wikileaks, and especially of Assange (who is almost the personification of WL), of his behavior, increasing paranoia and som...more
Maryan Heffernan
This memoir of WikiLeaks has no literary pretence; however the detailed and chronological account of the web site and its founder is very compelling.

WikiLeaks and Assange need no introduction. This account of Domscheit-Berg’s charts the very scrappy founding of what appeared to be an ad hoc website with limited servers, outdated technologies and a couple of brilliant techies to become a force to be reckoned with worldwide.

He also chronicles the personal relationship between Assange and himself f...more
PEI Public Library Service
Inside WikiLeaks by Daniel Domscheit-Berg details the inner workings of the internet phenomenon that became known as WikiLeaks. The author, a computer scientist who worked in IT security before coming to WikiLeaks, became the number two man and spokesman for the organization. In the book he chronicles the evolution and inner workings of WikiLeaks, his relationship with the founder, Julian Assange, and finally, his eventual withdrawal from the organization. In an ironic turn of events, Wikileaks...more
Paul
Although this book offers a fair bit of interesting information on Wikileaks; the people involved, the set-up behind the scenes, some info on leaks that weren't published, etc, Inside Wikileaks is essentially a vehicle for Daniel Domscheit-Berg's bitter attacks on Assange and I told you so statements.
He plugs his new site, relentlessly attacks and criticises Assange, tells us (with the benefit of hindsight) what he would have done in such and such a situation and other petty, pathetic bullshit....more
Fidelis Satriastanti
I am not a much of WikiLeaks fans nor hater, only a curious citizen. I found this book, literally, hidden among other management themed books. I found out later that this book is one the source for the up-coming movie on WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, titled The Fifth Estate, played by my favorite actor, Benedict Cumberbatch ^_^

I often need to arrange my expectations when it comes on biography or autobiography, not all of them were actually good to read, particularly this one.

I am...more
Gwern
I give it 3 stars solely because it is a unique primary source about WikiLeaks; if this was not from a principal player, it would not be worth reading as it is shallow incomplete garbage.

Negatives: the writing is absolutely atrocious, although I don't know if this is due to the translation from the German or whether the co-author journalist screwed it all up.

And Domscheit comes off in some passages as too ignorant to even understand Assange's beliefs (for example, I seem to recall that there wa...more
Bryan Kelly
Like many I share a cautious attitude toward the personal attacks Domscheit-Berg makes on Assange. However, the narrative he tells reasonably explains Wikileaks' unfortunate fracturing. I was persuaded by the read to believe that the goals of Wikileaks are sound and that the project does represent a necessary revolution in transparency, which is big because two years ago, at the time of Cablegate, I wanted Assange dead. I find it unfortunate that Domscheit-Berg's decentralized approach with Open...more
Markham Anderson
I expected Julian Assange to seek to put down corruption and expose every secret, but instead he was dictatorial and constantly concealing information. He comes off like a coked-out politician, hoarding power, trying to accumulate prestige, violating WikiLeaks agreements and policies, and so forth.

This book is in part a discussion of the importance of and difficulties inherent to providing whistleblowers with a safe and effective platform for alerting the public. Another part is deconstructing t...more
David Roberts
The book I read to research this post was Inside WikiLeaks by Daniel Domscheit-Berg et al which is an excellent book which I bought at a car boot sale. This book was published in 2011 and is definitely the kind of controversial book I should be reviewing. WikiLeaks was a website where if someone wanted to release confidential information they could anonymously and hopefully avoid prosecution. There were discrepancies however with while most of the information was freely available there were payp...more
Hiccup
I'm a bit underwhelemed would be an understatement for this book. Infact the only interesting bit about it is the title - "My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website". The author, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, rarely makes you feel that you are reading about the inner entrails of World's Most Dangerous Website. As a programmer myself, and a Berg being an IT security guy, I thought the book would contains details about the infrastructure or the security that went in to making it w...more
Andi Jarrett-johnson
Daniel's description of his time in Wikileaks seemed to be a very difficult thing to portray without an excessive amount of fingerpointing and bitching, but he managed to state his case and all the positives and negatives of a very difficult situation. The emphasis is not on the bitching and seems to be very diplomatic where it needs to be, and I think he very fairly gives credit where credit is due, but not without highlighting his final questions of an organisation that seems now *not* to be h...more
Rohan
I have to say that I had this book for quite sometime and I didn't read it because I thought it will be boring plus the ratings and comments didn't help. But in fact, this book was completely opposite. At times, I was impatiently waiting to get to the next page and next chapter while I was reading it. But there were also times when I felt Author sounded childish. The Author for most part has had huge differences with the Founder Julian Asssange and it shows in every second chapter where he talks...more
Bookaholic
Când scandalul depeşelor diplomatice dezvăluite de WikiLeaks a explodat, nu prea ştiam exact cu ce se mănâncă organizaţia. Ştiam foarte clar că mi-era imposibil să citesc cantităţile imense de materiale ale “celui mai periculos website din lume”. Aveam nevoie de filtre, iar filtrul a fost atunci mass-media, ori asta de cele mai multe ori îţi răpeşte înţelegerea unui context general.Mai înţelesesem că Wikileaks = Julian Assange, dar nu puteam pricepe în ce măsură scandalul sexual în care părea să...more
Kathy
Awesome book, definately worth a read if you think Assange is a hero. Domscheit-Berg is carefull not to throw any unjust punches Assange's way, and in fact he seems to still like the guy, despite what he did.
Mika Auramo
Daniel Domscheit -Berg kertoo oman näkemyksensä Wikileaksin historiasta, omasta toiminnastaan siinä ja suhteestaan Julian Assangeen. Lukuja teoksessa on yhteensä 24 ja lopussa on vielä Wikileaksin historiikki.

Muutamassa luvussa nostetaan esille liikkeen huippuhetkiä, mm. sveitsiläispankin salakähmäisyys, skientologien salaisuudet, Collateral Murder -video sekä tapaus Bradley Manning.

Tekijä valottaa omaa hakkerihistoriaansa ja porvarillisen ammattinsa varjopuolia ennen heittäytymistään Assangen k...more
Jennifer
The author of Inside WikiLeaks, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, had a front row seat to the phenomenon that is WikiLeaks through the strange friendship he developed with Julian Assange. Due to events in Sweden in 2010, Assange himself has now become more “story” rather than any of the material the website published, so it is interesting to learn how it all began. The story that emerges in Inside WikiLeaks is that in its early years the organisation was neither well funded nor well organised. For example,...more
Aquarium
Mar 06, 2011 Aquarium rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Aquarium by: Vasil Kolev
This is a book more about the wikileaks as a phenomena than the people behind it. It shows the changes in team's dynamic while wikileaks' visibility increased but does not help answering why people behaved the way they did. It explains reactions and leaves to imagination the motivations.

Definitely Assange's book should be read too when it comes out.

I was expecting more focused book with better chronology of wikileaks' time table. The back and forth in time could have been avoided.

Random good st...more
Joe
The story of WikiLeaks -- its early days, internal politics, and a small amount of technical detail -- as told by one of its earliest and most significant contributors, Daniel Domscheit-Berg. In telling the story, Domscheit-Berg also relays many of his personal interactions with Julian Assange, and describes the ups-and-downs of his own life during those years.

WikiLeaks is pretty fascinating in any case, and this book explains many interesting aspects from a perspective that only a few people in...more
Dave
The biggest revelation in this book is not that Julian Assange is an even bigger a-hole than previously reported, but just how disorganized—and at times dishonest—WikiLeaks was as it went from being an intriguing idea to the "world's most dangerous website." Domscheit-Berg punctures the aura of infallibility that WL wrapped around itself, as well as the notion, promoted by its detractors, that it's some kind of diabolical conspiracy. In reality, it was a seat-of-the-pants operation run by a duo...more
Kate Bradley
This book was a welcome insight into many aspects of WikiLeaks which Julian Assange is keen to conceal, or at least bias. It would have benefitted from a deeper discussion of the issues which clearly interest Domscheit-Berg: rather than just asking questions, I would have liked more critical discussion of issues of transparency, media rights and whistle-blowing in general, and a lot less sniping at Julian Assange. Assange is probably a difficult character, but every page of this book had a reite...more
Jessie
I am very disappointed by this book. I originally ordered it for a research paper I was writing on WikiLeaks. I bought a book from Daniel's point of view and one from Julian's point of view, so my paper wouldn't be bias. Unfortunately, I had a very hard time finding this particular book, and I ended up buying it from the online equivalent of a hole-in-the-wall thrift bookstore. As a result, the book didn't come in until after my research paper was due, but I still looked forward to learning more...more
Hayley
This was another of my attempts to catch up on world events now that I'm all graduated and ready to be a normal human being! It must be said that, though it had it's short comings, I thought this book was highly revealing and provided immense food for thought.

Domscheit-Berg's account of his time at Wikileaks is a a pretty good balance between the activity of the site itself and the personal relationship between the members that made it happen.

I found it intriguing to read about the process Wik...more
Michael
I went into this book with high expectations. I like many have been facinated by the metioric rise of WikiLeaks over the years and believe in the principals they do. Unfortuently those expectations
were let down thanks to writing which left me pulling out my hair in frustration.


The book centres on author Daniel Domscheit-Berg's time in WikiLeaks from 2007 till his departure late last year. Along the way he details the organisations rise from a small disorganised group to what it is today. Dissapo...more
Jack
I've read the Guardian's WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy and, along with this book, it gives you an interesting history of the organisation and how it was and is run.

As with the Guardian's book, the first two thirds is the most interesting as it is dealing with closed situations so it's far easier to put a perspective on them. Towards the end of both books the authors are dealing with current events, some of which will have gone out of date in the few short weeks between the b...more
Sofía Navarro
Es suficientemente entretenido. El autor no es escritor, pero tiene dotes comunicativas, por lo que se hace sencillo entender lo complejo que es el corazón de la historia, aunque el lector no sea ducho en el mundo de la informática, los medios de comunicación o la política.
Muy interesante si el lector, de hecho, está interesado en dichos temas.
Juega peligrosamente con la línea entre la objetividad y la demonización con respecto a Assange. Precisa de un segundo punto de vista en cuestiones perso...more
Lorenzio Phillibuster Fireworks
The first half of this audiobook started out really slowly. There's a lot of self indulgence in his writing - it was not necessary for a blow by blow account of boiling his potatoes, braising his meat and boiling his vegies. I also felt that he was trying to position us against Julian Assange from the beginning - long before any conflicts appeared timeline-wise between the two of them. From the beginning, we hear a lot about how idealistic Domscheit-Berg is, and at times he sounded overly naive...more
Markus
Sympathetically naïve and straightforward self-therapy book from the guy who had the pleasure and curse of working intensely with Julian Assange for two years. Notwithstanding occasional pitiable attempts to appear fair and balanced, Domscheit-Berg does almost nothing to hide his hate, bitterness, jealosy and outright disgust towards Assange - but neither can he conceal the love and admiration and yearning for acceptance that he projects on the enigmatic founder of WikiLeaks. Domscheit-Berg's fr...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Corrections 3 17 Jan 15, 2014 09:24AM  
  • WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy
  • Julian Assange - The Unauthorised Autobiography
  • The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man
  • The World That Never Was: A True Story of Dreamers, Schemers, Anarchists, and Secret Agents
  • This Machine Kills Secrets: How WikiLeakers, Cypherpunks, and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World's Information
  • The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom
  • Il gioco delle tre carte
  • Symposium
  • A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order
  • How to Be a Victorian
  • No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State
  • Charmed Circle: Gertrude Stein and Company
  • Love Letters Of Great Men And Women
  • Day Of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor
  • Putin's Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy
  • A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the  Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies
  • Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness, and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier
  • The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century

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