They are natural allies in the fight to make government secrets available to the public. But on Thursday, Snowden publicly criticized Wikileaks’s indiscriminate approach to releasing data. Wikileaks’s response was quick and below-the-belt, accusing Snowden of shilling for Hillary Clinton’s favor in the hope of receiving a pardon.
The public feud is striking, considering their record of collaboration, including Wikileaks’s assistance in helping Snowden find a place to live in exile. And Snowden, for what it’s worth, is no fan of Clinton.
A clue to the discord lies beyond the U.S. election, in Turkey. Wikileaks’s much-hyped “Erdrogan emails,” released after the failed Turkish coup, appear to be a bust. Instead of government communications, the trove of 300,000 emails included links to databases containing the personal information of citizens, including more than 20 million female voters’ addresses and phone numbers.
In online skirmishes over the Turkey emails, Wikileaks again demonstrated that it is unable to accept criticism of its methods without accusing the other party of ulterior motives, even if that person, in this case Turkish-born sociologist Zeynep Tufekci, is a prominent critic of Erdrogan and his government.