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Wow. Perhaps slighted by Wikileaks' past preference for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal has introduced the WSJ Safehouse, an in-house site designed, according to the front page, to "help The Wall Street Journal uncover fraud, abuse and other wrongdoing."

"Wow," you might think, "this is great! The WSJ is finally stepping up to crack down on malfeasants within our government and business sector!" Judging by the fact that you're on this site, however, you're probably not that naïve. Let's take a look at the fine print, shall we? And see what an utter shill this "Safehouse" is.

First, there's the issue of what exactly you can leak.

You agree not to use SafeHouse for any unlawful purpose. We reserve the right to restrict your use of SafeHouse if, in our opinion, your use may violate laws, regulations or rulings, infringe upon another person's rights, or violate the terms of this Agreement.

Of course there's a catch! Though the front page of the site asks leakers for "newsworthy contracts, correspondence, emails, financial records or databases from companies, government agencies or non-profits," nearly all of this stuff is confidential, either by law or through those little things at the bottom of government employees' and businesspeoples' e-mails that say any divulgence of the info within to anyone other than its intended recipient is illegal.

So what the hell does that even leave? The only things I can think of on WikiLeaks that didn't meet the above criteria are things that had already been leaked by other sites or were or practically no significance (some sorority's initiation manual comes to mind).

If you upload or submit any Content, you represent to Dow Jones that you have all the necessary legal rights to upload or submit such Content and it will not violate any law or the rights of any person.

As you can see, the only things you can upload to the "Safe"House are basically only those things you are already authorized to leak. What fits that criteria--a press release? As you can guess, this will be difficult, considering that the front page requests that you "do not submit press releases, letters to the editor or other Journal feedback to SafeHouse." It's mighty considerate of the WSJ to be so deferential to our government and corporate overlords, don't you think?

Next, there's the issue of anonymity. Whereas WikiLeaks has no means of seeing who sent what, and have repeatedly stated in the case of Bradley Manning that they can't be certain he leaked the information (note: yes, yes, we all "know" he leaked the information), the WSJ requests--but does not require--your name, e-mail address, and telephone number for the purpose of "help[ing] our journalists in their reporting." You can also submit your information and request it be kept confidential, but be warned:

Dow Jones will take all available measures to protect your identity while remaining in compliance with all applicable laws.

i.e., while doing whatever their whistleblower-curbstomping government asks of them.

When you try to please everybody--here, the people who want to keep their identity secret and the people who want to find out that person's identity--you end up pleasing nobody, and something tells me that's exactly what this useless whistleblower turn-in center is going to do.

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