Wikileaks’ latest round of cables have caused an extraordinary impact in the Australian media scene, but a latest update to the cables has published unredacted names of potential informants in countries such as Israel, Iran and Jordan.
According to the New York Times, the site has published cables that were given the label “strictly protect” – which means that they must keep their source of information highly secret as they include whistleblowers and dissidents.
The New York Times, in addition with several other partners such as Der Spiegel, Fairfax and The Guardian, have been helping Wikileaks going through the diplomatic cables which have been slowly released due to the sensitive nature of these documents.
The issue has forced Reporters Without Borders, the most notable press freedom group, to shut down its mirror site for the Wikileaks cables temporarily.
“As Reporters Without Borders has neither the technical, human or financial resources to check each cable, it has to play safe,” it said in a statement.
“When it launched its mirror site, it said it defended “the free flow of information online and the principle of the protection of sources, without which investigative journalism cannot exist.” As the protection of sources is now in question, Reporters Without Borders has decided to suspend the site pending further clarification.”
This follows reports that an encrypted file containing all 250,000+ cables from the site was published on the Internet, again also unredacted. Wikileaks has placed blame on the Guardian after publishing a password in a book about the Wikileaks cables, which they say was not temporary. The newspaper, on the other hand, say that it was – and now Wikileaks has decided to sue them. Oh what a wonderful, litigious world we live in.
The move appears to signal the end of its relationship with the Guardian, based on the recent tweets, such as:
The site has previously ended links with The New York Times, due to “different philosophies and critical reports about his personal life”, according to the paper.
However, it appears that the cables were already published in a unredacted form before the Guardian-Wikileaks fiasco. According to Der Spiegel, the file had been published months before due to “a chain of careless mistakes, coincidences, indiscretions and confusion” due to the group being split into two – one aligned to Assange, the other aligned to Domscheit-Berg.
In addition, Domscheit-Berg has been accused by the group for deleting several more leaks that were going to publish, including “videos of a major US atrocity in Afghanistan”. Though, no other source cannot confirm their claim, so it’s pretty much hear-say. Plus, they don’t have a nice track record with their claims (i.e. Wired’s story about the arrest of Bradley Manning).