Sep 1, 2011

It’s done: bruised egos lead to the release of uncensored WikiLeaks cables

The full, uncensored Wikileaks cables are now available. And it seems the egos of those involved with Wikileaks and its media partners are the reason why.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The full, unredacted set of WikiLeaks cables is now available online and in readable form, courtesy of a three-way clash of egos between Julian Assange, disgruntled ex-WikiLeaks volunteer Daniel Domscheit-Berg and the Guardian’s senior journalists.

The release places in potentially grave danger US diplomatic sources whose names have been removed from the publicly released cables.

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6 thoughts on “It’s done: bruised egos lead to the release of uncensored WikiLeaks cables

  1. Rourke

    I think the Guardian has a point here (as linked to in your later story). It was reasonable to expect that this was a one-off password on a tranche of cables, and lazy of Assange to not re-encrypt the information for their ‘insurance’ file when it was later distributed. Remember that it was not even public knowledge what was in the insurance file. *facepalm* all around, methinks

  2. michael r james

    @ROURKE Posted Thursday, 1 September 2011 at 2:02 pm

    What part of the following did you not understand?
    [However, The Guardian seems unaware that it would be impossible to “remove the files” once they had been mirrored and made available as a torrent, as if data could simply be pulled back off the internet by the body first posting it regardless of what others had subsequently done with it.]

    And why on earth publish the password? Just to show that the authors were insiders? And obviously the idea was that the “diplomatic” keyword was never intended to be written or emailed anywhere. This was treachery and ineptitude and hubris on the part of the authors and The Guardian.

    Assange has been proven correct to never trust these journalists. And as it happens his harsh judgment of Daniel Domscheit-Berg who has revealed himself to be weak and ineffective.

  3. bentwonk

    If the files were already on the net as torrents at the point when Assange gave the Guardians David Leigh the password, Assange could neither change the password later, nor delete the files, which undermines both defensive claims maid by the Guardian. Rather an ironic name given how their reporter felt the need to publish the password (hell if you can’r resist the urge to publish something, then make the password up, and claim it was later changed, as they are now doing).

    As too ” But unknown to anyone at the Guardian, the same file with the same password was republished later on BitTorrent, a network typically used to distribute films and music. This file’s contents were never publicised, nor was it linked online to WikiLeaks in any way.”

    It was well known that wikileaks had put a large encrypted file into the torrent, named insurance or some such, and had issues melodramatic statements along the links of ‘just i case anything happens to us, the password will be released..”

    The Guardians issued defense seems ignorant of both the nature of the technology being used, and the public actions of wikileaks, sloppy, very sloppy.

  4. Rourke

    OK I’ve done my own research and stand corrected. The MOU with the Guardian was signed on July 30, 2010, the same day (or the day after) the insurance file was made public having circulated privately for a couple of weeks. The Guardian surely could not fail to realise it was the same file that it was receiving, so yes it has been outrageously negligent for Leigh to publish the password and their denial is implausible and wrong about the timing.

  5. cullos os

    Sadly this will be the straw that breaks the back of public opnion and support for Wikileaks. Whether Wiki or the Guardian (or both) are responsible, it proves the claims that they couldnt be trusted with the protection of named people in positions of danger.
    A blow for freedom of information and speech.

  6. pharkit

    Assange represents something the traditional-media types can’t pin down.. And that makes them feel threatened. They expected him to behave like any other source – someone they could extract whatever information they deemed worthy – and be done with him. Problem is, he’s NOT any other source. Julian Assange approached The Guardian, not the other way round.
    Assange is interested in something more than a catchy headline. From it’s inception Wikileaks has been about effecting change…. The sort of change lauded by Amnesty International in recent months: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/13/amnesty-international-wikileaks-arab-spring

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