August 26, 2011

Wikileaks Publishes More Diplomatic Cables To The Public


Wikileaks on Thursday said it was releasing tens of thousands of US diplomatic cables that appear to be from a cache of more than 250,000 State Department reports leaked to the group, of which many are still classified.

Wikileaks began releasing the documents in smaller batches last year, but has now unleashed them all to the public. Several news firms, including Reuters, have had complete sets of the cables for months, but many of these news agencies have only published cables when publishing specific news or stories based on them.

By late afternoon Thursday, Wikileaks said it had published 97,115 of the 251,287 cables it has.

“We will have released over 100,000 US embassy cables from around the world by the end of today,” said a message on Wikileaks´ Twitter feed, believed to be controlled by whistleblower site founder Julian Assange.

Wikileaks, nor the Twitter feed, went on to specify its motives for releasing the large cache all at once.

A person familiar with Wikileaks and its founder told Reuters that the motivation behind the mass release was dismay among Wikileaks activists that media groups had lost interest in publishing stories based on the material.

The source added that Assange and his associates were “frustrated” at the lack of media interest.

The release of the cables came hours after Wikileaks revealed on Twitter that Dynadot, a California Internet registrar which had hosted Wikileaks, was ordered by federal prosecutors to hand over “information on Julian Assange.” Wikileaks said Dynadot complied with the order.

According to a Wikileaks document on its site, US investigators want any “customer or subscriber account information” held by Dynadot since Nov 1 that relates to Assange or Wikileaks, including the domain

It is unclear how Wikileaks got its hands on a copy of the government order to Dynadot, which was dated Jan 4, 2011. A US official said the document had been sealed by court order and had not been officially unsealed.

A few weeks earlier, the same prosecutors sent a similar request to Twitter seeking records of accounts held by Assange and others associated with him and his website, Wikileaks.

Public interest in Wikileaks has waned in recent months, likely due to more publicity coming from allegations that Assange was involved in sexual misconduct, and had fled to Britain after Sweden put out a warrant for his arrest.

A person close to Assange told Reuters a British appeals court is due to rule early next month on his appeal against Sweden´s extradition request.


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