Wikileaks data leaked; Website denies it, via Twitter

By Richi Jennings (@richi ) - August 30, 2011.

[Updated with additional balance and comment]

Julian Assange
The Wikileaks website's secret cables have themselves been leaked -- allegedly in their unredacted form, although Wikleaks spokestweeps tweeting on Twitter tweet that the allegations are tosh. Naturally, people are concerned for the safety of the original informants. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers take a leak.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Your baby can read; Math not so much...

    German newspaper Der Spiegel reports:

The release of the file could potentially endanger the informants. ... The confidential diplomatic cables were redacted before publication...but the file on the Internet contains the original[s].

...

A number of media organizations...first reported on the contents of the leaked cables in November 2010...[making] sure to redact the documents to obscure the name of informants. ... A number of the files were entirely withheld from publication to avoid endangering sources.   
M0RE

   Kim Zetter and Kevin Poulsen explain:

[T]he cables were contained in an encrypted file that...Julian Assange had stored on a subdirectory...[that] wasn’t searchable from the internet. ... Assange had reportedly given the password for the file to an “external contact”. ... With both the file and the password now online, the leak is complete.

...

This is not the first time that WikiLeaks has lost control of [the] cables. Last year...a WikiLeaks member gave the database to a freelance reporter, Heather Brooke...[which] threatened to derail the plans that WikiLeaks and its media partners had hammered out.   
M0RE

I think you ought to know, Paul Carr is very depressed:

"Leck bei Wikileaks". The headline...described the irony with Teutonic efficiency: "Leak at Wikileaks".

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The release came, says...Julian Assange, because the media has lost interest in the diplomatic revelations. ... (A cynic might infer that Assange...is worried that the media has lost interest in him too.) But the document [is] not the official Wikileaks files, which have been partly redacted.

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[T]he eventual release of the unredacted cables was inevitable. ... Wikileaks — and the amoral cult of leaking for lulz...— has always been [about] callous contempt for the human cost of “free information”.

...

[T]his time it won’t be the American military with blood on their hands, but the leakers themselves..   
M0RE

And Curt Hopkins twists the knife:

According to...Der Spiegel, based on an original report in Der Freitag, a convergence of screw-ups...wound up throwing the doors open to the full, unedited materials.

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Assange has been criticized from the beginning...for his lack of empathy and allegedly cavalier attitude toward...those effected by his releases...whose lives might be at risk should their identities become known.

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This latest debacle certainly indicates Mr. Assange's incapacity for, or disinterest in, establishing coherent security guidelines for his organization.   

M0RE

 But Wikileaks goes on the offensive:

WikiLeaks 'insurance' files have not been decrypted. All press are currently misreporting. There is an issue, but not that issue.

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There has been no 'leak at WikiLeaks'. The issue relates to a mainstream media partner and a malicious individual.

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Totally false that any WikiLeaks sources have been exposed or will be exposed. NYT [which syndicated Hokpins' article] drooling, senile, and evil.   
M0RE

 Meanwhile, Glenn Greenwald wonders why the reporting is so one-sided:

[T]here is now a major, coordinated effort underway to smear WikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange...led...by members of the establishment media.

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[W]hen it comes to people like Julian Assange...no...discretion is warranted...everything is fair game, including...diagnoses of mental illness and passing on the most scurrilous accusations.

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None of this is to say that WikiLeaks and Assange shouldn't be subject to scrutiny. ... [But this] can have no effect -- and no purpose -- other than to distract public attention away from the heinous revelations about this war.

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That's their role.  That's what makes them the "establishment media." ... Thanks to them, the White House doesn't even need to employ its own smear artists.   
M0RE

   And Finally...
Your Baby Can Read: Math Not So Much
  
 
Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com. You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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