Assange: Why WikiLeaks was right to release raw cables

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has defended the organisation’s release of all 251,000 secret US diplomatic cables that it held without the redaction of the names of informants mentioned in them.

In an interview with New Scientist, Assange said the leak publishing outfit’s usual editorial “harm minimisation” procedures had become irrelevant after other websites published the full text of the unredacted cables.

That full-text publication became possible when WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s war on secrecy was published in February. Written by two journalists at the newspaper The Guardian, based in London, the book revealed the decryption key for a computer file containing all the US state department cables leaked to WikiLeaks.

The Guardian team say they believed the key had expired – but it had not.

“That is not how file decryption works,” Assange says. “The only thing that was temporary was the website location the file was stored in. But the password is not used for the website – it is used for decrypting the file.

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