A Norwegian newspaper claims that it has all the Wikileaks cables uncensored.
The cables were all placed on the world wide wibble but encrypted while Wikileaks staff went through them all and deleted the names of people who might be killed as a result of the disclosure.
Aftenposten says it has obtained the entire trove of 250,000 uncensored US diplomatic documents that Wikileaks has been distributing. This makes the newspaper the first media organisation outside Wikileaks’ five media partners to obtain the material.
Wikileaks has only released about 1,900 of the more than 250,000 State Department documents it claims to possess. The documents are also being published by The New York Times, Le Monde, the Guardian and Der Spiegel.
Managing editor Ole Erik Almlid pointed out that since Aftenposten has no agreements with Wikileaks he can publish what he likes.
However Aftenposten will also post parts of some of the original documents on its website, redacting sensitive information such as names if needed.
According to AP , Almlid refused to say how he got the cables. He did say that he got them without restrictions and without paying anything for it.
However, it does lead to speculation that someone has managed to crack Assange’s password which kept the documents encrypted. We imagine that a former hacker like Assange would not use his own name as a password, but we would have thought there were a few defence agencies that would love to open the file and might have enough computer power to crack a password.
Of course it is also possible that someone inside Wikileaks turned over the password as a way of stopping Assange using the data in the way that he wanted. There are those within the organisation who do not like the way he is running it. Some have already broken away and formed a rival whistleblowing group.