Assange wades into the Guardian

In his first utterance since uncensored Wikileaks cables were released to the media, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has waded into his former business partner The Manchester Guardian.

Speaking via a video link while addressing a Berlin technology trade fair, Assange said that a hack from the Guardian had published the password to the encrypted files in his book, creating a situation where some people got access to the uncensored files while others did not.

According to AP, Assange said it created a case where every spy agency had the material and the people who are mentioned did not.

Assange said that there was a race between the bad guys and the good guys and it was necessary for us to “stand on the side of the good guys”. Obviously standing on the side of the good guys means giving their names and addresses to the bad guys who may or may not hire some more bad guys to bump them off.

WikiLeaks on Friday posted the 251,287 cables on its website, making potentially sensitive diplomatic sources available to anyone.

The Guardian’s website said it and its international media counterparts, The New York Times, France’s Le Monde, Germany’s Der Spiegel and Spain’s El Pais “deplored the decision of WikiLeaks to publish the unredacted State Department cables, which may put sources at risk”.

Assange pointed out that a sensitive password used to decrypt the files was published in a book by David Leigh, one of the paper’s investigative reporters and a collaborator-turned-critic of Assange.

While he was blaming people, Assange also waded into another former chum, WikiLeaks defector Daniel Domscheit-Berg. He claimed that Domscheit-Berg told media organisations where to find the encrypted files and how to use the password. Although if the password had been published by Leigh it would have made the later a fairly pointless effort.

Assange said that Domscheit-Berg had been spreading the location of a hidden encrypted file that had been encrypted with that password with selected media organisations in order to gain personal benefit.

The Guardian, Leigh and others have already rejected the claim that they were responsible for the leak. It points out that WikiLeaks posted the encrypted file to the web by accident and that Assange never bothered to change the password needed to unlock it.