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WikiLeaks error discloses identities of anonymous whistleblowers

30 August 2011

Whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has accidentally released confidential data containing the names of anonymous sources.

Last year WikiLeaks began releasing a tranche of US diplomatic cables, which were redacted to protect sources. However, a file is now circulating on the internet which contains the unedited documents, which could put a number of individuals in danger.

According to German newspaper Der Spiegel the blunder happened after Julian Assange's ex-lieutenant Daniel Domscheit-Berg returned the encrypted file containing the sensitive documents.

Daniel Domscheit-Berg took the files after leaving the whistleblowing site. WikiLeaks supporters then released a copy of the data collection when the files were returned, unaware that it contained the original cables. The password was later accidentally made available earlier this year. The slip-up remained undetected for several months, said the paper.

But in a Tweet, WikiLeaks said: "There has been no WikiLeaks error. There has been a grossly negligent mainstream media error, to put it generously."

This story was first published by Computer Weekly

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