WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange believes his recent decision to publish thousands of unredacted cables will have little long-term effect on the organization’s ability to obtain sensitive data in the future.
”Our promise to sources is [still] that we will protect them and we will publish, and we will publish with impact, and I think it is clear to everyone that we kept our promise,” Assange told an audience in Berlin via video link in a statement transcribed by the Associated Press.
The WikiLeaks founder also criticized the British Guardian for allegedly publishing an encryption key to uncensored files – something which Assange claims forced his organization to prematurely publish secret U.S. diplomatic memos.
“We had a case where every intelligence agency has the material and the people who are mentioned do not have the material,” he said.
“So you have 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.”
Unsurprisingly, Assange also (indirectly) blamed WikiLeaks defector Daniel Domscheit-Berg for the debacle, alleging he told various publications where to find the encrypted file and how to use the password.
“An individual in Berlin had been spreading the location of a hidden encrypted file that had been encrypted with that password with selected media organizations in order to gain personal benefit.
“It was necessary to give the information in an authenticated way to the general public, to journalists and to those people who might be mentioned in those materials to show that they were mentioned and what might have been said about them.”
Interestingly enough, Assange acknowledged WikiLeaks was “rightly to blame” for working with the Guardian, but emphasized the encryption leak was little more than an aberration.
“We cannot say overall that it (the Guardian) is a negligent media organization. It is overall… one of the better newspapers,” he concluded.