Wikileaks’ site crashed in what appears to be a cyberattack, following the release of State Department cables. An hour later, the site is back up, but the cable posts were taken down. Wikileaks instructed its followers to search for cables on a mirror site or on cablegatesearch.net.
The attack was done after current and former American officials said that the recently released cables – and concerns over the protection of sources – are creating a fresh source of diplomatic setbacks and embarrassment for the Obama administration.
“The United States strongly condemns any illegal disclosure of classified information,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. “In addition to damaging our diplomatic efforts, it puts individuals’ security at risk, threatens our national security and undermines our effort to work with countries to solve shared problems. We remain concerned about these illegal disclosures and about concerns and risks to individuals.
“We continue to carefully monitor what becomes public and to take steps to mitigate the damage to national security and to assist those who may be harmed by these illegal disclosures to the extent that we can,” Nuland added.
She did not comment on what sort of information was contained in the cable documents, nor did she speculate on what hazards will result after the leak, and whether or not it will surpass the risk caused by the first batch back in November. Wikileaks retaliated via Twitter saying, “Dear governments, if you don’t want your filth exposed, then stop acting like pigs. Simple.”
The latest batch is different from those previously released. The new documents are exposed in their entirety. It was not redacted and the names of the whistle blowers were exposed.
“It does have the potential to create further risk for those individuals who have talked to U.S. diplomats,” said P.J. Crowley, former assistant secretary of state for public affairs. “It has the potential to hurt our diplomatic efforts and it once again puts careers at risk.”
However, Wikileaks denies the allegation and said it didn’t release the unredacted version. They even challenged the government of what they will do “when it is revealed which mainstream news organization disclosed all 251k unredacted cables.”
The situation demonstrates the breakdown of the Wikileak’s affiliation with news organizations in exchange for copies of all uncensored State Department messages. Wikileaks didn’t intend to share the documents in its entirety, but with the advice of five news organizations, it decided to share all of the material by batches while making redactions to protect the sources. The relationship has been odd since the beginning and it wasn’t a surprise it became unpleasant after a while. Wikileaks described one of the news organization’s writers as a “sleazy hack job” and another writer from the Guardian displaying a “tawdry vendetta” against them.