Printing-ink veterans don't take cyberspace journalists too seriously - Roy Greenslade, Guardian Online
A NORWEGIAN NEWSPAPER has claimed that it has all of the Wikileaks US State Department cables in unencrypted form and can print the lot of them without any censorship.
Wikileaks released all of the cables to four of its favourite newspapers - the New York Times, Le Monde, the Guardian and Der Spiegel - on the condition that they could only print the censored versions on a piecemeal basis. The newspapers have so far made public only about 1,900 of the more than 250,000 leaked US State Department documents.
The rest have been encrypted and placed on servers all around the world. However Norway's largest circulation daily newspaper Aftenposten claims that it has the lot
Aftenposten managing editor Ole Erik Almlid told the Associated Press that the newspaper has no restrictions on how to use the material and will be publishing articles about the US documents that it finds relevant in its online and paper editions.
Almlid has promised to redact sensitive information such as names if needed, but he said there is no requirement to do so.
He said that the newspaper did not have to pay for the documents but would not say where he got them from.
There could be three possible scenarios. The tinfoil hat option is that a world power that likes seeing the US embarrassed has dedicated some computer time to cracking the password.
Another possibility is that the US, which might prefer to see all of the documents leaked at once so that reporters will pick out only a couple of news stories from them, gave the newspaper a copy. Either of these options is possible, but it is not clear why anyone would give the entire file to a newspaper in Norway.
The last option is that Aftenposten got the entire file of cables from someone in Wikileaks. Not everyone in the organisation is happy with the way Julian Assange is running the operation. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ