How WikiLeaks Operates

The Associated Press has an interesting article regarding how WikiLeaks prepared to release its cables. Of particular interest:

1. WikiLeaks approached the U.S. Ambassador for advice as to how the State Department would like the cables redacted and was denied assistance.

2. WikiLeaks worked with several news outlets on how to approporiately redact the cables to protect people from harm and sought advice as to whether some information should not be published.

3. Those news outlets published the cables before WikiLeaks did.

Clearly, there was some antagonism between WikiLeaks and the other media outlets — primarily over which cables were newsworthy. (The most hostility came from the New York Times, incidentally.) Overall, though, the article seems to belie the common perception that WikiLeaks just “dumps” information, with no care to the consequences.

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Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. Contracts says:

    Strangely, this makes them a little more culpable than their old model. They used to have a policy of leaking anything given to them (presumably there was some floor to ensure that they weren’t just leaking old high school tests), without redaction, edits, or otherwise. Remember that they leaked their own donor list.

    Something seems to have changed in the last year or two, however, to give it an ideological bent.