WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy
|1 February 2011|
WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy is a 2011 book by British journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding. It is an account of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, and the leak by Chelsea Manning of classified material to the website in 2010. It was published by Guardian Books in February 2011.
Along with other sources, portions were adapted for the 2013 film The Fifth Estate.
The book describes Assange's childhood and details about his work creating and expanding WikiLeaks. It explains how his surname comes from his stepfather, a "touring puppet theater owner", and not his biological father, a choice that Assange made himself.
Publication of the password
Wikileaks gave The Guardian a copy of the unredacted leaks which included the names of informants and other sensitive information that was not intended for publication. This very sensitive information was protected by a large passphrase to ensure its secrecy.
However, Leigh's book then published this password which led directly to the unredacted data being publicly available. It has been claimed that this led directly to the deaths of some of those informants.
Assange wrote down on a scrap of paper:
ACollectionOfHistorySince_1966_ToThe_PresentDay#. "That's the password," he said. "But you have to add one extra word when you type it in. You have to put in the word 'Diplomatic' before the word 'History'. Can you remember that?"
In response The Guardian said "It's nonsense to suggest the Guardian's WikiLeaks book has compromised security in any way." According to The Guardian, WikiLeaks had indicated that the password was temporary and that WikiLeaks had seven months to take action to protect the files it had subsequently decided to post online. The Guardian has not described what actions WikiLeaks could have taken given that the encrypted files had been leaked.
Wikileaks did eventually publish the unredacted version. The Guardian article about this failed to mention that the publication was after the password became widely known and was published so that informants could see what had been leaked and take action to protect themselves if necessary.
Controversies as to content
In response to the book's publication, WikiLeaks posted on Twitter: "The Guardian book serialization contains malicious libels. We will be taking action." The Hindu writer, Hasan Suroor, said Assange's concern is that the book is "critical of [Assange's] robust style and his alleged tendency to be a 'control freak'". One of the points of disagreement is that the book claimed he was initially refused to redact the names of Afghan informants to the US military from the Afghan War logs; the book reports him as saying they would "deserve it" if they were killed. When Douglas Murray relayed these comments in a debate on 9 April 2011, Assange interjected "We are in the process of suing The Guardian in relation to that comment." The Guardian claimed the following day that they had "not received any notification of such action from WikiLeaks or its lawyers", two months after the publication of the book.
- "WikiLeaks". Guardian Books. Archived from the original on 1 January 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
- "'WIKILEAKS: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy' – the media deal, Assange's real father & Cablegate". International Business Times. 1 February 2011. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
- "A Dispatch Disaster in Six Acts".
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- "WikiLeaks publishes full cache of unredacted cables".
- Stöcker, Christian (1 September 2011). "Leak at WikiLeaks: A Dispatch Disaster in Six Acts". Der Spiegel. Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
- WikiLeaks [@wikileaks] (2 February 2011). "The Guardian book serialization contains malicious libels. We will be taking action" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 5 December 2016 – via Twitter.
- Suroor, Hasan (6 February 2011). "Assange threatens to sue 'Guardian'". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
- Glover, Stephen (14 February 2011). "Stephen Glover: Assange may yet come to hurt The Guardian". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2 February 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
- "This house believes whistleblowers make the world a safer place: Part II". New Statesman. 10 April 2011. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
- Addley, Esther (10 April 2011). "Julian Assange claims WikiLeaks is more accountable than governments". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
- "The story behind Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy". Youtube. 2 February 2011.
- "Guardian Books to publish Wikileaks title next month". Iran Book News Agency. 13 January 2011.
- "Редактор The Guardian опроверг иск Ассанжа к изданию". Lenta.Ru. 8 February 2011.
- "Fundador de WikiLeaks reanuda batalla legal contra su extradición". El Universal. 7 February 2011.
- "Fundador do Wikileaks se disfarçou de mulher para fugir da CIA". AFP. 31 January 2011.
- "Assange svojega očeta dolgo ni poznal: Od njega je podedoval uporniške gene in analitični um". Dnevnik. 1 February 2011.
- "Transparency Terrorist: Review of WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy". The Oxonian Review. 16 May 2011.