Feeds

Assange 'threatened to sue' Grauniad over leak of WikiLeak

Irony, thy name is Julian

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Julian Assange threatened to sue The Guardian last year when he learned it planned to publish stories based on leaked US diplomatic cables without his permission, it's claimed today.

The Wikileaks founder's gripe: That the paper had obtained the documents it intended to use not via him, but from a leaker within his organisation.

In November, Assange stormed into the office of editor Alan Rusbridger with lawyer in tow, a new Vanity Fair article says. The Australian had previously had the newspaper sign an undertaking that no stories based on the cables would be published until he gave the go-ahead.

However, The Guardian has subsequently obtained a second copy of the 1.6GB cache of 250,000 documents (only a few hundred have been published to date) via Heather Brooke*, a freelance journalist with contacts inside Wikileaks. The newspaper believed this separate, "unofficial" source released it from any confidentiality covenants with Assange.

He disagreed. According to Vanity Fair he was "enraged that he had lost control... arguing that he owned the information and had a financial interest in how and when it was released".

Assange was eventually calmed by the promise of a short delay to allow him to brief French and Spanish newspapers that the release was imminent, plus "a great deal of coffee followed by a great deal of wine".

"Much to come on the Wikileaks story," Brooke wrote on Twitter this morning. "Vanity Fair article is just the tip."

Like Assange, and his former colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who left Wikileaks last year criticising his leadership, Brooke is preparing a book covering the organisation's year in the spotlight.

Nevertheless, today's story casts new light on the breakdown of relations between Wikileaks and The Guardian, the newspaper associated most closely with its mega-releases of intelligence reports from Afghanistan and Iraq, and the US diplomatic cables. The antipathy was first exposed before Christmas, when Assange complained to other newspapers about how his erstwhile primary media partner had reported on a leaked document relating to the sex charges he faces in Sweden.

It has been widely noted that both disputes suggest Assange has a rather a weak grasp of irony.

Nick Davies, the journalist who obtained the Swedish file, and brokered the original deal between Wikileaks and The Guardian, fell out with Assange long before his legal threat, Vanity Fair also reports. The pair have not spoken since late July, it's claimed, after Assange told Davies he had given the Afghan files to Channel 4, which the latter believed broke their exclusivity agreement.

Davies has since accused Assange and his lawyers of issuing misleading statements over the sex allegations against him. The Wikileaker-in-chief is due in court next Tuesday for the preliminary hearing in Sweden's attempt to extradite him over the sex allegations made against him by two women. ®

*Though she said on Twitter this morning the article is "not exactly correct" regarding her role.

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Twitter: La la la, we have not heard of any NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES
If there are any on our site it is not our fault as we are not a PUBLISHER
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?