Sunday, December 5, 2010

Indonesia creates team to study WikiLeaks cables

Communication and Information Technology Minister Tifatul Sembiring said his ministry had assigned a team to collect diplomatic documents leaked by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks related to Indonesia.

Tifatul said the results of the study would be submitted to the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto.

“We are still in the preliminary document collection process. We need to explain to the public should we find [the documents] invalid,” Tifatul said.

Early on Sunday, the UK’s The Guardian reported WikiLeaks had provided advance copies of 251,287 documents, 3,059 of which came from the US Embassy in Jakarta and 167 from the US Consulate in Surabaya, East Java.

“We need to clarify and respond, for example, if some of the documents contain propaganda,” he said, as quoted by tempointeraktif.com.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said the Indonesian government was cooperating with the US Embassy in Jakarta and the Indonesian Embassy in Washington to monitor the leaked documents.

"We are continuing to follow the updates to see whether or not [confidential information] was leaked relating to Indonesia,” he said.

Guardian.co.uk reported today that the US is being accused of opening up a dramatic new front against WikiLeaks, effectively “killing” the website just days after Amazon pulled the site from its servers following political pressure.

The website went offline for the third time in a week this morning – the biggest threat to its online presence yet.

Joe Lieberman, chairman of the US Senate’s committee on homeland security, earlier this week called for any organization helping to sustain WikiLeaks to “immediately terminate” its relationship with the site.

On Friday morning, WikiLeaks and its cache of secret diplomatic documents that have proved to be a scourge for governments around the world, was only accessible through a string of digits known as a DNS address. The site later reemerged with a Swiss domain, WikiLeaks.ch.

Julian Assange said today that the development is an example of the “privatization of state censorship” in the US and is a “serious problem.”

“These attacks will not stop our mission, but should be setting off alarm bells about the rule of law in the United States,” he said.

The California-based Internet provider that dropped WikiLeaks at 3 a.m. GMT on Friday (10 a.m. Jakarta time), Everydns, says it did so to prevent its other 500,000 customers from being affected by the intense cyber attacks targeted at WikiLeaks.

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