Wikileaks: Guardian journalist negligently published password to unredacted cables (Update: Guardian denies)

Wikileaks, facing criticism after unredacted versions of diplomatic cables escaped into the wild, today accused a Guardian journalist of negligently publishing the password required to decrypt them.

A Guardian journalist has negligently disclosed top secret WikiLeaks' decryption passwords to hundreds of thousands of unredacted unpublished US diplomatic cables.

Knowledge of the Guardian disclosure has spread privately over several months but reached critical mass last week. The unpublished WikiLeaks' material includes over 100,000 classified unredacted cables that were being analyzed, in parts, by over 50 media and human rights organizations from around the world.

For the past month WikiLeaks has been in the unenviable position of not being able to comment on what has happened, since to do so would be to draw attention to the decryption passwords in the Guardian book. Now that the connection has been made public by others we can explain what happened and what we intend to do.

Wikileaks also says it is in touch with the U.S. State Department and will be taking legal action.

UPDATE: The Guardian, in a story about the availability of the unredacted cables, denies that its journalist disclosed the password. [Thanks, Douglas!]

But further down in the story it seems to admit it, instead blaming Wikileaks for letting it do so:

"Our book about WikiLeaks was published last February. It contained a password, but no details of the location of the files, and we were told it was a temporary password which would expire and be deleted in a matter of hours."

Interesting! Now you may go and check the timelines again to find out when certain password-protected files might have left Wikileaks' exclusive custody. Go right ahead! No-one's going anywhere.

UPDATE: the book passage in question may be read at Google books. Just like that, for all the world to see, since the day it was published.

WIKILEAKS EDITORIAL – Guardian disclosure [Wikileaks]