Govt inquiry into Wikileaks revelations
The Government is examining thousands of diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks to find out if any "Australian interests'' have been compromised, after confirming they contain the name of an ASIO officer.
Attorney-General Robert McClelland said it was a disturbing development and extremely concerning that cables were now available without redacting identifying features where the safety of individuals or national security could be put at risk.
"I am advised that many of these documents contain identifying information. I am aware of at least one cable in which an ASIO officer is purported to have been identified,'' he said.
"ASIO and other Government agencies officers are working through the material to see the extent of the impact on Australian interests.''
He noted it was an offence under the ASIO act to publish, or cause to be published, the identity of an ASIO officer.
All 251,000 of WikiLeak's United States state department cables have been made available on the internet in recent days.
The bulk publication has sparked a brush war between the whistleblowing website and journalists from Britain's The Guardian newspaper who worked with WikiLeaks on the initial publication of the cables.
''A Guardian journalist has, in a previously undetected act of gross negligence or malice ... disclosed top secret decryption passwords to the entire, unredacted, WikiLeaks's Cablegate archive,'' WikiLeaks tweeted.
''We have already spoken to the [US] state department and commenced pre-litigation action.''
The Guardian and David Leigh, one of its investigative journalists, have denied any responsibility.
Leigh said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had given him a password to access the US cables in July 2010 - but had said the site would expire ''within hours''.
The password was later published in a book written by Leigh and fellow The Guardian journalist Luke Harding.
While WikiLeaks has blamed the latest publication on others, yesterday's revelations came less than 48 hours after it issued 133,877 - or more than half - of the confidential US cables to mark the nine-month anniversary of ''Cablegate'' last December.
Unlike previous publications, the anniversary download included many cables where sources' names had not been removed.
One named 23 Australians with alleged links to Yemeni terrorist groups.