Assange: Wikileaks has 'insurance' files on Murdoch

Julian Assange claims to hold files relating to Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation that would be made public in the event of either him or Wikileaks coming into difficulty.

The Wikileaks founder said as yet unreleased documents from secret US embassy cables were being held as ‘insurance’against recrimination for the whistle-blowing website releasing sensitive information about the US Diplomatic Service.

In an interview with the New Statesman, Assange said 504 of the unreleased cables related to just one broadcasting organisation and there were also cables on Murdoch and News Corp.

The content of these and other as yet unpublished files is unknown. However, Assange, in a typically cryptic manner, described them as ‘speak [ing] more of the same truth to power”.

Assange was back in court in London yesterday fighting extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges with his lawyers arguing he could be at “real risk” of the death penalty or detention in Guantánamo Bay if he is extradited to Sweden.

His legal team fears that if sent to Sweden it is possible Assange could subsequently face further extradition to the US.

In his interview Assange said attempts by the US to indict him should be of concern to the mainstream press.

‘I think what’s emerging in the mainstream media is the awareness that if I can be indicted, other journalists can, too,’he said.

‘Even the New York Times is worried. This used not to be the case.

‘If a whistleblower was prosecuted, publishers and reporters were protected by the First Amendment, which journalists took for granted. That’s being lost.”

Despite the pressure the website has been under, reports of trouble at Wikileaks are greatly exaggerated, Assange claimed.

‘There is no ‘fall’. We have never published as much as we are now,’he said.

‘WikiLeaks is now mirrored on more than 2,000 websites.

‘I can’t keep track of the spin-off sites – those that are doing their own WikiLeaks . . . If something happens to me or to WikiLeaks, ‘insurance’ files will be released.”

Even though Wikileaks is subject to constant political pressure in the US, Assange said the ‘technological enemy’of the site remained China.

‘China is the worst offender’when it comes to censorship, said the controversial whistle-blower.

‘China has aggressive and sophisticated interception technology that places itself between every reader inside China and every information source outside China.

‘We’ve been fighting a running battle to make sure we can get information through and there are now all sorts of ways Chinese readers can get on to our site.”

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