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WikiLeaks to apply for Swedish licence

TT/The Local · 15 Aug 2010, 12:33

Published: 15 Aug 2010 12:33 GMT+02:00

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Legal experts have speculated that the site may not be covered by Swedish legislation shielding journalists' sources unless it obtains a licence. Assange said WikiLeaks had already been offered protection by two Swedish newspapers but would still press ahead with obtaining a licence, though he also suggested that the safeguard might not prove sufficient.

"We're dealing with organizations that don't obey the law. We're dealing with intelligence agencies," he told news agency TT.

Assange highlighted the importance of Sweden to WikiLeaks' work during his stay in the country as a guest of the Swedish Association of Christian Social Democrats.

"Sweden is vital for our work. We have had long-term support from the Swedish people and the Swedish legal system. Our servers were initially based in the United States and moved to Sweden early on in 2007," he said.

Assange also indicated that WikiLeaks was not alone in benefiting from Swedish freedom of expression laws.

"There's actually a small industry in Sweden; a new sort of refugee exists in the world, which is publishers. It is I think something for Swedes to be quite proud of: that they are facilitating a strong and free press," he said.

The pentagon recently called on WikiLeaks to halt the publication 70,000 leaked classified documents from the US-led war in Afghanistan. But Assange has instead vowed to press ahead with the publication of a further 15,000 secret documents.

"We understand that there are no easy choices for this organization. We have a duty to get the truth out to the world, the truth out to the Afhani people. We have a duty to people who are mentioned in the material. We have a duty to our sources, and it has hard to balance all those duties. It is a very expensive and difficult process."

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Assange said he was aware of foreign minster Carl Bildt's assertion that Sweden and the United States were not engaged in formal talks over the leaks. But he added that informal talks surrounding WikiLeaks were "standard procedure" in other countries.

"I would imagine that informal talks have been established in Sweden but we're waiting for proof of that."

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:02 August 15, 2010 by Nika-NM
As if he cared in the least about the Afghan people, the cheekiness of it outfaces me! The truth is that there's war and there are casualties, there's no need for overloading the world with the gory details because it's simply stating the obvious unless there he's got some other ulterior motive up in his sleeve, and I'm certain there are many such motives. It simply sticks in my craw the impertinence of his appearances like a'' hen of peace'' to moralise us. He has not yet realised the malignity of his actions, or he might as well has and he couldn't give a monkeys. In Politics good opposition is the opposition which can present their plans for the rectification of the government's wrongdoings, so if he's fishing for credits he'd better present us with something constructive and not with something that only can exacerbate the strained situation in the world that we are facing.
15:29 August 15, 2010 by Russ Cobleigh
all this will do is make people angry at Sweden. give the guy the bums rush!
15:38 August 15, 2010 by locaxy

I think Wikileaks is highly constructive. It ushers a new era of transparency.

Governments have a monopoly on violence and operate by using the taxpayers' money. It stands to reason that such an entity should not be able to hide facts from its population.

The recently leaked documents about Afghanistan are not recent at all. Assange has been sitting on them for ages and repeatidely contacted the Pentagon and begged them to help with editing the documents to protect the identities of Afghan collaborators. The Pentagon categorically refused and took a stand on principle. Any deaths are therefore on them and not on Wikileaks.

The people who still argue for secrecy in government are backwards and out-of-touch with reality. Nothing will stand in the way of disseminating information. The Streisand effect is something governments don't acknowledge yet.

That Wikileaks is demonized and persecuted only emphasizes the need for the existence of such an organization.

If you don't want to read the gory details, nobody is forcing you. Some of us want to know the uncut raw facts to make an informed decision comes election day.
16:25 August 15, 2010 by millionmileman
Julian Assange is a dispicable person, because soldiers, as well as Afghan civillians will die because of his betrayal of comonsense. This could included troops from Sweden as well as the Nato troops. We don't need to "Know," as we have know power of what is done over there anyway.
16:56 August 15, 2010 by GLO
Julian, is a terrorist. He should be tracked like the coward he is and held legal " Prison" for every Afgan killed, every Swedish-UN solder killed. Good Luck Julian !!! All free people in the world will pay for his selfish acts.
17:35 August 15, 2010 by Nika-NM
Locaxy: The Streisand Effect is inapplicable simply because it doesn't fit into human nature. I'd more rely on Freudian philosophy that at the end of the day there's not a human being and therefore any institution that is squeaky transparent in this world. Are you that sanctified that you don't harbour any secrets yourself?. And what kind of new era of transparency? can you elaborate on that? The era where you're not allowed to make mistakes? The underhand divulgence in case wouldn't have taken place if the mistakes hadn't been made and likewise there would have been nothing to classify.

And you're narrating Assegne's correspondence with the White House as if you were Assegne's personal scribe, or as if you edited his letters to Obama. And is there anything at all adducible in your narrative?

And coming out of your philosophy you appear to have taken a pretty radical tone, it's unsustainable, you always need an opponent in your life who'll offset your actions, like WikiLeaks to NATO. I do not unconditionally criticise Assegne, he did present NATO with a puzzle of sorts, so the ball is in NATO's court and hope they'll come out from this all the more pliable. And I do really hope that this will decrease the number of casualties in Afghanistan, otherwise this bustle and hustle will lose all its effect. I do want NATO to put this down to its experience not to allow Assegne and sundry to take advantage of it and play silly-beggars brandishing those documents.
17:36 August 15, 2010 by dwb5555

Come on are you going to just quote wikileaks story about how they say they contact pentagon. If you dig a little deeper or see the transparency you will see that Assange was saying before that they did all the proof reading them self and they didn't want any goverment to do this work. Then after the press pushed them about this they change there story and started to say they ask for help. So you see your wikileaks is like goverment and lie.

And just to reminded you that these are the same guys who release a manual on how airline security works. Which I am sure make us all feel safe that every crazy now know how airline security works.


So please stop being blind and see this site is not all they say they are.
20:48 August 15, 2010 by miau
If people don't "like" reading gory details, then I'd suggest a better approach to advocating reporting abstinence would be to kindly ask the gentlemen in the US government to stop producing the gore in the first place. Wikileaks ist only doing what the mainstream media is failing to do.
01:32 August 16, 2010 by Sebastian_R
I love how in the past, when Wikileaks exposed US taxpayers who stole money from the IRS and put it into Swiss Banks, the site was protected by US judges and welcomed as a great platform for fostering transparency.

Seems like there tide has turned now: Apparently now transparency is a bad thing and what Wikileaks is doing is criminal in the eyes of the US all over sudden.

Oh, sweet sweet smell of hypocracy!
04:08 August 16, 2010 by Typical Whitey
Assange has blood on his hands. He is betraying those he claims to help. What a damn fool. If he ever steps foot on American soil he should be arrested and imprisoned for war crimes. My son is serving in Afganistan right now. Thanks Wikileaks for endangering his life and those of his platoon.
05:15 August 16, 2010 by you shoulnt feed the trolls
If you don't believe in the Swedish transparency and freedom of speech, shouldn't you the find yourself a more appropriate place then Sweden to live in?
08:25 August 16, 2010 by G Kin
Sweden, be ware and not let Assange soil the international reputation you have.

Hold this man at ARMS LENGTH!.

Even if the facts are true, and desired, is he responsible in his approach?

More lives will be lost.

And do you trust him really?. His motives?
08:49 August 16, 2010 by locaxy
@Nika-NM: I am not a government. I don't have a monopoly on violence and I am not financed by the taxpayer. I don't see why I should be transparent.

@dwb5555: I don't see where wikileaks has lied. Everytime it did something wrong, it outright admitted it. And no, I don't hold both the government and wikileaks to the same standard. The government has a monopoly on violence and is financed by the taxpayer.

For the "airline security" rubbish, I don't believe in security through obscurity one bit. So I'm very much in favor of revealing the way governments wants to "protect" planes. If it can't stand scrutiny, then it shouldn't be there in the first place.

@Typical Whitey: Assange has no blood on his hands. You must be thinking of people in the military. I'm sorry that you have not been able to provide your son with a brighter future than as a grunt in Afghanistan, but it's not Assange's fault. The fools are really the ones who think governments should keep secrets from the people.

@All: The mainstream media is held on a tight leech by politicians. The stories that make it to us are mostly the ones playing one party against another. Wikileaks plays a fantastic role in revealing to the public what we would normally not have heard of.
13:38 August 16, 2010 by Nika-NM
locaxy: Somewhere you're right there, Wikileaks and the like can play a part in streamlining NATO's actions in Afghanistan or elsewhere and make them even more circumspect in terms of relationships with the locals, or otherwise make them technically more efficient.

This for one will have made them strain their minds about how to make even more impermeable their secret services, and hopefully, will contribute to the reduction in numbers of civil casualties.

Let's just hope that there's someone in the White House or NATO who thinks along the same lines and can call a spade a spade and launch into action not to leave any resources for Assegne and the lot to feast on in the future.

And don't say that it is unjustifiable that people are kept in dark over the majority of goings-on in politics. How can you be sure that everyone will get them right? Can you be sure that everyone will have good motives at heart and will not exploit them for their own good?

I don't completely disagree with you, you comments have made me see many other things that I hadn't realised before.
20:00 August 16, 2010 by LeoKinmann
I found a Hermann Göring quote weeks ago and posted it in another thread. I was surprised to see how similar the chief of the Nazi German Luftwaffe was thinking in similar tracks as certain modern political powers. Or you could say the politicians nowadays learned their tricks from as far back as WW2.

"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

----- Hermann Göring
09:41 August 17, 2010 by d_s
Leo, you are spot on. Sometimes its a bit sad to see that not that much has changed.

Someone there talked about caring for the people. What thoughts come to mind if its shown with badges:


And here is a nice nod towrads the Nordics:

03:58 August 19, 2010 by you shoulnt feed the trolls
If you give up free speech and transparency for your fight, what are you actually fighting for?
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