Tougher security measures for Wikileaks: General Ward


US African Command ( AFRICOM) chief General William Ward says he will be stepping up security measures to make sure that leaks do not interfere with the collaboration and cooperation the command has built with African governments and organisations.

“Procedures are being put in place to prevent future security lapses and recent illegal distribution of thousands of classified documents via the private Wikileaks”, Ward said.

Ward in a recent statement emphasised that the “documents remain classified even though they have been made available by news organisation for public viewing.

Online whistleblower website, Wikileaks has caused increasing controversy around the world by releasing US diplomatic correspondence.

The wikipedia describes WikiLeaks as an international new media non-profit organisation established in 2006 that publishes otherwise unavailable documents from anonymous news sources and leaks.

WikiLeaks has this year repeatedly angered US authorities and triggered headlines worldwide by publishing classified material that President Barrack Obama and the US State Department say “put real lives and real interests at risk.” WikiLeaks in April posted video from a 2007 incident in which Iraqi civilians and journalists were killed by US forces. In July WikiLeaks released a compilation of more than 76 900 documents about the ongoing war in Afghanistan not previously available for public review. In October, the group released a package of almost 400 000 documents related to the Iraq war of 2003 to 2009 in coordination with major commercial media organisations. Last month, WikiLeaks began releasing US State department diplomatic cables.

The original source of the leaked cables is not known, but a US Army private, Bradley Manning, who worked as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, has been charged with unauthorised downloading of more than 150 000 State Department cables, some of them related to South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria.