The release of some 250,000 cables from US embassies on whistleblower website Wikileaks has prompted the formation of a whole-of-government taskforce to look at the risk posed by the leak to Australia’s national security.
According to Federal Attorney General, Robert McClelland, there was “every indication” that the released documentation could relate to classified national security documentation.
“The release of this information could prejudice the safety of people referred to in the documentation and indeed, could be damaging to the national security interests of the United States and its allies, including Australia,” McClelland said.
“There has been established a whole-of-government taskforce to look at those issues and to obviously go through each and every incident to see what impact it may have and what action should appropriately be taken to firstly reduce any impact - adverse impact, but certainly to see what can be done to rectify the situation.”
McClelland said individual cables were being assessed by applicable government agencies.
“The various agencies are looking at documents that are specific to themselves,” he said.
“And they in turn, the agencies will come together with our taskforce to both relate the information that has been contained in the documents and look at any remedial action that will be taken.”
According to AAP, some 1500 of the full 250,000 classified United States documents relate to Australia.
The release of the documents was flagged a week ago by the website, promising the release of load information seven times larger than the Iraq War Logs.
Last week a Swedish Svea Court of Appeals decided that WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, should still be detained.
The decision follows Assange appeal against the District Court's move to have him detained "on probable cause suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion."