Wikileaks has stirred up trouble again, but this time it is unclear who is to blame.
The organization, which collects and then proflierates secret, often classified documents, has leaked a series of cables over the past nine months, the most significant grouping of which was delivered late last year.
When it first shared its trove with a select trio of newspapers — the New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel — the names of certain individuals were redacted in print. As more newspapers got access and others picked up the story, the identities of those at-risk individuals remained unknown.
However, another leak has changed that. Reports first indicated that the group made 134,000 cables public last week, far more than it had previously released. More than 100 names of people previously marked for special protection were revealed in the leak.
It now appears Wikileaks' archive of all 251,287 cables has been made available online by a Twitter user who published a link to the database with identities unredacted.
The organization has blamed the Guardian for the leak, claiming that a password in "WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy" — a book written by the Guardian's David Leigh and Luke Harding — led to the documents' release.
In one of a string of posts on its Twitter feed, it said: "This is the guardian's hacking scandal. At the center, bizarrely, the Guardian journalist who confessed to phone hacking."
However, the Guardian has said that Wikileaks' head Julian Assange assured Leigh the password was temporary and that the newspaper is not to blame for the leak.
This is the type of outcome both Wikileaks and the publications it has partenered with have been dreading. Publishing the leaked cables is one matter — and to some it is considered a punishable offense — but the proliferation of secret identities now directly puts lives in danger.