Wikileaks, the whistleblowing organisation, has released the full cache of the U.S. diplomatic cables in unredacted form.
The cables contain, in some cases, highly confidential state secrets, of opinions and views of U.S. diplomats around the world; some of which have caused great embarrassment and diplomatic tension for many countries.
But Wikileaks had lost control of the full 251,287 cables, long before now.
Earlier this week, Wikileaks said that it has "commenced pre-litigation action" against the Guardian for allegedly publishing the decryption key to a file, which contained the unreleased diplomatic cables.
The Guardian strongly denies the allegation, pointing fingers at Wikileaks, by stating that the password was intended to be a "temporary code", and not one which could then cause further encrypted files to be opened.
The decryption code was released by the @wikileaks Twitter account earlier today. It will go down in history as the password to unlock one of the most sensitive caches of U.S. intelligence the world has ever seen.
But fury has erupted amongst media groups which once collaborated with Wikileaks, which had previously carefully redacted names and sensitive information which could endanger lives.
The Guardian (United Kingdom), El Pais (Spain), the New York Times (United States) and Der Spiegel (Germany), called the move "deplorable" in a joint statement:
"Our previous dealings with WikiLeaks were on the clear basis that we would only publish cables which had been subjected to a thorough joint editing and clearance process. We will continue to defend our previous collaborative publishing endeavour.
We cannot defend the needless publication of the complete data – indeed, we are united in condemning it.
"The decision to publish by Julian Assange was his, and his alone."
Wikileaks said in a tweet that it was "shining a light on 45 years of U.S. 'diplomacy'", shortly before it released the decryption key. The cables are also in a searchable format, thanks to the effort of crowdsourcing.
The cables are grouped by the country of origin, including a massive 15,652 cables marked "SECRET".
But the 70GB file, known as the "Cablegate2" archive, has caused further problems for Assange, who is already facing sexual misconduct charges in Sweden, as he awaits extradition from England.
The Canberra Times reports that the Australian government may be seeking charges against Assange and Wikileaks for publishing the name of an officer, working for an Australian intelligence service -- an offence under Australian law.
Meanwhile yesterday, Reporters Without Borders said it was suspending its Wikileaks mirror site, concerned over the safety of sources and informants.
- ZDNet's Wikileaks series: Whistleblowers or terrorists? The Wikileaks story
- Wikileaks: The diplomatic cables release and media reactions
- Wikileaks: How the organization functions and operates
- WikiLeaks Assange: U.S. doesn't have the technology to take us down