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Wikipedia founder attacks Wikileaks

Wikileaks risks lives, says Jimmy Wales

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has launched a strongly-worded attack on controversial whistleblowing site Wikileaks, accusing it of risking lives with some of its recent Afghan war disclosures.

At the World Capital Markets Symposium conference in Kuala Lumpur, he also expressed annoyance at the way the site had appropriated the term 'wiki', which in Wales' view implies that a site allows contributions from users, which Wikileaks doesn't.

"I would distance myself from WikiLeaks, I wish they wouldn't use the name, they are not a Wiki. A big way they got famous in the first place was by using the word Wiki, which was unfortunate in my view," he was reported by AFP as saying.

Associates of Wales at the Wikimedia Foundation which runs Wikipedia have in the past vented their annoyance at the assumption that the two sites have a connection to one another when no connection exists.

The latest broadside could be part of a concerted effort to disconnect Wikipedia from the cuckoo in its nest, as Wikimedia sees it.

However, Wales's most pointed remarks were saved for Wikileaks' recent Afghan War Diary revelations, which seriously upset the US military.

"I think it is really important when we have sensitive information, that we do rely on responsible journalists to sort through it for us [...] It's much better than dumping all kinds of crazy information online and get people killed," Wales was quoted as telling conference-goers.

"I don't think Julian Assange [Wikileaks' founder] wants those people killed, however if he irresponsibly follows the policy of releasing absolutely everything, it's incredibly dangerous for those people," Wales added.

Since its appearance in January 2007, Wikileaks has been on a fast track towards becoming the most contentious popular website in internet history.

The serious controversy began earlier this year with the posting of a video appearing to show US helicopter pilots unnecessarily gunning down civilians in Iraq, a video which went on to star on YouTube.

This was followed in late July by the Afghan War Diary, a huge cache of previously top-secret files detailing events from the war in Afghanistan that the Us and other NATO militaries would rather the world did not see,

Julian Assange reportedly went into hiding, while the US serviceman believed by some to have leaked some or all of the files to Wikileaks, Bradley Manning, was arrested and charged.

Recently, its servers were moved to a hosting site in a former nuclear bunker under Stockholm, not long after its founder, Julian Assange, was questioned over alleged molestation accusations in Sweden.

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