Media Room: Media Releases
Department of Defence
Outcomes of WikiLeaks investigation
A Department of
Defence Task Force has completed its investigation into the unauthorised
release of classified military documents relating to International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) activities in
The Task Force
conducted a detailed examination of the leaked materials to identify references
to Australian interests and Australian personnel. These results were compared with operational
reporting and Defence public statements to determine the potential impact on Australian interests and
personnel, including the protection and operations of forces deployed in
The investigation found that the leaked materials were predominantly tactical-level reporting, the majority of which was low-level operational reporting of activities such as patrols, community engagement and routine operational activities. Some of the documents also covered foreign diplomatic reporting.
The Australian Government’s concern, in calling for a review of the materials, was to ensure that as a result of the leaking of the materials, steps were taken by Defence to mitigate any risks to Australians, our partners, those with whom we work including in the local community, and our ongoing operations.
The Task Force
found that significant operational issues relating to
operational reports published by WikiLeaks would not routinely be made public
by Defence, for operational security reasons. The investigation found that the
leaked documents have not had a direct significant adverse impact on
The review concluded that no local sources were clearly identified and steps have been taken to mitigate the risk of this occurring.
The investigation also found that current Defence processes for public reporting of significant operational events are appropriate, and that Defence achieves high levels of transparency while protecting information that could put the lives of Australian Defence Force personnel, our ISAF and Afghan National Security Force partners, and Afghan civilians at risk.
The Task Force is
now examining the recent publication by WikiLeaks of around 400,000 documents
relating to the war in
Media contact: Defence Media Liaison: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664
by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
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