Wikileaks threatens Australian Minister over censorship list: Conroy could be jailed in Sweden

Wikileaks has upped the ante in its stoush with the Australia Government, warning that any attempts to find the source of the leaked censorship list would cause an international incident, and could see Australian Minister for censorship Stephen Conroy indicted on criminal charges in Sweden.

The full Wikileaks release (note offline as of 4am US PDT/ 8pm AEDT):

“Wikileaks to Conroy: Go after our source and we will go after you.”

The Stockholm based publisher of Wikileaks today issued a warning to the Australian Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Steven Conroy, who is responsible for Australian internet censorship.

Senator Conroy issued an official media release yesterday in response to Wikileaks’ release of last year’s confidential Australian internet censorship blacklist. The Senator said that his department, “is investigating this matter and is considering a range of possible actions it may take including referral to the Australian Federal Police. Any Australian involved in making this content publicly available would be at serious risk of criminal prosecution.”

The Senator is perhaps unware of the legal and diplomatic risks associated with the statement.

Sunshine Press Legal Adviser Jay Lim stated:

“Under the Swedish Constitution’s Press Freedom Act, the right of a confidential press source to anonymity is protected, and criminal penalties apply to anyone acting to breach that right.

Wikileaks source documents are received in Sweden and published from Sweden so as to derive maximum benefit from this legal protection. Should the Senator or anyone else attempt to discover our source we will refer the matter to the Constitutional Police for prosecution, and, if necessary, ask that the Senator and anyone else involved be extradited to face justice for breaching fundamental rights.”

Senator Conroy may wish to consider the position of the South African Competition Commission, which decided to cancel its own high profile leak investigation in January after being advised of the legal ramifications of interfering with Sunshine Press sources.

Let me be the first to say that should Conroy breach the law in Sweden that as a citizen who respects international law, I will do everything possible to assist Sweden in the investigation.