Austrian Ambassador addresses WikiLeaks

02/09/11 Janelle Irwin
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The Austrian Ambassador to the United States spoke yesterday at the University of Tampa about the effects WikiLeaks has on national governments. The ambassador’s primary concern was for the well being and safety of individuals mentioned in leaks.

Ambassador Christian Prosl from Austria put the diplomat back into diplomacy yesterday during his lecture to a crowd of mostly University of Tampa students. Prosl kept his thoughts on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks to a minimum, but said it’s not uncommon for leaks to occur.

Prosl’s main concern regarding various leaks from the famous whistleblower is the safety of diplomats, political figures and even everyday citizens. Prosl doesn’t condemn the actions of WikiLeaks or speak ill of its founder, but does stress the need for all parties to be careful when dealing with specific identities.

The ambassador said the redaction of names from sensitive subjects is a priority for him because of the inherent risks to those mentioned. The rest, he says, is of little consequence.

Regardless of embarrassing details or of negative implications to people in a position of power, Prosl said he doesn’t blame WikiLeaks and won’t as long as they are responsible with their information.

Assange created WikiLeaks in the interest of supporting open government. Such an idea has become the source of much debate. Prosl said open information is important only after a certain time frame because the public is not always equipped to understand before decisions are made.

Previous WMNF coverage of WikiLeaks

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