Finland not exempt from WikiLeaks exposure

Around 600 secret documents released by the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks reportedly originated from Helsinki’s U.S. Embassy. A quarter of a million classified U.S. cables were published by news outlets all over the world on Monday, November 29th, in the latest controversial move from Julian Assange’s website.

Documents relating to Finland’s role in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have apparently emerged, including leaks of confidential Finnish Foreign Ministry papers on Iraq from 2003. The cables reportedly discuss internal government issues as well as foreign affairs.

Veera Heinonen, the Director of Communications at Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, said they have been monitoring the potential leaks since last week. After WikiLeaks was hit by a service attack on Sunday evening, the mass release of the diplomatic communications was blocked, but some news outlets were still able to publish material they had received in advance on Monday.

Alexander Stubb, Finland’s Foreign Minister, criticised the decision to reveal the documents, claiming relations between the U.S. and other countries could be damaged. “It is regrettable that confidential information was leaked. This will not improve world stability,” said Stubb.

He added that he has not seen the unpublished material relating to Finland but that he does not foresee any problems arising from it. ”I support transparency and public diplomacy. However, some information between states can be sensitive. This is certainly a difficult situation,” he said in a YLE report.

Image: Tiina Jutila / YLE