Government must 'get wise' to leaks

The government should be more transparent and proactive in publishing communications rather than "clamming up" following the Wikileaks revelations, the UK's Information Commissioner has claimed.

Christopher Graham claimed that ministers and civil servants could no longer assume that they work in private.

He said the authorities needed to "wise up" to the fact that almost any official communication could potentially be made public.

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He said: "We are strongly of the view that things should be published. Where you're open, things will not be Wikileaked. Whatever view you take about Wikileaks - right or wrong - it means that things will now get out. It has changed things. I'm saying government and authorities need to factor it in. Be more proactive, publishing more stuff, because quite a lot of this is only exciting because we didn't know it.

"You can't un-invent Wiki-leaks. Wikileaks is part of the phenomenon of the online, empowered citizen ... these are facts that aren't going to go away. Government and authorities need to wise up to that."

Mr Graham, who became Information Commissioner in June 2009, said he opposes the indiscriminate leaking of information.

He added: "The difference between what I do and what Julian Assange does is the difference between freedom of information and free-for-all."