Dutch public TV keeps Wikileaks site online

8th December 2010, Comments 0 comments


The Netherlands Media Authority CvdM has said it will not close down a Wikileaks mirror site hosted by public broadcaster PowNed.

The issue was raised by Christian Democrat MPs who said it was unacceptable for a publicly funded organisation to publish a copy of the secret US embassy messages. Media Minister Marja van Bijsterveld, when asked by reporters what her position was, said "It is not up to me as the government's media minister to intervene in the output of public broadcasters". She explained that any measures should be taken by the independent Media Authority.

After PowNed, a second public broadcaster, VPRO, has republished the Wikileaks files. "We want to demonstrate that we are in favour of information freedom," the company said on its website. "Supplying the public with relevant information is the public broadcasters' duty."

Last week the Wikileaks website published thousands of secret US embassy messages, whose outspoken and frank tone caused an uproar in diplomatic circles, with world leaders demanding apologies for the manner in which they were described. 

Multiple copies of the Wikileaks files have been posted on independent servers around the world. Many of these servers have been targeted by denial-of-service attacks, in apparent efforts to bar viewers from accessing the leaked documents.

Wikileaks founder Julain Assange was arrested on Tuesday in the UK on charges connected with an alleged sex offence in Sweden.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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