Wikileaks founder Julian Assange held talks to agree to present US diplomatic documents to The Times it has emerged. A letter, tweeted by The Guardian’s data editor, James Ball, from 24 November 2010, revealed that Assange was in discussions to provide The Times with access to intercepted cables held by the website. Ball revealed the picture of the letter in response to The Times front page coverage of MI5 chief Andrew Parker’s claims that The Guardian and its reports working alongside NSA whistleblower Edward Snowdon had put lives at risk and aided terrorism.
The letter read: “To Whom it May Concern, “I have authorised James Ball to negotiate with The Times in relation to the publication of stories arising out of US diplomatic cables held by WIKILEAKS ITC LTD (Australia) and SUNSHINE PRESS PRODUCTIONS (Iceland). (sic) This extends to showing The Times selected cables, but not permitting them to retain them. The final agreement must be authorised by Julian Assange or another Director of WIKILEAKS ITC or SUNSHINE PRESS PRODUCTIONS, however the authorisation may be relayed through Mr Ball to The Times.”It is then signed by Assange , editor-in-chief of Wikileaks. At the time of writing The Times had been contacted by The Drum but had failed to comment.