Assange gets into the gagging game

Fascinating piece by James Ball.

Yesterday, media lawyer and legal blogger David Allen Green published the full text of the gagging order signed by almost all WikiLeaks employees earlier this year.

It's an extraordinary document. WikiLeaks staffers face a £12m penalty if they reveal any information about WikiLeaks' day-to-day operations, let alone any documents given to the whistleblowing organisation.

In a move reminiscent of the UK's reviled superinjunctions, even revealing the existence of the gagging order is itself a breach.

Within minutes of the publication of the gagging document, WikiLeaks supporter Asher Wolf pointed out to her followers that I, during my time with the organisation, had refused to sign the document. Others quickly pointed out the leaked document was unsigned.

Yes, it was my copy of the agreement that was published.

The leak was hardly premeditated though – it emerged through the refusal of transparency campaigner Heather Brooke to believe I was not joking when discussing the terms of the WikiLeaks contract.

Inadvertently, I sent her a photograph of a portion of the document publicly rather than privately, over Twitter. Needless to say, this provoked a lot of interest, and one thing then led to another.