The recent dump is more than six times the total number of Wikileaks cables disclosed publicly since the group began leaking State Department documents last November. In the past, Wikileaks has focused on releasing cables to news organizations, which have taken care not to publish information that could put the lives of low-level sources in danger. Until recently, Wikileaks also removed key names from cables published to its own website.
The recent document dump is "in accordance with WikiLeaks's commitment to maximizing impact and making information available to all," the group said in a statement on Monday. The statement suggested that the release is a response to the "misperception" that the organization "has been less active in recent months," The New York Times reported.
State Department officials and human rights activists have worried that activists, journalists, and academics in authoritarian countries will suffer if their interaction with American diplomats becomes public. Preparing for the worst, the State Department has been carefully reviewing the full quarter-million cables obtained by Wikileaks and quietly warning those named in the documents who could face reprisals if identified, according to The Times.
Wikileaks is currently under criminal investigation by a federal grand jury for disclosing classified information.