Australia may have followed Julian Assange into the toilet

Exposing state crimes in the “war on terror” comes with a price. And don’t expect governments to protect you:

Australian spy agencies may have monitored the WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange, and the Attorney-General would welcome prosecution of the group’s members if offences could be proved.

The new claims come less than three weeks before the expected publication by WikiLeaks of another tranche of secret US government documents, this time about the war in Iraq. It is expected to contain four times as many documents as the Afghan logs published two months ago by the website.

Speaking at the launch of an international cyber security exercise, the Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, expressed disapproval of WikiLeaks’s publication in July of tens of thousands of secret US documents relating to the war in Afghanistan. He said the publication, of 77,000 documents, had put lives at risk and criticised WikiLeaks for making such a decision ”from the comfort of an office”.

”Anything that puts those people – who are serving their country and protecting our security – at risk is entirely reprehensible, whether it’s done for notoriety or whether it’s done for commercial interests,” Mr McClelland said.

He would not comment on allegations by a WikiLeaks insider that Australian intelligence agencies had been monitoring Mr Assange while he was in Australia, or that they shared intelligence about him with agencies from the US, Britain and Sweden.

”It’s not the sort of thing that I would comment on, but ”¦ we do co-operate in respect to a number of matters internationally,” he said.