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WikiLeaks no longer asking for classified files

WikiLeaks is no longer asking for "classified" information to be submitted to its whistle-blowing website.

Changes to the site's submissions page were spotted by New York Times journalist Charlie Savage.

The amendments may mark a move by the site to distance itself from allegations that it actively sought secret information, including more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables recently leaked by the site in its so-called 'Cablegate' disclosure.

"WikiLeaks accepts a range of material, but we do not solicit it," the text of the site submissions page now reads.

The move may be part of an attempt to head off US accusations that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange actively colluded with US Army private Bradley Manning, the person accused of leaking substantial quantities of classified military intelligence.

Establishing such a link would be key to US prosecutors securing Assange's conviction under the 1917 Espionage Act - the most likely source of charges to be brought against the WikiLeaks founder by a Federal Grand Jury, secretly convened in Alexandria, Virginia.

Assange's London-based solicitor, Mark Stephens has said that if his client is extradited to Sweden, it is his understanding that authorities there are prepared to defer the Australian's prosecution for sex offences, in favour of extradition to the US.

Such a move would face a number of obstacles - not least, the fact that Sweden's extradition treaty with the US does not cover extradition under the 1917 Act.

UK Government sources maintain that they have not been approached by the US over the matter of extradition.

Tags: wikileaks, julian assange, new york times