July 20, 2011 at 6:39 PM ET
Responding to concerned inquiries about WikiLeaks being classified as among "extremist web sites" by the National Library of Australia, the Library of Congress has removed the whistleblower site from the same designation.
The exchange above shows the inquiry from @carwinb to @librarycongress, prompted by the Aussie library's catalog classification of WikiLeaks under "extremist websites."
WL Central, a site that itself catalog WikiLeaks news, analysis and actions, compiled a narrative, of sorts, that began with some sharp-eyed Twitter users who noticed Andrew Fowler's book, "The Most Dangerous Man in the World," about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, cataloged under the keywords "extremist web sites," among others.
Also appearing in search results under those keywords: "Inside WikiLeaks" by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a book on WikiLeaks by an Indonesian author and Assange's unpublished autobiography, "WikiLeaks Versus the World: My Story."
(Another book about WikiLeaks, however was not classified so: David Leigh and Luke Harding's "WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy.")
Twitter users then found two hits at the Library of Congress: Domscheit-Berg's book "and the records of a US Congress hearing on the strategy for countering jihadist websites."
While the Library of Congress did appear to respond quickly enough once prompted, it has not always had the most cordial view of WikiLeaks. In December, it blocked access to the site "across its computer systems, including those for use by patrons in the reading rooms." As explained in this blog post:
"The Library decided to block Wikileaks because applicable law obligates federal agencies to protect classified information. Unauthorized disclosures of classified documents do not alter the documents’ classified status or automatically result in declassification of the documents."