The UK government has issued a Defence Advisory Notice (DA-Notice) to news editors not to publish or broadcast extracts from leaks of sensitive US cables pertaining to national security issues.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) called on the editors to brief the government beforehand if they planned to publish sensitive information and to consider the UK national interests, news agencies reported.
The DA-Notice was issued after the Guardian newspaper pledged on Monday to release leaked documents in which US officials offer embarrassing assessment of Prime Minister David Cameron and “weak” ex-premier Gordon Brown.
The Notices issued by the MoD are not legally enforceable to suppress publication of any materials.
The areas, which the MoD has advised editors not to expound on include: British military operations, plans and capabilities, nuclear and conventional weapons, ciphers and secure communications, sensitive installations, home addresses and security and intelligence services.
The Guardian began on Sunday releasing a raft of documents sent by US embassies worldwide and published by the whistleblower website, WikiLeaks.
The paper said it will continue releasing the documents on a daily basis over the next two weeks.
The documents relating to Brown and Cameron have not been released, but the newspaper said to expect damning verdicts on the coalition government and Brown.
US officials were trying to stem the fallout from the latest leaked documents of up to three million confidential diplomatic communiqués.
The Prime Minister’s office has confirmed that the US ambassador in London, Louis Susman, has already briefed the government on what the files might contain.
WikiLeaks is releasing over 250,000 embassy cables, dating from 1966 to the end of February this year, in stages over the next few months.