Amazon gives WikiLeaks the boot

Faith Merino · December 2, 2010 · Short URL:

After questioning from the feds, Amazon removes WikiLeaks from its servers

After stumbling under a crippling denial-of-service attack, WikiLeaks was all but doomed until Amazon came to the rescue Wednesday afternoon, allowing the whistle-blower website to get back into the business of whistle-blowing using an Amazon host site.  But pressure from the federal government prompted Amazon to boot WikiLeaks from its servers Wednesday afternoon. began releasing confidential U.S. Embassy cables on Sunday but quickly fell victim to a denial-of-service attack that bombarded its server with so much data that the website was effectively, if temporarily, shut down.  The attack prompted the organization to switch over to an Amazon host site, and federal lawmakers responded, in turn, by grilling Amazon about its relationship with WikiLeaks.

“WikiLeaks’ illegal, outrageous, and reckless acts have compromised our national security and put lives at risk around the world,” said Senator Joseph Lieberman, chairman of the senate governmental affairs committee, to the New York Times. “No responsible company – whether American or foreign – should assist WikiLeaks in its efforts to disseminate these stolen materials.”

Lieberman said that Amazon reached out to his office to discuss the issue, and that he would question the company about its dealings with WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks, for its part, blasted Amazon in a tone that does more to characterize the organization as a self-important tattle-tale than a legitimate whistle-blower.  WikiLeaks tweeted late Wednesday: “WikiLeaks servers at Amazon ousted. Free speech the land of the free--fine our $ are now spent to employ people in Europe.”  This tweet was followed by another: “If Amazon are so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books.”  One follower replied with a haughty scoff: “So-called freedom in the USA…”

This is really starting to sound like a meeting of the Young Democrats club in high school.  Or what happens when a bunch of liberals get drunk together—everybody starts out-lefting one another.  (I’m sure the same thing happens when a bunch of conservatives get drunk.)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was placed on Interpol’s wanted list Wednesday morning in connection with charges of sex crimes in Sweden.  He has denied the charges, insisting that the encounters were consensual.  His lawyer has called the charges an act of persecution and a smear campaign.

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