Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wikileaks lose hosting

Wikileaks was taken off Amazon Web Services by Amazon this morning and was therefore offline much of the day.

Although hosts are certainly free to reject hosting others, it does raise a few questions when a company openly rejects hosting the website of a widely cited organization for political reasons. Senator Joe Lieberman did not seem to mind, however, as he released the following statement:

“This morning Amazon informed my staff that it has ceased to host the Wikileaks website. I wish that Amazon had taken this action earlier based on Wikileaks’ previous publication of classified material. The company’s decision to cut off Wikileaks now is the right decision and should set the standard for other companies Wikileaks is using to distribute its illegally seized material. I call on any other company or organization that is hosting Wikileaks to immediately terminate its relationship with them.

Wikileaks’ illegal, outrageous, and reckless acts have compromised our national security and put lives at risk around the world. No responsible company – whether American or foreign – should assist Wikileaks in its efforts to disseminate these stolen materials. I will be asking Amazon about the extent of its relationship with Wikileaks and what it and other web service providers will do in the future to ensure that their services are not used to distribute stolen, classified information.”

With this statement, Lieberman joins the long list of politicians who are willing to label what Wikileaks is doing as something illegal. What these people seem to forget is that it is courts, not politicians, who should find whether people and organizations are guilty of committing a crime. What they also forget is that the first amendment guarantees the freedom of the press, and Wikileaks appears to be protected by that amendment.

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