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Wikileaks Booted From Amazon 528

Posted by samzenpus
from the you're-outta-here dept.
dakameleon writes "Wikileaks has been booted from its Amazon hosting, and has now shifted to being hosted in Europe. Senator Lieberman, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said in a statement, 'This morning Amazon informed my staff that it has ceased to host the WikiLeaks website,' which raises the question whether this was requested by the government. Senator Lieberman said Amazon's decision to cut off WikiLeaks 'is the right decision and should set the standard for other companies WikiLeaks is using to distribute its illegally seized material.'"
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Wikileaks Booted From Amazon

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  • Right then (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:01AM (#34415838)

    Nice that amazon have shown their colours... I shall no longer trade with them. Vote with your wallet, it's the only way they'll learn.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:03AM (#34415850) Journal

    "If you have nothing to hide, then you shouldn't object to us searching you car, or home, or spying on your internet."

    You've been telling us that for years Mr. Senator. Are you now saying you no longer believe that? Hmmm. First you spied on us, and performed unconstitutional/illegal searches ... and now WE are spying on you. The wheel turns does it not Mr. Politician?

    Fucking asshole.

  • Re:Right then (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:05AM (#34415866) Journal

    I think it's substantially more likely that they booted Wikileaks because:
    1) Wikileaks made Amazon servers a target for DDOS
    2) They aren't gaining a lot from providing the hosting, versus massive costs
    3) They lose a lot of goodwill with people who don't agree with Wikileak (especially government folks)

    I don't think it's fair to expect Amazon to keep them on even in the face of potentially high losses. Businesses are in the business of making money, after all, and this is just a financial no brainer.

  • No kindle for me.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SwedishPenguin (1035756) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:05AM (#34415868)

    I was actually considering buying a Kindle despite its nonstandard format, but this makes me reconsider..
    If they cave this easy, how can I trust that they won't remotely remove any books the US government deems undesirable?

  • Re:Right then (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:09AM (#34415894) Journal

    I'm fairly sure businesses are entitled to change their minds when they realize they've made a mistake that might cost them more than they bargained for. Requiring all businesses to charge full on ahead even in the face of losses doesn't make much sense.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:12AM (#34415920) Homepage

    The majority of the classified information they've dump has been the sort of shit that the federal government produces in reams and forgets about. It's not "whistle-blower grade" materials like the Pentagon Papers. All it's likely to do is make the politicians more paranoid and to impose security theater on federal agencies. There's already enough of that within the federal government itself. The last thing we need is more.

    What Wikileaks needs to do is focus on stuff like exposing Bank of America which it says it plans to do. What the big banks have done to this country and world is actually worse than what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their behavior has quite literally crippled the ability of the housing market in the US to function, ever, without radical political intervention [codemonkeyramblings.com] to clean up the title disputes, and that is only the tip of the iceberg. It's more likely than not that their manipulations have us on the precipice of a depression that is far worse than the Great Depression. Sure, we found out that an extra 15k Iraqis died than we were officially told; the big banks have laid the foundation for an economic environment in which a lot of people in our own country may very well starve to death before it's all said and done.

    If Assange's goal really is to clean house, then there are many targets that are softer, more inviting and more damning when exposed than most of what Wikileaks has accomplished with the DoD. If I had his ear, I'd tell him to go after Goldman Sachs. Go for the mother load of information from them. Get someone to hand over all of the server logs of communications between them and federal officials. Or better yet...

    Target the Federal Reserve.

  • by captainpanic (1173915) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:12AM (#34415928)

    I know it happens all the time.. but I strongly believe that business shouldn't get involved in politics, and politics should not get involved in business.

    Because of the strong opposition from especially the USA, Wikileaks has become a political faction (rather than just media)... the line between media and politics is thin anyway.

    so, it's a good decision for Amazon to break all ties with Wikileaks. It's just that the timing makes it a political decision in itself.
    The USA growled so loudly about wikileaks that a lot of organisations that wouldn't care about it now chose that it's wiser to be against wikileaks.

  • by Ieshan (409693) <ieshan&gmail,com> on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:15AM (#34415952) Homepage Journal

    This is the most ridiculous sentiment to come out of this entire thing.

    Presumably, you want your government (whatever government that might be) to have strong diplomacy and the ability to influence its region of the world. Diplomacy allows countries to resolve conflicts and solve problems without throwing bombs at each other. And, you want other countries, your allies, to be able to approach your country with issues about their own security from threatening neighbors, without necessarily throwing gasoline on the flames.

    Both of those things [i]require secrecy[/i]. Both of those things [i]require confidential communication[/i].

    It may be true that the US Government (and ALL governments) do things that overstep the bounds of power. But all diplomacy and negotiations require some measure of confidence, and all alliances require the ability to have confidential communication.

    This leak wasn't about exposing some massive corruption about the US putting drugs in the water supply. It was about releasing a bunch of documents, mostly about either relatively mundane topics or communications between countries or embassies.

    Strong diplomacy is worth the secrecy that comes with confidential communication. Jeopardizing that to "fight the man" is certainly criminal and probably insane.

  • by JackieBrown (987087) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:19AM (#34415972)

    Some people are realizing that corporations are in control of freedom of speech, not the government.

    Freedom of speech protects us from infringement from the government, not other people or corporations.

  • Hypocrites (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chrb (1083577) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:22AM (#34415998)

    When the MI6 operatives list [slashdot.org] was being mirrored by American citizens, MI6 said that it would "endanger the lives of agents", and yet the U.S. government did not take down any web sites, and American citizens were not threatened with prosecution for publishing the list. Now an Australian citizen releases data that the U.S. government would rather didn't see the light of day, and U.S. politicians are calling for censorship, internet kill switches, and executions and assassinations of everybody involved [telegraph.co.uk]. If China or Russia did the same, these politicians would be crying crocodile tears for the death of freedom. Hypocrites.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:25AM (#34416028) Homepage Journal

    Presumably, you want your government (whatever government that might be) to have strong diplomacy and the ability to influence its region of the world.

    I want my country to influence the whole world positively. Lies only beget more lies, they do not bring lasting peace.

  • Re:Right then (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:30AM (#34416076)

    1) Wikileaks made Amazon servers a target for DDOS

    No, that was the US Government.

    2) They aren't gaining a lot from providing the hosting, versus massive costs

    Are you really suggesting that denying service to minorities is an acceptable cost saving measure?

    3) They lose a lot of goodwill with people who don't agree with Wikileak (especially government folks)

    Now popularity is reason enough to discriminate?

    Let me get this straight. Amazon is doing evil, but it's a solid business decision so we shouldn't hold it against them?

    I don't quite follow that.

  • by SomethingOrOther (521702) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:40AM (#34416168) Homepage
    Sure, we found out that an extra 15k Iraqis died than we were officially told

    Just read that line back to yourself a few times........ THAT is why this is important.
    Thank you wikileaks.
  • Re:Right then (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AlXtreme (223728) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:40AM (#34416170) Homepage Journal

    With AWS EC2/S3 you pay for bandwidth. Considering the amount of traffic I don't think this has anything to do with high costs (or perhaps Wikileaks racked up a huge bill due to the DDOS and couldn't pay). I would like to see a reaction from Amazon.

    This shows what can happen if you host your business "in the cloud" and the cloud doesn't like your business, though this is an extreme example. As I recall they were booted from regular hosters before...

  • by CxDoo (918501) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:44AM (#34416208)

    The fact that you (& many others) consider this not unique (i.e. normal) is even worse than the request itself.

  • by dmcq (809030) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:47AM (#34416228)
    Well I had a read of the Acceptable Use Policy above and I can't see any grounds under that unless you include embarrassing officials as offensive. They're doing nothing illegal, mainly it's a question of extent compared to what newspapers do every day of the week. I guess they must have an 'or any other reason why' clause somewhere or else have just done it knowing they won't be sued.
  • Well I had a read of the Acceptable Use Policy above and I can't see any grounds under that unless you include embarrassing officials as offensive. They're doing nothing illegal,

    STOP RIGHT THERE because you have invalidated your comment with that sentence fragment. It's illegal in this country to distribute this information. Amazon had a legal obligation to terminate their relationship with Wikileaks. I feel that Wikileaks is doing nothing unethical or immoral, but illegal? It is most certainly illegal. Perhaps you should go read up on Civil Disobedience.

  • Actually it is not illegal to distribute classified information if you are a media organization. Only the person that actually had the access and who did the distribution to the journalists can be considered as doing illegal actions. And even then such claim must first be proven in court.

  • by dup_account (469516) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:56AM (#34416354)
    You *Assume* it's illegal to distribute this information. If it was illegal, the US would have gone to the courts, show it was illegal, and the filed for a proper take-down notice.

    This was done because of pure and simple political pressure.

    This whole story shouldn't be about what wiki leaks did, or who got the information. It should be about what these "diplomats" were doing and saying about each other in a non-civilized fashion. Transparency is the biggest fear of the corrupt, like light to vampires.

    Quite simply, what they told us about the patriot act. If you have done nothing wrong, then you have nothing to fear.
  • by copponex (13876) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @09:03AM (#34416434) Homepage

    What the big banks have done to this country and world is actually worse than what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan

    No, a hundred thousand people killed by a country with no right to even be in their hemisphere is a million times worse than the loss of economic productivity. Not one single Iraqi ever physically harmed an American outside of their sovereign border. The same goes for the Afghani people.

    And you wonder why no one has respect for the American culture anymore? Go fuck yourself.

  • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @09:30AM (#34416724)

    I don't give a fuck about what happens outside US territory.

    Makes sense, so long as you're A-OK with the US:

    *Having no exports

    *Having no imports

    *Being completely prone to a Pearl Harbor type surprise attack at any time

    Also, this stance requires that the rest of the world respect your decision and leave you completely alone.

    You're proposing that the US be the crazy hermit who moves into the woods and doesn't talk to anybody. Unfortunately, isolationism as you describe never works, because the real world always intrudes. We tried it a few times, if you recall from history class.

    The fact is, we need treaties, for trade and defense. Those treaties require confidentiality, at a minimum so we can respect the confidences of others with respect to other countries they don't like. While I certainly don't approve negotiations designed to keep the people in the dark (ACTA), it's a false dichotomy to suggest that *all* secrets are bad.

  • Purpose (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Atzanteol (99067) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @09:47AM (#34416936) Homepage

    "which raises the question whether this was requested by the government."

    This is exactly why wikileaks exists. To answer these questions.

  • Re:Right then (Score:4, Insightful)

    by iron-kurton (891451) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @09:48AM (#34416952)

    Are you really suggesting that denying service to minorities is an acceptable cost saving measure?

    Is this a serious question? Businesses are interested in getting the biggest ROI and therefore cut services that aren't profitable. This happens all the time outside of your armchair rights-activist circles. Amazon isn't offering hosting services so you can feel warm and fuzzy about the world - it's offering services to make cold, hard cash. Why should they bleed money and risk a nasty litigation process without any potential return on investment? Wikileaks came and it will go, and most people outside of civil liberty circles will forget about it in 3-6 months (which may be a gross overestimate). This really is a no-brainer on Amazon's part.

    Now popularity is reason enough to discriminate?

    What should Amazon do, in your opinion? Drag this out on principle, lose a bunch of money or cut Wikileaks' legally dubious services? Sounds simple to me. Show me a company that wouldn't cut Wikileaks under these circumstances*, and I will show you a company that will be bankrupt soon. *the only alternative is what they already did: move the servers to a country that offers some kind of safe-harbor against this.

  • Re:Right then (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Slashdot Parent (995749) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @10:09AM (#34417244)

    Nonsense. A business ought to understand the risk before accepting the deal.

    Amazon Web Services products are self-service. Amazon wouldn't have known that they were hosting WikiLeaks until after it was already live.

  • by copponex (13876) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @10:41AM (#34417698) Homepage

    I'd like to see your proof for that universal and categorical negative.

    I made the falsifiable assertion. It's up to you to disprove it.

    You may or may not agree with the war in Iraq (I certainly don't) but what is occurring cannot compare to what occurred before.

    Surely it can. The low estimates of Iraqi casualties in both cases are about 100,000, and at least a few studies (like the Lancet) put direct and indirect deaths in Iraq well above 500,000 since 2003.

    Of course, most of the deaths of innocent Iraqis are due to four things:

    1) Saddam Hussein from 1980 to 1991 while he was an official ally and client of the United States.
    2) The Iran-Iraq War, which was supported by the United States after we removed Iraq from the State Sponsors of Terror list in 1982.
    3) Embargoes from the UN from 1991 until 2003 which were pushed and supported by the United States.
    4) The invasion of Iraq by the United States from 2003 until the present.

    So, that's about thirty years of death and suffering due to our geopolitical chess game. Which doesn't at all compare to any financial shenanigans committed by Americans on other Americans.

  • Re:Right then (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @11:43AM (#34418698)

    I don't necessarily fault those who give in to pressure from governments, pressure groups, and self-styled vigilantes. In a capitalist system they are responsible to the people who own the company to maximize return on their investment, and acting on principle often defies that.

    Only when you "don't necessarily fault" them. If doing the Wrong Thing causes them to lose customers, they would be maximizing shareholder value to do the Right Thing. If doing the Wrong Thing causes everybody to say "well, that's capitalism for you" and go right on paying them, well, let's just say we're all going to die.

  • I think that what they are doing is illegal as the law is written. I also think that what they are doing is right.

  • Re:Right then (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Thursday December 02, 2010 @03:10PM (#34422088) Journal

    Tort law pertains to a civil wrong done through intentional tortious acts like battery, assault, or through negligence, or through defamation, or through products liability, etc. Tort damages are damages for tortious actions, not contractual ones. It has nothing to do with this situation.

    Faith in reliance (properly termed detrimental reliance) is where one party performs in an agreement in reliance to the promises of another party. For example, if a party promised another party $10000 if they decide to go to college, and the other party does indeed go to college in reliance of that promise of $10000, then that is detrimental reliance. Neither Amazon nor Wikileaks performed anything in reliance of another's promise. It has nothing to do with this situation.

    I do not think these terms mean what you think they mean.

    In any case, I think it's hardly necessary to call me an idiot, although you are absolutely correct when you noted that the internet allows people who don't know what the "FRAK" they are talking about to post.

    You are correct that it is a matter of contract law, however, as many people have noted above, there was already a breach in the contract because Wikileaks violated the Amazon AUP (a material breach, possibly). Thus, Amazon has the option to terminate performance on their side of the contract because of the material breach.

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