December 2, 2010 - Wikileaks has taken a hit from former server host Amazon.com. According to a report today at AtomStack.com, "Amazon has cut them off from access to their Elastic Cloud Computing servers, and it’s about time. However, Reuters has reported that Wikileaks is now using European servers. Pressure was brought to bear on Amazon by Sen. Joseph Lieberman, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. He contacted Amazon on Tuesday, inquiring about their ties with Wikileaks. This apparently jolted Amazon into action." More at AtomStack...
An amusing post at U.S. Politics today notes that "WikiLeaks condemned Amazon's decision stating if they 'are so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books'." Perhaps, if WikiLeaks understood the First Amendment, it would know that Amazon's decision to pull their server access is not a Constitution issue any more than it be for a small book store to decline to sell a particular author's work.
The First Amendment says, in full, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." (Source) It says nothing about a merchant's right to sell or not sell any particular piece of merchandise, nor of a publisher's obligation to give access to any speech it chooses to steer clear of. In other words, Amazon's decision to pull the plug could be called a lot of things, but it cannot correctly be called unconstitutional.
On December 1, Joe Weisenthal reported at BusinessInsider.com that Amazon was about to make life more difficult for Wikileaks. This came as the result of thousands of complaints from ordinary Americans. (Note: As of our posting on December 1, at 2:38 p.m. EST, Wikileaks.org was still online.)
From Weisenthal's December 1 report at 2:17 p.m. EST:
Right now we can get to the main site of Wikileaks and the sub-site hosting the Cables.
(A third-party site hosting the docs can be found here) And yet there are reports that the site will go down, and Reuters says Amazon will stop providing it hosting services. Amazon was involved with another scandal, recently, when it dithered on pulling an e-book regarding pedophilia. Read more at BusinessInsider.com...
Okay, so Amazon pulled Wikileak's plug, but only because of immense public pressure and for strictly selfish reasons. You might want to consider boycotting Amazon.com for the next several decades.
Amazon's Wikileaks Rejection Raises Cloud Trust Concerns PC World
WikiLeaks servers moved to France, for now NZ Herald
Arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange - Daily Mail (Pakistan)
Bank of America shares fall on WikiLeaks fears Ventura County Star
Companies could be easy targets for WikiLeaks Today Show MSNBC