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Amazon kicks off Wikileaks website

Amazon has ejected the WikiLeaks website, featuring leaked US embassy cables, from its servers -- after being questioned by the US Senate Homeland Security Committee.

If Amazon are so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books.less than a minute ago via web

Amazon has kicked WikiLeaks off of its servers after the website found safe harbour there from denial of service (DoS) attacks. Amazon was facing pressure from US politicians, some of whom have called for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to be tried for treason.

"[Amazon's] decision to cut off WikiLeaks now is the right decision," said US senator Joseph Lieberman in a statement. "I call on any other company or organisation that is hosting WikiLeaks to immediately terminate its relationship with them."

Staff from the US Senate Homeland Security Committee, which is chaired by Lieberman, had contacted Amazon to question it about hosting the Cablegate site.

WikiLeaks announced Amazon's move on Twitter, writing: "WikiLeaks servers at Amazon ousted. Free speech the land of the free -- fine our $ are now spent to employ people in Europe."

The WikiLeaks site that is hosting leaked cables from the US embassy was back up at the time of writing, having moved to a server in Sweden.

Amazon's status as a private company means it's free to nix Web services regardless of the US constitutional protection of free speech, but the decision worried campaigners who fear government attacks on Internet freedom. The Electronic Frontier Foundation labelled the move "disappointing" in an interview with the Talking Points Memo blog.

Update: An official Amazon blog post explains that WikiLeaks was breaking its terms of use. "It's clear that WikiLeaks doesn't own or otherwise control all the rights to this classified content," the company said.

"Further, it is not credible that the extraordinary volume of 250,000 classified documents that WikiLeaks is publishing could have been carefully redacted in such a way as to ensure that they weren't putting innocent people in jeopardy. Human rights organisations have in fact written to WikiLeaks asking them to exercise caution and not release the names or identities of human rights defenders who might be persecuted by their governments."