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Amazon cuts off WikiLeaks

Following increasing pressure and complaints from the U.S. government against WikiLeaks' release of sensitive information, Amazon stops hosting the controversial site on its servers.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

WikiLeaks no longer has a home at Amazon.

The controversial site, which has roused the ire of the U.S. government for leaking classified information, is no longer being hosted by Amazon's Web servers as of yesterday.

WikiLeaks had been tapping into Amazon's EC2, or Elastic Cloud Computing service--including earlier this week. WikiLeaks said yesterday it's now being hosted by servers in Europe, according to Reuters.

In response to its expulsion from Amazon, WikiLeaks tweeted two comments:

"WikiLeaks servers at Amazon ousted. Free speech the land of the free--fine our $ are now spent to employ people in Europe."


"If Amazon are so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books."

Amazon may have dropped WikiLeaks following inquiries from Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Ind.-Conn.), who is chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Lieberman's staff contacted Amazon officials on Tuesday asking them to explain the company's relationship with WikiLeaks.

In response to Amazon's move to drop WikiLeaks, Lieberman issued a statement that reads in part:

"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."

Lieberman added that he plans to further question Amazon about its relationship with WikiLeaks and determine what it and other hosting providers can do to make sure they're not used to "distribute stolen, classified information."

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNET.

WikiLeaks has repeatedly found itself in trouble with the U.S. government over its leaking of sensitive information. But the latest release of classified and in many cases embarrassing documents from the U.S. State Department has prompted calls among some politicians to brand the site a terrorist group, putting it in the same category as al-Qaeda.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is among those looking to clamp down on the site, saying that "WikiLeaks presents a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States."

WikiLeaks has faced other pressures as well. It was hit by hackers since last weekend. The cyberattacks, which included distributed denial of service attacks, were seen as an attempt to take down the site to keep people from reading the latest round of classified disclosures.