Tech Industry

WikiLeaks' last stand? (week in review)

The leader of the document-releasing group is arrested, faces possible extradition, and sees his funding cut off. Also: Facebook and Chrome unveil new offerings.

It's been a rough week for Julian Assange, simultaneously one of the most hated and revered people in the world.

Assange, leader of the WikiLeaks project that's released thousands of classified files detailing U.S. military and diplomatic activity, was arrested earlier this week in London on a Swedish accusation of sexual assault. Assange, who denies the charges, was denied bail by the local magistrate.

The U.S. government has indicated that Assange could be in legal jeopardy for disclosing classified information because he is "not a journalist." The federal government may seek his extradition to the United States, which has reportedly already been the topic of discussions between U.S. and Swedish officials.

The arrest is a further serious setback for WikiLeaks, whose actions have incurred the wrath of politicians and pundits but also attracted allies drawn to its cause and disturbed by the response to WikiLeaks.

Over the weekend, PayPal stopped processing payments to the embattled documents-sharing site, a move that was soon followed by MasterCard and Visa, limiting its revenue sources.

That lead a hacker group calling itself "Anonymous" to retaliate against the companies for the suspensions, launching distributed denial-of-service attack on their sites. and were both taken offline briefly, and Web site for the Swedish prosecution agency, which is trying to extradite Assange on the sexual assault allegations, has been targeted too. was attacked too, its massive server infrastructure fended off the attack.

Dutch authorities said that they have arrested a 16-year-old hacker involved in the pro-WikiLeaks attacks on the Web sites of MasterCard and PayPal.
•  Facebook, Twitter boot WikiLeaks supporters after Visa attack
•  Twitter: We aren't blocking WikiLeaks info
•  Report: Ex-WikiLeakers to launch new Openleaks site
•  Assange: WikiLeaks punished for revealing truth
•  WikiLeaks armors itself to survive cyberattacks
•  Feds block workers from WikiLeaks, mirror sites

More headlines

Google shows Chrome notebook, Web Store

At a press event, Google demonstrates a prototype Chrome OS notebook as well as the Chrome Web Store, which launched this week.
•  Google's Chrome Web Store open for business
•  Chrome Web Store a gift for developers, a sea change for users
•  Google tunes up Chrome's JavaScript engine
•  Chrome OS puts the cloud in your hands

Facebook rolls out face-lift for profile pages

CEO Mark Zuckerberg gives sneak peek of profile pages' new look during an interview on "60 Minutes," but Facebook started rolling out the new layout before the appearance.
•  A tense look at Facebook on '60 Minutes'

Bad time for Netflix CFO to resign

Barry McCarthy will be replaced by David Wells, a former vice president of financial planning. The move comes as many in Hollywood debate whether Netflix is a threat to more lucrative business models.
•  Why Netflix's CFO decided to go
•  Blockbuster laughed at Netflix partnership offer
•  Netflix signs new Disney-ABC deal, shows up doubters

Google's Web e-book store ready for chapter 1

It's getting to be a crowded market for e-books, but Google's long-awaited entry into this space with the Google eBookstore could make room for another.
•  Amazon unveils Kindle Web app
•  Amazon enhances Kindle for the Web

SpaceX test flight of cargo craft a success

In NASA-sponsored test flight, SpaceX launches a commercial cargo carrier needed to resupply the space station after the shuttle retires next year. SpaceX founder calls flight "mind-blowingly awesome."

Also of note
•  Costco confirms it will stop selling Apple products
•  Internet Explorer 9 to get tracking protection
•  Rogue merchant arrested after gaming Google