WikiLeaks--public enemy No. 1? (week in review)

The whistle-blowing site releases more classified documents to the Internet and is buried under a mountain of criticism.

Steven Musil
Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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3 min read

WikiLeaks promised its latest release of classified documents to the Internet would be its biggest to date, and the resulting backlash ratcheted up as well.

Despite strident denunciations from Washington officialdom, the whistle-blowing site released about 250,000 sensitive diplomatic cables. Among the files released is a directive signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordering clandestine electronic surveillance of United Nations leadership, including obtaining "security measures, passwords, personal encryption keys, and types of VPN versions used."

The files, which appear to have originated from the U.S. Defense Department's SIPRNET, were provided in advance to news organizations including Germany's Der Spiegel and Spain's El Pais--Wikileaks waited before releasing the cables on its own Web site.

However, even before WikiLeaks was able to post the files, its site was reportedly targeted by a massive computer attack. "We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack," WikiLeaks said on its Twitter feed the morning the files were expected to be released.

The climate only heated up from there. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, asked the Obama administration to "determine whether WikiLeaks could be designated a foreign terrorist organization," putting the group in the same company as al-Qaeda.

As a result of that pressure, Amazon stopped hosting the controversial site on its servers. WikiLeaks had been tapping into Amazon's EC2, or Elastic Cloud Computing service. WikiLeaks said it's now being hosted by servers in Europe.
•  WikiLeaks, Assange feel the heat (roundup)
•  WikiLeaks faces more U.S. demands for prosecution
•  WikiLeaks reappears on Swiss Net domain
•  Amazon: U.S. played no role in WikiLeaks disconnect
•  AG says WikiLeaks criminal probe is 'ongoing'
•  WikiLeaks has U.S. scrambling to plug holes
•  Republicans slam White House over WikiLeaks response

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