After being effectively booted off the Web by its U.S. domain name system (DNS) provider, the whistleblower website WikiLeaks has managed to reemerge on the Swiss domain, where it continues to publish classified cables detailing the activities of U.S. diplomats around the world.
EveryDNS.net, a group providing free domain name services, terminated WikiLeaks’ service followed what it described as a severe distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
On Monday, EveryDNS.net informed WikiLeaks that it would terminate its service in 24 hours owing to the attack, which it claimed violated its usage agreement for disrupting other domains that use the service.
“EveryDNS.net is not taking a position on the content hosted on the WikiLeaks.org or WikiLeaks.ch website, it is following established policies,” EveryDNS.Net said in a note on its site. “No one EveryDNS.net user has the right to put at risk, yesterday, today or tomorrow, the service that hundreds of thousands of other websites depend on.”
That sent WikiLeaks scrambling to find another service provider. Early this morning, the group posted a message to its Twitter feed saying that the WikiLeaks.org domain was offline. Then, a few hours later, the group posted an update, saying its website was back online under the Swiss Internet domain at WikiLeaks.ch.
WikiLeaks’ troubles with its DNS provider come as the latest fallout from the publication of the massive cache of secret diplomatic cables that began on Sunday, a move that elicited harsh condemnations from the Obama administration, and an announcement from the Justice Department that it is pursuing an investigation into WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, an Australian citizen believed to be in the United Kingdom. British media outlets have reportedthat authorities are expected to arrest Assange within days on unrelated rape charges he is facing in Sweden, in addition to numerous potential criminal charges in various countries pertaining to the publication of stolen documents.
In the meantime, WikiLeaks has lost its hosting service in the United States after Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) dropped the site from its Amazon Web Services cloud-based storage platform, claiming that the organization violated its terms-of-service agreement, which stipulates that customers must “own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content.”
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Ct.), the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, praised the move, saying that he would be pressing Amazon for details of its relationship with WikiLeaks.
“I call on any other company or organization that is hosting Wikileaks to immediately terminate its relationship with them,” Lieberman said in a statement. “Wikileaks’ illegal, outrageous and reckless acts have compromised our national security and put lives at risk around the world. No responsible company — whether American or foreign — should assist Wikileaks in its efforts to disseminate these stolen materials.”
Amazon, for its part, said that its decision to take down WikiLeaks was its own, disputing speculation that it had been acting at the behest of the government.
“There have been reports that a government inquiry prompted us not to serve WikiLeaks any longer. That is inaccurate,” Amazon said in a blog post.
WikiLeaks responded testily, again by Twitter.
“If Amazon are so uncomfortable with the First Amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books,” the group said.