Showing posts with label Assange. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Assange. Show all posts

Saturday, December 04, 2010

US Registrar Yanks WikiLeaks Domain

-- News from


As of 11:00 PM EST Friday December 3, the following Domains/IPs resolve to WikiLeaks. Your mileage may vary, try other URLs or IPs if the first doesn’t work. was rendered unusable this morning and the site’s alternative domain name,, was also downed in the afternoon (though later resolved), following a move by to remove the domains from its service.

The downings have made the site somewhat difficult to access during the day, but an updated list of known, working domain names and IP addresses will be kept at the top of this article to provide access to the site’s information as it faces a growing backlash. IP addresses do not rely on any third party domain name service and should be considered the most reliable, albeit less convenient ways to get to the site. is a free DNS service provider based in New Hampshire, and insisted its decision to remove WikiLeaks’ domains was strictly due to their inability to safely handle the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against the site without risking all the other domains they manage. They insisted they don’t have any political problems with WikiLeaks.

This is in stark contrast to’s decision to remove the site’s content in the wake of a threat by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I – CT), as Amazon insisted that they were easily able to cope with the DDoS and simply decided that WikiLeaks puts people at risk.

aks puts people at risk.


RSF: WikiLeaks hounded?

WL Central | An unofficial WikiLeaks information resource


Reporters Sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders) issued an official statement  on WikiLeaks and Cablegate. The French version is available here .

"Reporters Without Borders condemns the blocking, cyber-attacks and political pressure being directed at, the website dedicated to the US diplomatic cables. The organization is also concerned by some of the extreme comments made by American authorities concerning WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

Earlier this week, after the publishing several hundred of the 250.000 cables it says it has in its possession, WikiLeaks had to move its site from its servers in Sweden to servers in the United States controlled by online retailer Amazon. Amazon quickly came under pressure to stop hosting WikiLeaks from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and its chairman, Sen. Joe Lieberman, in particular.

After being ousted from Amazon, WikiLeaks found a refuge for part of its content with the French Internet company OVH. But French digital economy minister Eric Besson today said the French government was looking at ways to ban hosting of the site. WikiLeaks was also recently dropped by its domain name provider EveryDNS. Meanwhile, several countries well known for for their disregard of freedom of expression and information, including Thailand and China, have blocked access to

This is the first time we have seen an attempt at the international community level to censor a website dedicated to the principle of transparency. We are shocked to find countries such as France and the United States suddenly bringing their policies on freedom of expression into line with those of China. We point out that in France and the United States, it is up to the courts, not politicians, to decide whether or not a website should be closed.

Meanwhile, two Republican senators, John Ensign and Scott Brown, and an independent Lieberman, have introduced a bill that would make it illegal to publish the names of U.S. military and intelligence agency informants. This could facilitate future prosecutions against WikiLeaks and its founder. But a criminal investigation is already under way and many U.S. politicians are calling vociferously for Assange’s arrest.

Reporters Without Borders can only condemn this determination to hound Assange and reiterates its conviction that WikiLeaks has a right under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment to publish these documents and is even playing a useful role by making them available to journalists and the greater public.

We stress that any restriction on the freedom to disseminate this body of documents will affect the entire press, which has given detailed coverage to the information made available by WikiLeaks, with five leading international newspapers actively cooperating in preparing it for publication.

Reporters Without Borders would also like to stress that it has always defended online freedom and the principle of “Net neutrality,” according to which Internet Service Providers and hosting companies should play no role in choosing the content that is placed online."


There is no need to modify Australian law to criminalise WikiLeaks

Gillards Says Assange Has Acted illegally 

Instead of pursuing the website for espionage, Australia should question potential US misconduct.

Western governments have gone into overdrive to discredit WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, for endangering global security. Both the US and Australia have launched criminal investigations into those who leaked and received the information.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the leaks as "an attack on the international community". The White House called those responsible "criminals" and the US is exploring espionage charges against Assange. A prominent US Republican even called for WikiLeaks to be banned as a terrorist organisation. Our own Attorney-General asked the federal police to investigate Assange. Australia finds itself in step with the criticisms of Iran, China and Turkey.

Have Assange or WikiLeaks broken Australian law? The short answer is no. There is no legal duty on ordinary Australians, here or overseas, or foreign media entities not to disclose information that may prejudice Australia's security or the security of foreign governments.

There are numerous legal restrictions on disclosing protected information, but none of those apply to Assange or WikiLeaks. Under federal criminal law and public service employment contracts, Australian officials are prohibited from disclosing protected information. The further crime of divulging official secrets covers those who receive confidential information from Australian officials and unlawfully disclose it.

Neither offence applies here, since information was not leaked from Australian officials or received from them by WikiLeaks, but came from US sources. Also irrelevant are offences concerning disclosure of protected information during court proceedings or ASIO operations.

Other security offences are also inapplicable. The crimes of treason and treachery involve assisting those fighting Australian forces or a declared enemy of Australia, but only where the person intends their conduct to so assist. The offence of espionage involves providing information concerning Australia's security, but only where the disclosure is unlawful and the person intends to advantage another country's security.

None of these three crimes would apply to WikiLeaks, because Assange did not release security information with the intention of harming Australia's interests, but purportedly in the public interest. Any espionage prosecution under US law would probably fail for a similar reason.

Likewise, publishing the leaks does not meet the fault requirements of Australia's anti-terrorism or sedition crimes, or the offence of harming Australians abroad. There is also no basis for declaring WikiLeaks a terrorist organisation or an unlawful association.

The only area where Australian law may be relevant concerns not the leaks, but Assange's personal behaviour. Interpol has issued an arrest request for him on Swedish rape charges and Australia would be required to apprehend him should he return to Australia. Even Ecuador may no longer be interested in giving him asylum if those charges are proved.

Under Australian law, as in most countries, the protection of security information is primarily achieved by regulating those entrusted with the information. That means vetting and supervising government personnel and imposing dissuasive penalties for breaches. The US is rightly investigating a former military analyst for breaching such duties.

Maintaining the confidentiality of internal diplomatic notes enables diplomats to give full and frank advice to their governments, even where it includes gossip about the drinking and dancing habits of foreign politicians. Maintaining the confidentiality of diplomacy is necessary to guarantee trust between governments. Information would only be shared reluctantly if secrecy could not be assured by foreign governments.

At the same time, penalties for unlawful disclosures must be balanced against protection of whistleblowers. The public disclosure of information sometimes aims to expose wrongful conduct by others in government. The WikiLeaks revelations have detailed torture by US forces in Iraq, war crimes by US pilots in Afghanistan, and even espionage by the US against the United Nations Secretary-General.

These are matters of global public interest. A "rock solid" ally like Australia should protest to the US about such misconduct and "punch" harder than the US believes us capable of. The leaks reveal that some information over which governments claim confidentiality is genuinely in the public interest. The protection of such information can dangerously cloak state illegality and shield official lawlessness.

There is no need to modify Australian law to criminalise WikiLeaks. Prohibiting ordinary citizens or the media, as opposed to government officials, from publishing leaked information would interfere too far into freedom of expression and the public interest in accountability which it protects. It is primarily the duty of governments to safeguard information, not individuals acting on government failures.

Even so, the media have professional obligations to assist governments by responsibly exercising their watchdog functions. The media should not just publish material instinctively or provocatively, regardless of the consequences for human life. The media need to exercise careful judgment here, and there may be real questions about WikiLeaks' performance.

Evidence of crime, however, may lie elsewhere. The malicious denial-of-service attacks on WikiLeaks should be investigated by Australia as possible offences under Australian law, given that the attacks affected access to the website here. Australia could use its new Cyber Security Centre to track down the perpetrators. The US government is an obvious suspect — and a promising place to start.

Associate Professor Ben Saul is co-director of the Sydney Centre for International Law at the University of Sydney and a barrister specialising in security law


I also boycott PayPall

Daniel Ellsberg Says Boycott Amazon « Blog

Open letter to Customer Service:

December 2, 2010

I’m disgusted by Amazon’s cowardice and servility in abruptly terminating today its hosting of the Wikileaks website, in the face of threats from Senator Joe Lieberman and other Congressional right-wingers. I want no further association with any company that encourages legislative and executive officials to aspire to China’s control of information and deterrence of whistle-blowing.

For the last several years, I’ve been spending over $100 a month on new and used books from Amazon. That’s over. I ask Amazon to terminate immediately my membership in Amazon Prime and my Amazon credit card and account, to delete my contact and credit information from their files and to send me no more notices.

I understand that many other regular customers feel as I do and are responding the same way. Good: the broader and more immediate the boycott, the better. I hope that these others encourage their contact lists to do likewise and to let Amazon know exactly why they’re shifting their business. I’ve asked friends today to suggest alternatives, and I’ll be exploring service from Powell’s Books, Half-Price Books, Biblio and others.

So far Amazon has spared itself the further embarrassment of trying to explain its action openly. This would be a good time for Amazon insiders who know and perhaps can document the political pressures that were brought to bear–and the details of the hasty kowtowing by their bosses–to leak that information. They can send it to Wikileaks (now on servers outside the US), to mainstream journalists or bloggers, or perhaps to sites like that have now appropriately ended their book-purchasing association with Amazon.

Yours (no longer),
Daniel Ellsberg