back to article WikiLeaks ousted from Amazon US

Update: This story has been updated to show that contrary to some reports, Senator Lieberman's statement did not say that Amazon removed Wikileaks' mirrors in response to his inquiry. WikiLeaks is no longer mirroring its trove of confidential US diplomatic cables on US-based servers run by, and according to US …


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  1. Fractured Cell

    I am just waiting...

    ...Waiting, until they find an 'excuse' to 'accidentally' delete their DNS records.

    Long Live WikiLeaks!

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: I am just waiting...

      Actually, they don't need an excuse. The documents have all been illegally obtained, whether you think the end justifies the means is irrellevant, they are "secret", so anyone involved in their distribution on US soil or using US-based resources can potentially be threatened with aiding in a criminal act. All it should take is a few calls and the US DNS provider will cave to just the potential threat of legal action. Whether the US government will bother is another matter, seeing as finding another DNS provider and hosting company in Europe shouldn't be an issue. Besides, real legal action would have to come from the DoJ/DoS, not "Independent Democrat" Liebermann, whom seems to be about as far to the right of center as the Dummicrats can stomach without getting a nosebleed. Liebermann's best hope (which seems to have worked on Amazon) is that he can threaten to portray anyone in the US that assists WIkileaks as "unpatriotic". In the meantime, I suspect Liebermann's actions are more bound with his desire to rejoin the Dummicrats and run for the Prez or VP nominations again.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        does not have official secrets act equivalent. It is perfectly legal to distribute secret materials once they're out-it's making them available by people who have clearance to access them to people who don't have clearance that the law prohibits.

        Have a look at pentagon papers case.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: US

          ".....It is perfectly legal to distribute secret materials once they're out-it's making them available by people who have clearance to access them to people who don't have clearance that the law prohibits...." Erm.... that's what I said! The US papers waited for the European ones to break the news on the State Department items that Wikileaks leaked. News seems to be that they originally gave leaks to The New York Times but TNYT wanted to avoid any trouble with the State Department and let the European papers break the news first. If TNYT had gone for an exclusive, it could have been construed as aiding in the passing of the secret docs from those with the right to view them (presumably Bradley Manning) to those without (the gerenal US public).

      2. jcipale

        Letting your petticoat show

        It mosy be hard to be you and attempt to display any level of intelligence that doesnt include partidan politcal hackery.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: Letting your petticoat show

          Well, seeing as I'm not a journo or someone that has to maintain an air of impartiality, I can call it as I see it. But I'm guessing what really upset you was my opinion jarred with your own political preferences, in which case I'll probably upset you even futher to say that;

          (a) Liebermann seems to have at least the capability to work with the Republicans, whereas The Obumbler seems to think "working with the Republicans" means they get to kiss his rear in the same way most Dummicrats do, and

          (b) I'm looking to retire out to Florida or Texas in a few years, so I have just as much right to comment on US politics as anyone else, up until the point Ms Bee disagrees.

          Now, do you have anything even remotely on-topic to say, or are we through seeing the limits of your analytical capabilities?

          1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: RE: Letting your petticoat show

            Anyone has the right to comment on it, regardless of whether they ever visited, thought about visiting or plan to retire to the US. I don't see how that's relevant. But yeah.

  2. cannon
    Big Brother

    Police State Global Terrorists

    So this is government transparency in action then, hide war crimes, murders, rapes, genocide back room deals and all other illegal stuff!

    why are we hearing no commentary on the war crimes, genocide and other illegal activity committed by top USA & Uk officials exposed by wikileaks, where are the ppl on mainstream news fighting for justice?

    remember kids its only terrorism when they do it, our governments act with impunity using banned chemical weapons, poison the earth with depleted uranium rounds, illegally invade other countries, torture, murder, yada yada!

    USA, UK, Israel Global Terrorists.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Standards of Evidence

      Evidence obtained through illegal means is inadmissible in Court. Similarly, verdict by a prejudiced jury is automatically summarily dismissed on appeal.

      While on the positive side - we now know for real they did it (before we only suspected it) we now also know that there is no way in hell for them to be really held accountable for it.

      That IMO is the main problem with Mr Assange, not the fact that he is disclosing it, the fact that he is making sure that a lot of people that should really walk the plank will now always get away as they can claim that the evidence or jury or both are tainted.

      This also shows his impartiality by the way. If he really wanted to make all of these fine people walk the plank he would have released documents selectively and not all of them (which he intends to do once the media stops paying interest to the drip-feed).

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Big Brother

        That's a pretty bizzare idea.

        In Nuremberg, lots of people got a fine sentence, sometimes for a lot less than what the Empire is currently pulling. In your logic, they would all have walked free.

      2. Neoc


        I believe that, technically, this only applies to evidence the police *directly* acquires: i.e., if a police person broke into your house in order to discover evidence, this would be inadmissible (no court warrant).

        HOWEVER, if I understand correctly, if someone who is *not* connected to the police is in your house, finds evidence and then releases it to the police *of their own free will*, this evidence can be (most times) legal.

        Mucho grey area.

      3. penguin slapper

        What's all this "we"?

        You may have only suspected this.

        Some have known this has been going on for years.

        The trail of corpses attributable to the US is millions in number and stretches across the entire globe.

        Go read Deterring Democracy by Noam Chomsky.

        The policy of "we own the world and can do as we please" has been a theme in American foreign policy since the end of WW2.

        It's all documented in the US Government papers (published, but well buried, so you have to know where to look and be prepared to dig through reams of tedium).

        All wikileaks has done is shine a light onto a subset of the evidence that the US holds everyone in contempt. Large parts of the world have known this for decades, it's only in the cosseted land of EU/UK where the illusion that the US cares for its allies has persisted.

    2. Charles Manning

      So who is going to publish?

      Don't count on the press - well not in the UK & USA anyway.

      The press have a symbiotic relationship with government bodies (White house, Pentagon etc). To get the best stories and best feedback from press liason, they know they have to play by some unwritten rules.

      They know that if they get too uppity, the press liaison folk will take an extra half hour getting back to them or leak their "exclusive" to someone else.

      If you play the game then that camera team you send to Iraq will get hooked up with some soldiers in the trenches so they can send back dramatic footage of rockets and tracers. Cause trouble and the camera team gets to interview soldiers washing trucks in the transport part.

      No wonder that editors etc are quick to get rid of reporters like Olivia Nasr and Peter Arnett.

      Remember that in USA "Freedom of Speech" has a different meaning that what you would expect it to mean. You have the right to say anything, but the government can control when, where and how - hence the existence of

      Of course you can say anything you want about this, but you might have to whisper quietly in a locked room after 11pm.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: So who is going to publish?

        Hmmmm. So, if Olivia Nasr had twittered that she respected Hitler, or Kim Il Jung, or Joseph Stalin, you think no-one would have complained? How about if it was Saddam Hussein? She praised the defacto religeous head of a group the US government has officially labelled a terrorist entity (Fadlallah himself was expressly identified by the US as a terrorist), do you really think she could remain in her Mid-East post and deal with other groups in Lebanon, let alone Israel, that don't love Hezbollah? You may think her politics acceptable, but journos are at least supposed to maintain at least the facade of neutrality when reporting, otherwise people hearing her reports will assume she is giving a jaundiced view every time and may switch to antoher source.

        As to Arnett, anyone that would be fooled into falling for the "Valley Of Death" Sarin hoax really needs to think long and hard about whether they've been beating their head against a wall too often. Seriously, anyone that could believe the US used Sarin on their own troops in a theatre littered with eager-beaver journos is simply stupid. The NVA had their own chem warfare teams in the area, they would have jumped all over the opportunity to show the US was using chem weapons in Viet Nam, but they didn't. To anyone with half a brain it would seem an obvious hoax, but Arnett seems to have declined markedly in his logical abilities since the prime of his 70's Viet Nam reporting.

        As to the UK and US press, The Guardian (one fo the four partners to Assange's uberleaks) is a British rag. Papers in the US are a lot more constrained in that they have to wait for foreign papers to publish secret info first so they can claim it is in the public domain, otherwise they could be accused of conspiring to leak secret information (a criminal act if you're a Yank company). They also don't want to be portrayed as unpatriotic, and the mediocre level of info dribbling out of Wikileaks probably doesn't have enough appeal for most of the US press to want to go to the mat with the Whitehouse.

    3. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Police State Global Terrorists

      ".....USA, UK, Israel Global Terrorists." The very fact that Wikileaks feels it can hide behind the Western legal system points out the lie in your ranting. Why do you think the Wikileaks people don't live in China, North Korea, Myanmar, Libya, Iran, Venezuala, Zimbabwe, or any number of less-savoury "democracit" police states and report on those countries? Because they know that the legal system in the US, UK or Israel would largely protect them, whereas in any of the countries listed it is unlikely they'd make it to the weekend without being disappeared. Besides, what does the current US actions have to do with Israel, or are you just displaying your prejudices? Can I suggest you stop reading "Rebelliousness for Dummies" and try some original thought?

    4. Anonymous Coward

      If you want more to complain about

      You have to watch the movie "Inside Job"

      And I quote Gordon Gekko : "You're not naive enough to think we'reliving in a democracy, are you, Buddy?"

  3. Wokstation
    Thumb Down

    They really don't "get" the internet, do they?

    Once it's up, it's out. It's available on torrent, it's available on mirrors - thousands of people have already got a copy of the files.

    I'd mention barn doors and horses, but I think they might start cracking down on equine services...

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Well what did people expect?

    Seriously did anyone expect anything else here? As soon as I heard it was hosted in US I knew that it wouldnt be for much longer. And why are they doing it do you think? Maximum publicity, host in US knowing the uproar it would cause and knowing US government would ask for its removal you can then make a big song and dance about it being removed. TBH US senator has just played into wikileaks great trap and provided them with a bucketload of publicity.

    Whilst I laud the original aims of wikileaks it seems to have become a publicity vehicle for Julian Assage with everything designed to ensure max publicity to boost his ego and martyr image. So far I havent seen any overwhelming reason for the embassy cable release there is nothing that is publically informative, no overwhelming public interest as in previous Iraq and Afghanistan war files.

    I mean about the only thing thats even possibly public interest is the potentially illegal spying on the UN and other SC diplomats thats possibly against international law. I mean come on when was the last time anyone in the west gave a damn about international law unless it was someone such as Iran or North Korea they didnt like. The lack of protest from Russia, France and China leads me to believe they are probably doing the same thing too. Well and silence from UK gov is to be expected as they are basically just idiots. Ah well we elected the grinning monkey and his wife.

    1. Code Monkey

      @AC 21:37

      "Whilst I laud the original aims of wikileaks it seems to have become a publicity vehicle for Julian Assage with everything designed to ensure max publicity to boost his ego and martyr image."

      Very, sadly true. Hosting wikileaks in the US serves no purpose for freedom of information (small letters). He's just trying to get more column inches. Just expose the dirty laundry and leave the celebutard BS to Hilton, Lohan et al.

      1. bobbles31

        Actually I think he is pretty smart...

        he is playing the US politicos at their own game. Politicians make a living out of twisting and spinning a situation to their own ends and what we are seeing is that they don't like it up 'em.

    2. MrCheese

      @AC 21:37

      "Whilst I laud the original aims of wikileaks it seems to have become a publicity vehicle for Julian Assage with everything designed to ensure max publicity to boost his ego and martyr image."

      If I wanted to get this information as far and as wide as possible I'd do everything to acheive maximum publicity too, it's not just for his ego otherwise why would he be using a spokesperson eh?

      Think before you Fail

      1. Code Monkey


        Sooo you think that hosting the leaks in the US is bigger news than the leaks themselves? Sure? I've only read about this is in the Reg. I don't recall seeing anything about the hosting on the mainstream news sites I read; they're all too busy covering the leaks themselves.

  5. David Neil

    @AC 21:35

    "Evidence obtained through illegal means is inadmissible in Court."

    Depends which jurisdiction you are in, not everywhere is the US

    1. asdf


      > in Court.

      Military Tribunals for terrorists and political opponents maybe another matter though.

    2. FozzyBear
      Thumb Down


      In Australia under royal commission sessions ALL the normal rules of evidence are null and void. heresay entrapment and others are all admissible, even a persons right to silence in case of self-crimination is suspended Of course you can't criminally convict but there you go. The UK and USA will have similar provisions either under special commissions convened or under terror laws. What I have seen of terror laws so far is so fucking airy fairy you could squeeze any situation into it without too much trouble

    3. Marcus Aurelius
      Big Brother


      Evidence obtained by unlawful means is not necessarily thrown out; the court simply has to take into account how the evidence was obtained and whether it prevents a fair trial

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Nothing of interest there, move along

    Bitte to delete ihr hosted content anyway, otherwise we shall use ways to make you comply.

    For Fatherland Security,

    -- Joe Lieberman

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Commence operation Whack-A-Mole!

    I really wondered if the fresh crop of cyber-security talent they recruited recently would be savvy enough to notice that this type of crackdown was a PR trap, as well as if they would be influential enough to stop the powers that be from stepping into it. We don't know the details yet, but the shoe has come down on the flaming bag of poo.

    What comes next will be interesting, the thinly veiled threat to Assange to back off or face an international manhunt on sex abuse charges has played out. Wikileaks has successfully baited the US fully into the murky waters of draconian police state press interference. The US has done so without a prayer of stopping the information disclosures. Was this a dumb move taken to provide the illusion that the powers that be are doing something?

    If they are planning to try to break the will of the key Wikileaks players, then they may be following this with arrests or investigations of high profile members involved with the operations of their de-centralized operations. This would reach beyond Assange, as he has made it quite clear that he has been spoiling for this attention from the beginning. If this is the case it will be the first real test of the group if they can keep up this fight when everyone involved is in real risk of either being hauled in for espionage/treason/thought-crime dejour, or being forced to flee to the pool of nations without extradition to either the EU or US. No one can really say if the idealists have the grit to see this fight through AND keep the operation running.

  8. wayne 8
    Black Helicopters

    They didn't touch him until...

    He threatened to expose secrets of a major US bank. Tells who actually is running things at the moment.

  9. Watashi

    Disappointed? Yes. Surprised? No.

    Multinational and government in cahoots shock!

    I'm surprised anyone had to ask Amazon in the first place.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Patriotic duty

    I donated to Wikileaks and am seeding the leaked cables now. Wish I could do more. Would love to have an open and transparent government by whatever means necessary.

  11. Bill Cumming

    it's a pre-emtive strike...

    They are getting as much of Wikileaks out of the US Public's eye before Wikileaks releases all that Banking Info early next year...

    Then the Guano will hit the rotary air mover for the rich bunch of Bankers...

  12. Chris Hatfield

    Sarah Palin is advocating use of "cybertools" to take down Wikileaks

    She's like, why didn't Obama do more? I see she is as computer literate as Jessi Slaughter's dad (remember the cyber-police?). If she was President, the implication is, that she'd use every gosh-darn cybertool out there.

    It's obvious that the Amazon hosting would eventually be pulled, servers are in the US and/or EU. It's amazing that they put it on there in the first place, IMO.

    When people like Palin think of a website, they probably imagine a brick & mortar building that they can bomb, or something. What they are doing is so futile. Their stupidity is quite endearing. :D

    I just love that politicians are being brought down to size. Egotistical idiots, with delusions of granduer. UK politicans would rather we all just watched X-Factor & stopped worrying about nuclear weapons, like obedient citizens.

    People, in general, need to be more careful with electronic communication. I recall in uni when people would use *email* to sort out a bit of hash etc. I was like 'you do realise, they can read every email you've ever sent, even if it's been deleted'. Their response: 'oh, I don't think so! I always empty the trash folder [in Pegasus email client when I logout]. Plus it's PRIVATE, they wouldn't, it would be illegal' (!)

    1. Thecowking

      It's probably a reflection on me

      That I read "sort out a bit of hash" as referring to a hash check in some code.

      I then sat there wondering why a programming problem would be something you'd want to hide.

      Oh well.

  13. Neal 5

    No surprise here

    More a reflection on the level of any kind of American led intelligence of any type, diplomatic or otherwise.

    The whole exercise is one of futility, when will the powers that be in the US wake up to it. The horse has already bolted, or trying to put out a fire with petrol, whatever.

  14. AgeingBabyBoomer

    Not a great advert for the cloud

    So the message is don't upset da gubbermint, or you will be 'detached' from your data.

    Watch for many organisations reversing their cloud friendly hosting policies...

  15. James Woods

    amazon gets tax break after working with government

    I posted a few moments ago so please feel free to merge this in.

    Amazon did get that tax waiver after working with the government.

    The proof is all right here.

    Amazon needs tax help? We the people need tax help.

    You do what the government tells you and apparently, your tax problems disappear.

  16. James Woods

    boycott, taxes, amazon?

    I've been see'ing information regarding a boycott over the hosting of wikileaks.

    I haven't read much into the reports but i'd have to assume the boycott involving wikileaks would be as a result of them removing wikileaks.

    Is Amazon going to pay it's taxes now? Or did they remove the content in a deal to take care of that little tax problem they have?

    I would have to say the boycotts would exist and will exist in regards to them removing the content.

    I can say alot more but amazon has this huge tax debt that it refuses to pay and now we see them doing stuff for government.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      So does this mean

      The government is using American Tax payers money to try and cover up what they have done with American Tax payers money?

      Americans are actualy really nice people they are just treated like mushrooms, (kept in the dark and fead shit)

  17. tim-e
    Thumb Up


    They should just shift to publishing via torrents. Then the info will spread like wildfire and no one could stop it.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Boycott Amazon this Christmas

    Please Boycott Amazon this Christmas.

    They removed the Wikileaks website. Not only the leaked cables but the whole site. This is not even legal. A (former) Bookshop should respect freedom of speech more than that.

  19. John A Blackley

    Dear Joe

    Dear little Joe Lieberman - once a word-mincer, always a word-mincer - rattling on about "illegally seized material". Of course he'd have the Great American Uninformed Masses believe that it was WikiLeaks wot stole it (it wasn't) and that Julian Assange is guilty of treason (he isn't - he's not a US citizen).

    Sadly, because little Joe said it - and will, doubtless, say it many more times on television (for getting his mug on telly is the whole point of this little tantrum) - the Great American Uninformed Masses will accept it as truth.

    1. MyHeadIsSpinning


      Joe's unholy turdspurt was on Fox, which makes it even worse.

  20. Asgard
    Big Brother

    Free speech suppressed in the land of the free

    Their actions show they don't want free speech. Therefore "the land of the free" is another lie. The actions of the people in power prove their words are a lie, because their actions & words can't both be true and their actions cannot lie, so their words must be the lie. Another sickening example of how our masters lie to us all. (But then Wikileaks keeps showing us our leaders lie). The sad truth is none of us in any country are really free from our masters influence and control.

    @AC, ”Standards of Evidence” … "a lot of people that should really walk the plank will now always get away as they can claim that the evidence or jury or both are tainted."

    Sorry that would never have worked. Life is just not like that. The people in power were always going to lie their way out. In a court of law, yes tainted evidence is inadmissible in court. But try getting the people in power into court, you wouldn't be able to. The best you could ever hope to do is get a few low ranking scape goats into court and the real power brokers in power over us wouldn't fall. Plus even by some massive stroke of luck you could throw out the entire government on some Watergate level event, you still wouldn't round up the majority of power brokers responsible and they would simply go off into the business world and earn millions in business, so hardly much punishment there. Plus we have multiple governments in each country playing these power games, so you can't take down all governments. Ultimately they are the people in power and that power allows them to resist attempts to effectively undermine their power long enough to bring them down enough to even try to punish them. They have the power to rule over us and they won't give up their power without a massive drawn out fight and they have the power to win that fight.

    Sadly I wish I could agree with your idealistic view, but unfortunately your approach fails simply due to your idealistic view of the law and morality, because you are still living under the lies they want you to believe. The true nature of the law is a lie. Its a set of rules to define how a society must live but its also a set of rules that maintain their power and that is the past that is hidden by their lies. The world we live in is shaped by the wishes of the people in power. I have lived for most of my life under that same idealistic view and I can see now many people make the same mistakes as I did. We are all being lied to endlessly. :(

    Thankfully wikileaks is helping to show us all that the people in power have very little morality because whatever they say, their lying underhanded ways really show they are only interested in themselves and the law is ultimately what they say is the law and what generations of people just like them have said is the law. Generations of self interested Narcissistic two faced Machiavellian people biasing law in their favour and they define the society we live in. They are the law. (They are always thinking about what the law changes (that they bring in) really means to them and what it means to their expanding governmental departments (that they run) with more influence and bigger budgets (so more money for them) and so their power keeps increasing).

    A very good example of how they bias the law in their favour is the whole history how they have punished people trying to gain access to *their* secrets. Its the same story for centuries. We have very serious state punishments for anyone trying to leak secrets, (even if these secrets could show them up for what they have done as Wikileaks has now shown). Therefore most of the time, we have no access to the truth to see what they are really doing, so we just hear what lies they want us to hear. (The MP expenses claims showed this perfectly. It took over 5 years of so called “freedom of information requests” (another lie, as its no real freedom of information) and the end result, nothing, the government blocked every attempt to gain access to the information. In the end, the only way was for some frankly brave person to actually steal the evidence from them! … same with Wikileaks, the only way we see what is really going on).

    The people in power have power over us, its as simple as that. We put them into power even though they keep on ending up showing they lie endlessly to us, but then we really have no choice, just an illusion of choice. Even if we don't put them into power we ultimately have no choice because every party at that level of power has these same kind of Narcissistic Machiavellian people in that party. That is the nature of power. They are drawn to power. Its a loose loose loose choice for voters. There is no real winning move.

    The only hope we have is to police the people in power far more closely, because by getting to see what they are really doing, we can at least have a hope of stopping their more extreme actions and that is where technology can help us to watch and record them like never before. We very badly need sites like Wikileaks because the people over us keep showing they are such two faced lairs. But then Niccolò Machiavelli tried to tell us all that nearly 500 years ago!. But then many people just like us for generations have suspected the people in power are lairs, but its at least helpful to have it so conclusively proved, because now we can show up anyone who fails to see the people in power are such lairs, (thanks to Wikileaks and thanks to the Internet) so now we can focus on being more unified in standing against the arrogant self interested two faced lairs we have to deal with over us!

  21. Tim Bates


    Hilary Clinton was pressuring the Australian government to NOT censor the internet about 2 years ago... Now she's been crying out for Wikileaks to be blocked so people can't see it...

    Irony or political stupidity?

  22. Anonymous Coward

    So let me get this right ->

    Amazon said "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".

    If it is ilegally seized material and amazon are cutting them off then by rights they should have to do this with most of their customers also as most information has been ill gotten at some point. Expenses scandal springs to mind but you could list millions of others...

    Amazon is another state owned monopoly answerable to the powers that be (but not for much longer).

    1. bobbles31

      The big DA had it straight....

      "Home of the Xaxisian Giant Robot ship from the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Xaxis is at war when Ford Prefect suggests that Bournemouth may be nicer. It is a democracy where the humanoid majority are ruled by a lizard elite. Although the humanoids hate the lizards, they won't vote against them, in case the wrong lizard gets in."

      Life imitating art, or a journalistic view of our society?

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: So let me get this right ->

      Don't be silly, Amazon are just waiting for the leaks to come out in hardback so they can charge more for them! I'm betting Amazon will be stocking Assange's inevitable autobiography (probably modestly entitled something like "My Lonely, Unselfish & Heroic Fight For The Freedom Of Speech!") as soon as it's out.

  23. darksentinel

    why amazon elastic hosting anyway?

    To annoy the US?

    Possibly, but probably not the main reason.

    The main reason for hosting on EC2?

    The platform is designed to scale in response to the amount of traffic a site receives.

    A sensible option for any site that expects to have traffic fluctuations.

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