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International: Amazon defends kicking WikiLeaks, says it was endangering innocents

04-December-2010
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International: Amazon defends kicking WikiLeaks, says it was endangering innocents

Whistleblower WikiLeaks has moved to its third server in a short notice after it was removed from the Amazon Web Servers. While the Internet is already abuzz with talks of boycotting Amazon.com, the company in a statement issued online has clarified that it did not kick WikiLeaks owing to pressure from the US government, but rather because of violations of Terms of Service.

Just as WikiLeaks distributed a huge amount of highly controversial content, which, for example, links Russian leader Vladimir Putin to the Russian Mafia, the website was subject to DDoS attacks, which took down its servers. WikiLeaks responded by taking space on Amazon Web Servers, but American politicians moved to have it removed, and on the news, US politician Sarah Palin said that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be hunted down “with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders”.

Amazon, however, insists that the reason behind removing WikiLeaks is because one of the Terms of Service on Amazon web servers is that content supplied by users must be owned by the user, or the user must have the right to publish it, which WikiLeaks naturally would not have.

Amazon also issued a strong statement on the company blog, where it made it clear that it has no problem with controversial data, but feels that not only does WikiLeaks not own or control the classified documents, but that it might well have put innocent people in jeopardy.

The relevant portions of the statement are reproduced here:

It’s clear that WikiLeaks doesn’t own or otherwise control all the rights to this classified content. Further, it is not credible that the extraordinary volume of 250,000 classified documents that WikiLeaks is publishing could have been carefully redacted in such a way as to ensure that they weren’t putting innocent people in jeopardy. Human rights organizations have in fact written to WikiLeaks asking them to exercise caution and not release the names or identities of human rights defenders who might be persecuted by their governments.

When companies or people go about securing and storing large quantities of data that isn’t rightfully theirs, and publishing this data without ensuring it won’t injure others, it’s a violation of our terms of service, and folks need to go operate elsewhere.

WikiLeaks is now being hosted by Bahnhof, a company with servers in France and Sweden.

via: Amazon Blog [http://aws.amazon.com/message/65348/]

 

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