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December 2, 2010

Disheartening [9:11 am]

Amazon Removes WikiLeaks From Servers [pdf]

Under pressure from federal lawmakers, Amazon.com on Wednesday booted WikiLeaks, the whistle-blowing Web site, from its computer servers, three days after the group released a trove of embarrassing State Department cables and documents.

[...] “WikiLeaks servers at Amazon ousted. Free speech the land of the free — fine our $ are now spent to employ people in Europe,” the group wrote in its Twitter message. “If Amazon are so uncomfortable with the first amendment,” the group later wrote, “they should get out of the business of selling books.”

Calls to Amazon’s Seattle office seeking comment were not immediately returned Wednesday night. But Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, chairman of the senate governmental affairs committee, said Amazon reached out to his office Wednesday morning, and that he planned on asking it “about the extent of its relationship” with the group. He said he was also calling on other companies to sever any ties with WikiLeaks.

“WikiLeaks’ illegal, outrageous, and reckless acts have compromised our national security and put lives at risk around the world,” Mr. Lieberman said. “No responsible company – whether American or foreign – should assist WikiLeaks in its efforts to disseminate these stolen materials.”

I suppose it’s indicative of just how tenuous the state of internet regulation/freedom here in the US that Amazon capitulated to Lieberman. I would really like to know (1) if Amazon had to break their contract with Assange or (2) the contract was terminated because of a violation of the terms of service and, if the latter, (3) how many will continue to use the service under the same terms.

And, of course, who’s surprised to find that Lieberman is the senatorial bully taking “credit” for the shutdown.

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