Comment: Amazon and WikiLeaks – Online Speech is Only as Strong as the Weakest Intermediary

The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of expression against government encroachment – but that doesn’t help if the censorship doesn’t come from the government.The controversial whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, which has begun to publish a trove of over 250,000 classified diplomatic cables, found itself kicked off of Amazon’s servers earlier this week. WikiLeaks had apparently moved from a hosting platform in Sweden to the cloud hosting services available through Amazon in an attempt to ward off ongoing distributed denial of service attacks.According to Amazon, WikiLeaks violated the site’s terms of service, resulting in Amazon pulling the plug on hosting services. However, news sources have also reported that Amazon cut off WikiLeaks after being questioned by members of the staff of Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman. While it’s impossible to know whether or not Amazon’s decision was directly caused by the call from the senator’s office, we do know that Lieberman has proposed “anti-WikiLeaks legislation” and that he has a history of pushing for online censorship in the name of “security.”
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/12/amazon-and-wikileaks-first-amendment-only-strong

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.