Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

War Against WikiLeaks Continues; France Joins In

The battle to cut off WikiLeaks, the secret-exposing site that has official Washington in such an uproar, has turned into a global cat-and-mouse game on the Web. Here’s the rundown:

First, the site was dropped by its domain name services provider last night and so has been forced to relocate to another domain name, within Switzerland’s top-level domain. The site can now be found at, which forwards directly to an IP address. WikiLeaks’ former provider, EveryDNS, said in a statement that it took the action because of the numerous denial-of-service attacks that had been carried out against the original domain. More from the Guardian here.

Meanwhile, Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman has introduced legislation that would criminalize the publication of the name of any U.S. intelligence source. (Wait, that’s not already illegal?) “Our foreign representatives, allies, and intelligence sources must have the clear assurance that their lives will not be endangered by those with opposing agendas, whether they are Americans or not, and our government must make it clear that revealing the identities of these individuals will not be tolerated,” Lieberman said in a statement. It’s called the Shield Act, and you can read it here.

Then France is getting into the act. Le Point reports that Eric Besson–minister of industry, energy and the digital economy–has asked a government regulator to look into ways to block French Internet companies from hosting the files in that country. A Google translation of Le Point’s story is here.

Finally, Amazon issued a statement giving its side of the story on how it came to terminate its relationship with WikiLeaks, which had briefly been a customer of its Amazon Web Services. It wasn’t the DDOS attacks, it says, nor government pressure, but that WikiLeaks was violating several requirements of its Terms of Service agreement. For one thing, WikiLeaks was required to represent that it had rights to the content it was hosting. “It’s clear that WikiLeaks doesn’t own or otherwise control all the rights to this classified content,” Amazon says. For its part, WikiLeaks says Amazon is lying.