Amazon 'Ousts' WikiLeaks From Cloud Computing Service


Amazon Web Services has taken down the servers used by controversial government secrets and whistleblower Web site WikiLeaks just days after WikiLeaks moved its sites to Amazon's cloud computing service to avoid a barrage of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

In a post on its official Twitter feed, WikiLeaks noted that Amazon knocked its servers offline.

"WikiLeaks servers at Amazon ousted," WikiLeaks posted. "Free speech the land of the free -- fine our [dollars] are now spent to employ people in Europe."

In another tweet, WikiLeaks chided Amazon, calling its ouster from Amazon's cloud computing service a violation its right to free speech.

"If Amazon [executives] are so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books," WikiLeaks tweeted.

Amazon stopped hosting WikiLeaks amid increased pressure from members of Congress after the site released a cache of sensitive U.S. State Department documents. WikiLeaks moved its data to Amazon's cloud computing service earlier this week after DDoS attacks took down its servers in Sweden.

Sen. Joe Lieberman's office contacted Amazon this week about its hosting of WikiLeaks and, according to Lieberman's Web site, Amazon told Lieberman's staff that it would sever its ties with WikiLeaks. Lieberman also chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Amazon has not responded to requests for comment.

"I wish that Amazon had taken this action earlier based on WikiLeaks' previous publication of classified material," Lieberman said in a statement about Amazon removing WikiLeaks from its EC2 cloud computing service. "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. I call on any other company or organization that is hosting WikiLeaks to immediately terminate its relationship with them. WikiLeaks' illegal, outrageous, and reckless acts have compromised our national security and put lives at risk around the world. No responsible company -- whether American or foreign -- should assist WikiLeaks in its efforts to disseminate these stolen materials. I will be asking Amazon about the extent of its relationship with WikiLeaks and what it and other web service providers will do in the future to ensure that their services are not used to distribute stolen, classified information."

WikiLeaks turned to Amazon Web Services on Sunday after a new Web site showcasing classified U.S. diplomatic communications, or cables, was knocked out of commission by a DDoS attack. The move to Amazon's cloud computing service put some of the WikiLeaks data on Amazon servers in the U.S. Even after the move, WikiLeaks continued to fight a hail of DDoS attacks.

WikiLeaks has come under intense fire for publishing classified government documents. The organization claims to have captured more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables between 2002 and February of this year, some of which comprise daily communications between the U.S. State Department and 270 international embassies. Before launching the cables site, WikiLeaks operated a main Web site that focused on Iraq war secrets.