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The Wikileaks.org site is now down because their California-based213.251.145.96 DNS service provider - Everydns - dropped them at 10PM EST on Thursday, citing the intense Denial of Service attacks that were targeting the site, and claiming that the move was necessary to protect their other customers from being affected. What this means simply is that anyone going to www.wikileaks.org gets an error message as the DNS servers do not translate this into an IP address for the server where the site is hosted. WikiLeaks have said that they are getting the data back up in Switzerland, with the URL www.wikileaks.ch, but as of now, this points to the IP address - 213.251.145.96 - where I browsed the landing page a few minutes ago, but which is not returning any results right now. This story is still evolving all the time.
UPDATE: By the time I finished this diary, the Swiss URL seems to have come back up and the IP address is also responding, though there are elements that are still offline or not working. More below the fold.

The US government's attack on WikiLeaks seems to have taken a new twist since last night, with the California based DNS provider Everydns dropping their service to WikiLeaks. On their website, the Everydns statement says:

" ... the services were terminated for violation of the provision which states that "Member shall not interfere with another Member's use and enjoyment of the Service or another entity's use and enjoyment of similar services." The interference at issues arises from the fact that wikileaks.org has become the target of multiple distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks. These attacks have, and future attacks would, threaten the stability of the EveryDNS.net infrastructure, which enables access to almost 500,000 other websites.

Thus, last night, at approximately 10PM EST, December 1, 2010 a 24 hour termination notification email was sent to the email address associated with the wikileaks.org account. In addition to this email, notices were sent to Wikileaks via Twitter and the chat function available through the wikileaks.org website. Any downtime of the wikileaks.org website has resulted from its failure to use another hosted DNS service provider."

If you recollect, Amazon had kicked WikiLeaks off its EC2 cloud computing service citing the following (Thanks to The Guardian for this report):

"[Amazon Web Services] does not pre-screen its customers, but it does have terms of service that must be followed. WikiLeaks was not following them. There were several parts they were violating. For example, our terms of service state that "you represent and warrant that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content… that use of the content you supply does not violate this policy and will not cause injury to any person or entity". 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."

The reference is to the US Embassy cables that WikiLeaks has been publishing. This has been scoffed at by commentators who've pointed out that Amazon had hosted WikiLeaks when it had released the Afghan war logs, which don't meet this standard either, so there there are some double standards at work here. The buzz is that our favourite 'Independent' Senator Joe Lieberman has leaned hard on Amazon to get them to do this. Ain't that Joe a lovable character all over???!!!

Right now, if you go look for www.wikileaks.org, you will get an error message. If you use the IP address - http://213.251.145.96/ - it takes you to their landing page, but they are still struggling to get themselves organized, because two levels in, some of the internal links still point off of www.wikileaks.org.

There was also a German mirror site - http://wikileaks.dd19.de/ - which was supposed to be operational. I had it open in another window, with the WikiLeaks landing page open, when I started this post, but the site has now gone offline!

UPDATE: Even the IP address does not seem to work right now, so clearly, they are under fire from every direction and it seems like it will take some time for them to find their bearings and get the site back up, if at all.

Personally, I have been quite conflicted about the ethics of releasing all of these cables into the public domain. The war logs were a different issue and I'm unambiguous that the truth about these two wars deserves to be known. This is more difficult to judge.

HOWEVER, what is not difficult to judge is the hypocrisy of holding up free speech and the First Amendment as a sacred principle, until that right is being upheld by someone you don't like. From the rabid and foaming inhabitants of Wingnut Land (here's winking at ya, Sarah!) to the Obama White House, everyone's falling over their skirts to try and get WikiLeaks for 'treason'. Really? Treason? Can you make that stand up in court?

But of course, I'm talking about a Supreme Court that said forbidding companies from making campaign contributions infringed their rights to free speech! What are the odds that they will uphold WikiLeaks - which will not make a single donation to any loony right wing cause or politician - having the right to release all of this in the name of free speech?

If you're so inclined, go here and make a donation to keep the site up.

MAJOR UPDATE: Thanks to Kossack dkmich who pointed me again to the Swiss URL, which seems to be working now. The URL - www.wikileaks.ch - still points to the same IP address - http://213.251.145.96/ - but it is working now and so are second level pages.

What are still not back up are the data visualizations, since Tableau Software, which provided the Tableau Public service used to create these, has yanked them off the web. Also, the link for the actual downloadable data archive of the cables still points to http://file.wikileaks.org/... which is obviously offline.

Originally posted to steelyman on Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 02:59 AM PST.

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Is targeting WikiLeaks and trying to kick them off the Web a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech?

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