The Fruitless Attacks on WikiLeaks

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

From The Washington Post:


Blocked from using one Internet host, WikiLeaks simply jumped to another. Meanwhile, the number of "mirror" Web sites - effectively clones of WikiLeaks' main contents pages - grew from a few dozen last week to 200 by Sunday. By early Wednesday, the number of such sites surpassed 1,000. 

At the same time, WikiLeaks' supporters have apparently gone on the offensive, staging retaliatory attacks against Internet companies that have cut ties to the group amid fears they could be associated with it. On Wednesday, hackers briefly shut down access to the Web sites for MasterCard and Visa, both of which had announced they had stopped processing donations to WikiLeaks. 

WikiLeaks' long-term survival depends on a number of unknowns, including the fate of its principal founder, Julian Assange, who is being held in Britain while awaiting possible extradition to Sweden related to sexual-assault allegations. But the Web site's resilience in the face of repeated setbacks has underscored a lesson already absorbed by more repressive governments that have tried to control the Internet: It is nearly impossible to do.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/12/the-fruitless-attacks-on-wikileaks/67747/