Wikileaks Fights to Stay Online

Perhaps unfortunately for the U.S. government, the whistleblower site endures, despite problems

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Late last night, Wikileaks crashed and--at the time of this writing--remains inaccessible. The site's problems began earlier this week, after Sen. Joe Lieberman, as chair of the Senate's committee on homeland security, began urging Internet companies affiliated with Wikileaks to disassociate themselves from the organization. Shortly thereafter Amazon, which hosted the whistleblower site, booted Wikileaks from its servers. The company insisted the decision wasn't political--Wikileaks simply violated Amazon's terms of service. Then on Thursday, Wikileaks's domain name system (DNS) abandoned it due to continuing cyber attacks waged against the site from outsiders. That company,, said it could no longer support the site because the DDOS attacks aimed at Wikileaks were affecting its infrastructure. Despite all these problems, the site has rapidly devised work-arounds to remain available to users. Here's what tech writers are saying about Wikileaks's struggle to stay online:

  • This Is an Epic Battle, writes the staff at TechnoLlama. "Here is a situation where the world's biggest superpower wants to have a website erased from the face of the Web. Who will prevail? Given the distributed nature of the Internet, I know where my money is." An example of what the Internet has going for it:

Just a few minutes after Wikileaks had its DNS services removed, the fact was advertised to the world via Twitter and Facebook. Because the site is still hosted somewhere, it is still possible to access the content via an IP address (at the time of writing, it was hosted at and Similarly, several mirrors and new DNS registrations started popping up everywhere, and Twitter has been reacting madly by tweeting and retweeting the latest IP address.

  • Amazon's Excuse for Kicking Off Wikileaks Is Bogus, writes the staff at Virtual Economics. "If Wikileaks was kicked off Amazon because it didn't 'own or otherwise control all the rights to this classified content,' who does?" Furthermore:
The documents Wikileaks holds were produced by US government officials working in that capacity, and not therefore protected by copyright." ... When a seemingly careful explanation makes no sense it is often because the explainer is lying. Hopefully the conversation between Liberman and Amazon will leak soon, and hopefully by then there will be somewhere for that leak to be published.
  • Sounds Like Wikileaks Was Properly Warned, writes Jeffrey Van Camp at Digital Trends:

For its part, the domain service has every right to eliminate its free service to a website if that site is causing harm to its infrastructure. claims that it gave WikiLeaks 24 hours of notice at 10 p.m. Dec. 1, 2010 via email. It also sent notices on Twitter, and in the chatroom on the WikiLeaks website. Any "downtime of the website has resulted from its failure to use another hosted DNS service provider," it said on its homepage ... There are thousands of other companies rthat can provide DNS domain services to Wikileaks, as evidenced by its new Swiss domain.

  • Wikileaks Should Just Distribute Files Via BitTorrent, writes David Winer at Scripting:

It seems to me that at the end of this chain is BitTorrent. That when WikiLeaks wants to publish the next archive, they can get their best practice from, and have 20 people scattered around the globe at the ends of various big pipes ready to seed it. Once the distribution is underway the only way to shut it down will be to shut down the Internet itself. Politicians should be aware that these are the stakes. They either get used operating in the open, where the people they're governing are in on everything they do, or they go totalitarian, around the globe, now.

  • Wikileaks Can Easily Continue Running Somewhere Else, writes the staff at Domain Name Wire:
Everydns was only providing DNS services to Wikileaks. The domain name is registered with Dynadot, which does not appear to have taken any action on the domain name. Really all needs to do is change DNS providers.

Still, the domain name is at risk. Dynadot is a U.S. company and the .org registry is based in the U.S. Wikileaks is shifting to several alternatives, including country code domain names.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.