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back to article WikiLeaks dubs Amazon 'The Cowardly Liar'

WikiLeaks has dubbed Amazon both cowardly and a liar, after the American net giant booted the whistle-blowing website from its hosting service and then said its decision had nothing to do with complaints from the US government. "Amazon's press release does not accord with the facts on public record. It is one thing to be …

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Anonymous Coward

Presumably

...the FBI are busy tracking down the perpetrators of this DoS attack. This is clearly a criminal activity. They haven't just caused problems for Wikileaks but they've also caused problems for other users of the hosting service, possibly putting lives at risk by disrupting essential services.

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SNAFU - so shoot the messenger.

"WikiLeaks’ illegal, outrageous, and reckless acts have compromised our national security and put lives at risk around the world."

No. The individual responsible for exposing this archive of 'sensitive' material was Private Bradley Manning, a low-level grunt in the US army. The real question here - and the one US politicians are most anxious to avoid - is, who is ultimately responsible for allowing Manning to have unrestricted access to high level diplomatic traffic. Responsibility goes all the way up the military chain of command and then to the government which is supposed to exercise oversight of all agencies under its control.

The system that permitted GI Joe to access this material was conceived and implemented by US politicians. These are the same people who are now frothing at the mouth and calling for the execution, on sight, of the Wikileaks founder, Julian Assagne.

Here in the UK we have no reason to be complacent. Once David Cameron has completed his 'Big Society' project we will be facing a similar situation.

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Black Helicopters

Allegedly responsible

Innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law. Right?

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Anonymous Coward

Youtube?

I'm not defending Wikileaks, just pointing out some hypocrisy.

Anyone remember a little website called Youtube.com that committed profound copyright infringement all the way to the bank!

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Go

Pass the popcorn

Quite honestly, the circus around the leaks is way more entertaining than the leaks themselves.

Will Joe Lieberman retract his claim that Amazon booted Wikileaks thanks to his intervention? Don't answer that. Ha ha.

Still, all this is probably the biggest concerted international effort to close down a website that the internet has known so far. It actually seems to give quite a lot of work to the people in Wikileaks, more than I would have thought. Still, it obviously will not work. Duh.

I am wondering at which point Wikileaks will just say: "screw that" and distribute a huge file with the remaining cables in one go, rather than the daily spoon feeding they did so far.

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Paris Hilton

Ah. Poor US of A

On the one hand an ex-President is using argument of justifiable means that certainly in the UK would be considered abhorrent and illegal.

Yet the same structure is using argument of unjustifiable means to stem the founding principle of free speech?

On the other hand, should we be surprised?

Methinks politicos and their entourage need governance.

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WikiLeaks and free speech

Sorry, the 'free speech' rationale doesn't hold water. There are legal limits to free speech in the US - just as the First Amendment doesn't grant the right to yell 'fire!' in a crowded cinema when there isn't one, it doesn't protect people from disseminating stolen, classified documents when the government determines that it puts national security at risk.

If the documents released actually showed the US was lying about some human rights issue or some such, WikiLeaks would at least have a leg to stand on - whistle-blowing for the win, I suppose. But they haven't. Instead, WikiLeaks seems more intent on causing embarrassment and hurting international relations than actually showing some deep-rooted contravention of international or American law.

Assangej - you've earned what's coming.

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Right on brother

@Jarrad you are one hundred percent correct!

As you say ".... it doesn't protect people from disseminating stolen, classified documents when the government determines that it puts national security at risk."

That's right! If the US government determines that something is a threat to national security than that's that. Who are we to argue with it. After all, it's not as if though the US government would make things up, would it? Like Weapons of Mass Destruction for example.

Oh, and just ignore the people who think you are a stupid dolt parroting the party line. It's not true is it? You're just a Patriot!

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Black Helicopters

"when the government determines that it puts national security at risk."

To be honest, most of the crap I have read is is just that... more just an embarresment to national security than putting it at risk...

Maybe it will put one or two diplomats jobs at risk.... but national security, I dont think so....

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@Marcus Dubious

In your belief system 'free speech' is all or nothing? That's pretty scary. Are you saying that all speech should be legal? Nothing that comes from my mouth or that is written on paper by my hand should be censored or earn me reprimand, fines, jail time or otherwise?

Let's take this and run with it. I don't agree with you on the internet. You defames my religion, belief system, or said you liked Cheetos instead of Cheezies. I want to ruin your life – you heathen unbeliever! – and so I set about to do so. I will tell your significant other that you have cheated on them. I will give lurid details. I will tell your employer that you are badmouthing your place of employment whilst pumping up the competition. I will tell the local NIMBYs that you spend your weekends streaking naked through children’s playgrounds with “free candy” tattooed on your genitalia whilst humming the “Barney” theme song.

I’ll go tell every half-witted thug I can find that you slept with their significant other and every single member of either gender that you have several fatal STDs. I’ll talk to all of your friends and co-workers about you and then selectively publish quotes from them about you without any context whatsoever.

Free speech sounding good still?

“Free speech” is not absolute. There are limits. Libel and slander are important ones. Depending on how you use “free speech” it can lead to some very nasty things. (E.G. getting you beat in by a dozen thugs using nothing more than “speech.”)

If your qualifier is that “free speech” should only be protected if it is true…then I challenge you to define “truth” in an unambiguous way. As a society we have proven time and time again that “truth” != facts. The same facts can (and often are) spun into different “truths” depending on interpretation and bias.

If you are honestly pro “unlimited, uncensored and ‘unoppressed’ (whatever the hell that means) free speech,” then you should have no problem whatsoever with someone going around and using nothing more than speech to ruin your life. A horribly dramatic example perhaps…but it is representative of one extreme of what you profess.

Perhaps a rethink?

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So....

So a secret war being fought by the US in Yemen doesn't count as serious enough to warrant wistleblowing?

Just wondering what exactly does count as serious enough...

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@Chad H.

Nope, not really. In case you forget, the US is fighting a WAR. I know it's easy to think it's all a conspiracy and the like...but they do take this war thing very seriously. Add to that the fact that from every indication available Al Queda aren't exactly nice people and the whole Yemen thing is simply business as usual.

In fact...what's so bad about it? The US asked the Yemen government "hey guys, we have evidence that there are some Very Bad People in your country. We'd like to erase them, pretty please." The Yemen government said "okay." They didn't secretly invade Yemen. They went in with full permission. They didn't occupy parts of Yemen. They used precise assaults to tactically remove specific individuals.

This is what governments do. They use networks of spies to find people that are a threat and then they kill them. The US are by far not the only government to do so. It’s a largely accepted practice. What about the Yemen situation did you find particularly shocking?

Other than that Yemen lied to it’s people (said that the attacks were Yemenese forces as opposed to American) about the whole thing, that is? That's the only thing I find remotely interesting about that particular deal.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmmm.

If a secret war in Yemen protects US interests and the safety of the US people, then so be it.

This is a cruel world, always had been and always will be. It is a governments job to look after their own country, not placate a minority of weak willed do-gooders. Assange's leaks not only obstruct that but do threaten not just American lives but many others too.

Some words are meant to be kept behind closed doors, and that, believe it or not, is a right too.

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Secret?

A secret war in Yemen? You don't get out much do you. Sometimes the news is in the gaps between what is written and the patterns of gaps that clearly emerge. When you spot activity in an area that should result in a diplomatic situation and doesn't, that should lead you to understand the situation.

Whistleblowing to me should be useful, and more than just an interesting and embarassing media event. It should also contain or at least potentially contain information that is not known by 100% of the intelligence community, cannot be extrapolated by the common man through multiple news sources, or is not a bloody statement of the obvious (was it the Pope that had the hot blonde nurse?)

There can be little question that Amazon wants him off their servers if for nothing more than PR reasons it hurts their bottom line (and their ToS is their out.) DNS providers don't want to deal with the degraded service level for tripe news. Just as there can be little question that England wants Assange's ass out at the earliest convenience. He has turned himself into a hot potato, and for what? Kim Jong Il is flabby. Revelation!

Pay more attention to what the writers and comments are saying here at El Reg. The speculation on this site is good.

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Not my bro

Heh, guess I touched sport. You can't respond to the actual point I made because you have no response, so you resort to name-calling. Why am I not surprised.

Like I said, the leaks show nothing worth breaking national security. This isn't whistleblowing, it's simply immature, irresponsible behaviour.

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clear and present danger?

there isn't free speech if you incite riots that kill or racist rallies that spill over and kill the first people that are different. assange shouldn't complain that charges are being brought up since it is the right of Interpol and the DOJ of the US to have the free speech to say he committed a crime.

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Obama's Foreign Policy

Really the issue is that the same members of government and democrats, left of center republicans, and such who support the same free speech assange demands are also mad since the foreign policy that they support under clinton and this admin's state department are at risk of making US look bad. that just when the state department is pulling out of shadow of previous admin. thats why the arguments against wikileaks are from so many different fronts.

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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

There maybe limits to freedom of speach in America but Assangei is not in America and inspite of the insane beliefs of American politicians and many other Americans, Amercian law doesn't apply to the rest of the world. Free speach is just fine.

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Coat

No the U.S. is not fighting a war

The U.S. has never declared war. Even though there has been a lot of fighting going on the last time the U.S. declared war was WWII. This is an issue for a lot of conservatives and liberals alike.

From reading on other sites, unless Assange was actively involved in removing the files he is untouchable under U.S. law. See articles on the Pentagon Papers.

Mines the one with the flash drive in the pen pocket.

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Black Helicopters

WAR??

You must be a jar-head.

"In case you forget, the US is fighting a WAR". Oh really? Didn't see any declaration of war, but maybe the 'insurgents*' didn't get it. Maybe, if you don't declare a WAR, then you can bung innocent shepherds into Gitmo. on the basis they were maybe fighting without wearing military uniform.

"War on Terror"? Who is Mr. Terror, and where does he live?

As far as Wikileaks is concerned, what's the difference between them and the blokes who exposed Watergate? "Behind every watergate, there lies a Milhous".

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FAIL

"it’s clear that WikiLeaks...

"...doesn’t own or otherwise control all the rights to this classified content"

Err, which part of Wiki *LEAKS* didn't you understand when you took their money for hosting...??

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Ummm

Ummm, what part of ""AWS does not pre-screen its customers, but it does have terms of service that must be followed." didn't you get?

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Bronze badge

Hey, this is Lieberman....

...one of the biggest hypocrite in the US Congress, with absolutely disgusting track record, arguing for going into war in the Middle East every single time he could, switching alliance on an hourly basis if his personal survival/interests need so.

Lieberman is one of the most repugnant crooks in the entire US political landscape, a classic turncoat with no morals whatsoever, probably the most dishonest in the Congress.

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Megaphone

Yes, presumably...

@Anonymous Coward re: DDoS: http://slashdot.org/story/10/12/01/206200/Wikileaks-DDoS-Attacker-Arrested-Equipment-Seized

What's more amusing than Assange's self-righteous posturing is his paranoia. I don't mean the term in an idle sense -- his years as a self-professed "International Subversive" have really had an effect on him, in much the same way that old spooks tend to develop chronic paranoia as a side-effect of the job. Just listen to his outrage whenever anyone suggests he might be a tool of, say, the FSB; then compare it with the self-confidence and certainty he has about all the supposed US plots he talks about.

Of course, in the end paranoia can become a self-fulfilling fantasy: in lashing out at what he sees as US imperialism, he has made it not only desirable but _necessary_ for the US to come after him. If/when he gets imprisoned for a long period of time, he will then say that he was right all along.

I don't think he is the tool of any government, but he is a modern guerilla a la Che Guevara, whose self-righteousness gave him the excuse to murder thousands of men, women and children in cold blood and with great gusto for the sole reason that they didn't agree with his point of view and his desire to "free" them. Assange comes from the same "progressive" tradition, and seems to have the same lack of concern for the consequences of his actions, particularly in regard to the effects of these leaks on Middle East peace and the stability of the two Koreas. Lefties don't believe in privacy rights any more than they do in property rights.

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hacktivism

Sorry to disabuse you, but if you look a little closer you'll see there are two types of "modern guerilla" aka information activist, those who use peaceful protest, and those who don't.

"Modern" non-peaceful protests mainly consist of DDOS attacks which were used *against* wikileaks, not *by* wikileaks. OTOH, "modern" peaceful protests consist mainly of circulating information, and that is exactly what wikileaks was doing.

The name you are looking for is not Che Guevara, it is Nelson Mandela.

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Headmaster

the work of federal employees of the USA

"Any work created by a U.S. government employee or officer is in the public domain, provided that the work is created in that person's official capacity." [*]

Note that the "U.S." refers to the United States of America, not the United States of Mexico.

See also 17 U.S.C. § 101.

[*] http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter8/8-a.html

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Anonymous Coward

Public domain?

The reference is to a work "published".

So perhaps the public domain claim doesn't apply

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Copyright

And what exactly has that got to do with classified documents that are protected under completely different laws to copyright?

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Loophole?

after so many years i'm sure the government has a way to say legally that the cables were somehow not in the line of duty or some nonsense.

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Anonymous Coward

Reap what ya sow brotha

Poking people in the eye with a stick is unwise when they can beat your arse.

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America is its own risk to national security

And American diplomats are not playing poker with peoples lives?

I think everyone has the right to know, who is fooling who!

Why should politicians and governments be immune to the full scrutiny of the people who pay their wages?

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@ Solarian

"but he is a modern guerilla a la Che Guevara, whose self-righteousness gave him the excuse to murder thousands of men, women and children in cold blood and with great gusto"

I haven't laughed and snot came down my nose since I was 14 and Billy Sangster put Nitrogen Triodide on his fly zip. .... No but really. That is dumber and more laughable than Billy Sangster's exploding zip.

Now I have to wipe my keyboard.

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Thumb Up

But...

The leaks have shown that the U.S. has acted dishonestly, illegally, unethically, immorally (or amorally) and corruptly in its international dealings. Hardy a surprise but now we have it in writing from the horses mouth.

I'm crying tear of blood for the United States. The poor babies have their knickers in a twist because they have been revealed going around calling people (leaders, governments & entire countries) names behind their backs, doing lots of pot calling kettle black and have generally been exposed with their pants down. Haha!

Don't feel so nice when it's happens to you now, hey yanks?

I just hope the U.S. in prosecuted for their illegal activities involving espionage against the U.N. and the Secretary General. A suitable punishment would be suspension of U.S. veto power in the U.N. The world might finally be able to get some things done for a change. Better yet, downgrade the U.N. ambassador to that of an observer so they must sit there and keep their big ignorant mouth shut for a change.

Julian Assange and the people behind WikiLeaks are international heroes.

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@Stuart Duel

"The leaks have shown that the U.S. has acted dishonestly, illegally, unethically, immorally (or amorally) and corruptly in its international dealings. Hardy a surprise but now we have it in writing from the horses mouth."

Which leaks? Can you point me to the specific documents that show anything other than "business as usual" for international politics? Don't get me wrong here...I loathe US.gov. I personally cannot wait for the revolution that fells the bastards.

I just haven't seen anything in any of these documents that is remotely embarrassing to the US...or shows they acted in any way other than those we all knew about already.

If you have specific evidence (document numbers, quotes from the documents, etc.) then I would love to read them. Anything that I can link to during internet arguments about how much US.gov = ultimate fail as actual proof that the US.gov are asshats makes me a happy panda.

Otherwise...I ahve to say your claim is out of line with the evidence from the cable leaks...

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Anonymous Coward

What goes around usually comes around

I suspect those who risks the lives of others may themselves now be at risk.

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Boffin

Hmmm.

Trying to work out if your comment was referring to the U.S. government or the Wikileaks guy? May be you are being very clever and referring to both at once!

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Paris Hilton

WikiLeaks to get International award?

You know, on one hand I almost feel sorry for politicians (not just USofA ones but UK, European, ... )

It must be awful having to say one thing publicly and another privately where one has base assumption that what is said privately will never, ever be revealed publicly.

On a human level it must put particular strains and stresses upon particular personality types and in a Darwinian sense also make others perform supremely well with and within those stresses and strains.

Yet on the other hand it does seem reasonable to explore all and every potential scenarios in seeking for a solution.

I don't know where this post/comment is going but management as an art must also have some guiding principles?

So, why should wikileaks get an international award? For realistic realism?

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Opposite was batted about on all news channels

Every where i heard that the amount of info already leaked and the stuff that was leaked actually was close to what analysts thought the government would have been doing via the state dept. actually it also does not surprise me that they had diplomats trying to gain info on foreign nationals. embassies have always been home base for intelligence gathering in a given country for as long as there have been embassies.

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Anonymous Coward

flememwemwwmemmmwr

Assuming pressure was applied, someone somewhere has documentation showing a nice clean trail back to the people applying said pressure. Given that this is a website dedicated to exposing just such embarrassing evidence....well you get the idea. I think the phrase we're looking for is "come on down".

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hm

From everything i've seen wikileaks expose none of it would seem to be anything anyone else couldn't of also seen.

It's said that these documents have such security methods on them that you would pretty much have to access each item separately and that it would be a noticeable request.

For such mass amounts of information to be obtained who-ever revealed it surely

#1 wasn't the only one

#2 was authorized to do so

or a combination of 1 & 2.

All i've read has been information that is embarrassing to government officials. Of course governments want to keep information that's going to embarrass them from public view but they shouldn't use "national security" to do so.

If I have a tape I made with my girlfriend years ago turn up on some website im not going to use national security as a reason to get it taken down however if I was in government I guess I could.

These governments we have are operating more like the corporations for which they serve rather than organizations put together by the people and for the people.

Sure people disagree with what wikileaks did because the government owned media is telling them what they should know. You also have a large percentage of people living off the government.

When your an idiot or living off the government (or both) of course your going to take the side of government.

Good for wikileaks, they haven't done anything wrong, they haven't killed anyone.

It's government that has and they want to make sure they can continue doing so with not only immunity but also without anyone knowing about it.

It's government who is putting themselves in the embarassing situations 'such as name calling' that they want to hide instead of acting like adults.

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Grenade

Interesting rhetoric

"WikiLeaks’ illegal, outrageous, and reckless acts have compromised our national security"

As opposed to certain other illegal, outrageous, and reckless acts? Like, say, an armed incursion into an Arab country? Countless "friendly fire" incidents, and some of the other crap on WikiLeaks that probably isn't a surprise to the cynical...

"and put lives at risk around the world."

Unlike American foreign policy. It's one thing to hunt down terrorists. It's something else to act like more dangerous terrorists in the process.

"No responsible company"

I'm struggling to name one.

"whether American or foreign — should assist WikiLeaks in its efforts to disseminate these stolen materials."

Yup, here's the proof that the government leaned on Amazon. They are more interested in the legality of the "materials" than whether or not they speak the truth. But, then again, if the stuff on WikiLeaks was a fabrication, people probably wouldn't care as much as this. In a way, in a certain Streisand way, this is helping that wally Assange and validating WikiLeaks' place. Perhaps its time to start reading these documents, for The Wired has come of age and a simple Cease&Desist is no longer going to bury the truth. Frankly, given that governments are *supposed* to be working for the people and the benefit of their citizens, there should be less screaming about "national security" and more checks and measures. Some things are true secrets, but it looks as if this lame-ass excuse is being dragged out for everything to gag. It's about time this bogosity ended.

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Grenade

Great reading, check it out

I've just spent an insightful hour browsing wikieaks, and let me tell ya this is great stuff.

If anything useful comes out of this tempest, it will be:

1) Hot-air balloons like Liebermann might actually need to learn something about foreign affairs before spouting off and pandering to the lowest common denominator of the American public. Otherwise they and their ilk will be constantly cornered on talk shows, cocktail circuits, etc. by citizens and journalists with REALLY probing questions. Sweet....

2) Reams of good research on American FP must surely follow. maybe some good films and thrillers too.

3) The average citizen will now have a chance to read about "government at work" on his own, instead of having to plough through expensive, pointy-headed publications like Foreign Affairs and the New York Times.

4) An inital read shows no names published on these cables (unless there really are people named xxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) but interpretation knows no limits, so I suspect with a lot of work, some sources could be exposed or extrapolated. Then again, the sources probably all use fake names anyway. My real security question for today though is: did wikileaks cross out the names themselves, or woz it the people who originally wrote the cables? Based on past performance, I would say that's a legitimate query, after all !

5) This might actually raise the level of public debate, and get some people interested in politics again.

More contributors to this thread are welcome, sorry heyrick, I picked your post at random.... really.

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Anonymous Coward

I'd like some bread with my circus.

Why wasn't there this sort of media circus when Wikileaks posted that footage of the US soliders in Iraq gunning alleged insurgents down? That was much more outrageous than a bunch of things that some crabby diplomats said. I mean, the stuff the US government ADMITS to has done a lot worse than what was recently released. Wikileaks has severally hurt itself here, by posting what is basically gossip, it loses its teeth and people are going to go after it. They got greedy.

I still like that Wikileaks is around, but they have made some bad calls as of late.

The media loves this kind of story because it's about a bunch of crap that doesn't matter. They can get people on both sides to act angry and produce rating grabbing entertainment. That's why that helicopter footage was barely covered in the US. It's the same reason bad politicians love this kind of crap. Leiberman wouldn't have dared go after Wikileaks when they were posting videos of US soldiers happily shooting unarmed people apart, but when they post a bunch of nonsense? Easy pickings.

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lionel_ritchey@yahoo.com

As of 1750 hrs. Pacific time, Wikileaks is offline.

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Anonymous Coward

offline?

Is it offline? Its hard to tell when the website shows up:

http://wikileaks.ch/

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torrents

Plenty out there - Wikileaks site maybe offline but loads of people spreading it about.

(please don't mention 'virus' or 'trojan' - you just don't open torrents without scanning, simples)

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Publishing US classified material in the USA

IANAL but Amazon may be worried that publishing large amounts of US classified material may be illegal in the USA.

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Not to mention Amazon's business model

Amazon's business model with the Kindle relies on being able to enforce the DRM on the e-books.- can you imagine the defense that people could put if charged by Amazon for DMCA violations? In addition, it would be interesting to see Bezos's tax records leaked....

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