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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  1. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Jimmy 1

      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.

      1. Chris 244
        Black Helicopters

        Allegedly responsible

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

  2. Anonymous Coward
    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!

  3. ratfox Silver badge
    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.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  5. Jarrad
    FAIL

    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.

    1. Joe M

      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!

      1. Jarrad

        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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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....

      1. Walgreens Dude

        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.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. thecakeis(not)alie

        @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?

        1. Walgreens Dude

          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.

    4. Chad H.

      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...

      1. thecakeis(not)alie

        @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.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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.

        1. Hud Dunlap
          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.

        2. Andus McCoatover
          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".

      3. multipharious

        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.

    5. Richard 126

      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.

  6. Graham Marsden
    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...??

    1. Lance 3

      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?

  7. Levente Szileszky

    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.

  8. solarian
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      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.

  9. Flaco Dude
    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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Public domain?

      The reference is to a work "published".

      So perhaps the public domain claim doesn't apply

    2. mccp

      Copyright

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

    3. Walgreens Dude

      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.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reap what ya sow brotha

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

  11. bill 36

    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?

  12. David Glasgow

    @ 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.

  13. Stuart Duel
    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.

    1. thecakeis(not)alie

      @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...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What goes around usually comes around

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

    1. LaeMing Silver badge
      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!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    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?

    1. Walgreens Dude

      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.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    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".

  17. James Woods

    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.

  18. heyrick Silver badge
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  20. Darling Petunia

    lionel_ritchey@yahoo.com

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      offline?

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

      http://wikileaks.ch/

    2. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      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)

  21. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  22. JohnG Silver badge

    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.

    1. IvyKing

      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....

  23. Richard Porter
    FAIL

    Security? What security?

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

    Hello? Wasn't it hte US government that compromised its own security? Had there been any national security Wikileaks wouldn't have got hold of the cables in the first place. Had the Pentagon had any security Gary McKinnon wouldn't have been able to hack into it.

    The U/S Government just doesn't like its incompetence being exposed to the world.

  24. Richard Jones 1

    Hopefully the End of Ass Age's ego trip

    The offensively ugly and unpleasant little squirt apparently comes from an unsavoury background of a malcontent family. However when his integrity is questioned he is less than happy to have it discussed publically.

    Most of the documents released so far have been of the 'Gosh the Pope is a Catholic ', 'most Rabies are Jew's and 'most Mullahs are Islamic' form. The rest are comments by field agents on the nature of those with whom they are dealing. Of course if you have never had to deal with field operations of any form you will not understand this issue, You will not realise that almost every operation, commercial government or whatever, needs to understand those with whom it is dealing. More to the point it needs an understanding of whom it can trust, or NOT.

    One needs to look no further than the recent stitch up over the so called world cup, when a bunch of self serving and quite possible duplicitous, dodgy characters showed their real nature. I really hope that this will be used when it comes to discussing the payment for broadcasting the 'stitch up ball' events, since such knowledge is valuable for advising policy options. Perhaps our government should look seriously at a special tax, just like the so called 'bankers taxes' favoured by some. I suggest that all payments to Fifa should be subject to a withholding tax of something gentle like 120%, just to start things off. It would certainly make a useful contribution to things that we are really interested in having 'back home' and for which there is a real need.

    1. M Gale
      Badgers

      'most Rabies are Jew's

      I know it's a typo, I know it's bad form to correct other people, but... damn!

  25. SIPRNet

    Consequences? It's called collateral damage ... don't you remember?

    When my cat drops a shit it scratches around the sawdust in its tray to cover things up ... kind reminds me of our Uncle Sam here.

    Amazon's Number 1 excuse for de-hosting WikiLeaks – "it’s clear that WikiLeaks doesn’t own or otherwise control all the rights..." – is laughable. As any fool knows, a stock reason for reproducing US government content that's cited on wikipedia.org is that: "As a work of the U.S. federal government, this work is in the public domain." Etc. Duh! Well, it certainly is in the public domain now.

    And as for reason Number 2, Amazon not being sure that the cables are redacted properly – when the feck did a host start being concerned or responsible for the editorial quality of the content on their servers? WTF? They're service providers, as is well established.

    Any decent human being who is familiar with the subject (here's just one story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4996140.stm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalid_El-Masri , for example) would no doubt agree the "powers that be" need taken down a peg or three.

    And as for the argument that the leaks might put people's lives in danger ... ? Yes, and it's called collateral damage. Uncle Sam knows a thing or two about that one too. You can bet.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Public domain

      "Duh! Well, it certainly is in the public domain now."

      public domain =/= Public Domain.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A title is required

      "Yes, and it's called collateral damage"

      The thing that concerns me is that it's very easy to type that from the safety of your keyboard, another to make that decision in real life. Do you really value human life so poorly that you're willing to sacrifice some lives to read documents full of gossip and (mainly) trivial banter?

      Whether Governments should be 100% transparent or not, people need to start realising that a life should be worth more than your 'right' to read a diplomatic cable.

  26. Nya

    Didn't Amazon actually say why though?

    Thought Amazon said, or maybe retracted now that they had to remove them as they were facing charges for handling stolen data. Seemed an interesting charge, but seemed enough of a threat to get Amazon to get shot of them fast though.

  27. Danny 2 Silver badge

    @Jarrad - Free speech Double think

    "just as the First Amendment doesn't grant the right to yell 'fire!' in a crowded cinema when there isn't one"

    We are in a burning cinema and the arsonists are trying to prosecute the people who warned us. Millions have died thanks to the machinations of self-enriching US politicos over the past decade, and cheerleaders like you are either shameless or brainless.

  28. JaitcH
    FAIL

    And people think The cloud is reliable?

    The Cloud has just suffered a hell of a hit to it's reputation and claims for reliability.

    If some jumped up politician, who isn't quite sure what party he stands for, can write a letter and as a result have a Cloud operator remove the files, perhaps Apple will censor it's cloud of ny prurient material or MS refuse to post anything critical of it's products.

    Keep those hard drives, at least you can control their use.

  29. bofh80
    Big Brother

    @thecakeislying @liberman

    @thecake yes, they are releasing the information in stages trying to wipe names where anonyminity is needed (intead of how the propaganda is showing it). However the DDOS from the US goverment (because who else would duh). shows that the information coming out of which you've seen a fraction is DAMNING.

    So to liberman < is that how you spell your name, i hope not.

    "US gov’ 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 US Gov in its efforts to stop the disseminate of these stolen materials[sic]" EVIDENCE.

    shove that somewhere if the price is right. i only changed one word fits fine.

    This major tom to ground control, we've been circling for 6 months, have we landed on the moon yet?

    1. thecakeis(not)alie

      @Bofh80

      Pointing out holes in claims presented by others is lying?

      I - one of the biggest sceptics of US.gov motivations you will find anywhere - still have yet to see a single damning thing in any of these cables. That you ASSUME damning evidence will be forthcoming is not of itself enough to convince me such damning evidence is currently held by Wikileaks.

      As I have said before: I /want/ there to be evidence. US.gov has without question committed heinous crimes against humanity, it’s various actors participant in or instigators of some of the most vile depravities in our history as a species. These bastards deserve to be punished.

      The problem is that I believe in “innocent unless proven guilty” far more than I believe these people need to be nailed to the wall. EVIDENCE FIRST, and a punishment to fit the crime later. I cannot condone witch hunts nor lynchings. If we resort to that, we are no better than the sorts of people whom through whistle blowing we are trying to expose.

      We’re better than some collection of mongrels baying at the doors for blood…aren’t we?

      EVIDENCE FIRST. So far, I have sadly seen none.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    The Truth..

    ... is that someone, somewhere has crossed the line. JA is not responsible for the leaking of information but he is certainly not adverse to gaining maximum publicy for the leak.

    Just because he has been given the information doesn't mean he has a god given right to publish it.

    The individual(s) who ultimately exposed the lack of security around this information should be THROUGHLY ASHAMED of themselves and should be treated with the upmost severity once apprehended.

    They have no UNDERSTANDING what so ever of the damage they have caused/ will cause. And if you're a bleeding heart liberal, tough. The real world is full of unspoken truths and most should remain that, unspoken.

    1. Ronald 1
      FAIL

      The Truth - Part 2

      IF The Truth is Hitler would've conquered England if it were not for French, German, Danes, Swedes and all the guerilla that stood against him by giving information to the allied forces.

      Are you telling them to back down and not help the allies because the truth is we were outnumbered.

      If nobody stood up and said something and sit on your lazy a$$ all day, this world would've already been run by 1 'supreme being'.

      Makes you wonder why wars are not decided by residents of a country if it truly is a democracy but rather by 1 man. Look at the Iraq war, all decided by Bush and Blair even though millions were against it, they wouldn't even vote on the issue.

      The current system fails, the guys are the top are trying to get more and more power over 'normal' people. The system breeds failures, encourages people to lie and decieve, as history has taught us. Until the day decisions are made based on majority, past history will repeat itself.

      While I agree some things should not be spoken, but I do think that something that concerns the country that I am part of, people should have the right to know. Unless of course government stops asking us for money!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      The Truth . .

      Is obviously something, you know NOTHING about, with absolutely no UNDERSTANDING at all, your polluted mind is exactly the reason this has to happen. And yes, at some point you will feel THOROUGHLY ASHAMED.. The Truth eludes you. I know something you don't know. Do da, do da, hahahaha

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      erm.....

      They have been caught - Pte Manning.

      There's talk of executing him for treason.

      Do I agree with what he did? No. Do I agree with the idea of executing him? No.

      What I don't understand is how it is that people think they have a right to leak information in the first place? It's normally protectively marked for a reason, and no one individual has the right to decide that it should be published.

  31. skyroski

    Back on topic

    I use Amazon EC2, I thought they were great, unfortunately I found their TOS too dictactor like and actually forbids the most common things.

    Like: Posting messages of offensive nature. You technically can get booted off for having a forum with flame posts in them apparently.

    I will be switching all my services to real hosts, but it was suprisingly hard to find as most web host's TOS (even on dedicated or colocated servers) basically gives them the power to boot anyone off even if the content has not been proven to break any laws.

    We need a new mega hosting corporation that advocates true freedom.

  32. James Woods

    this isn't about wikileaks

    I love how the governments are bringing the 'rape' thing back into this and im see'ing it in the news articles.

    It's funny how that was all taken care of until all these 'leaks' came out now he's a rapist again when it's good to use against him.

    If he raped someone prosecute him for it.

    I would assume el'reg will be doing an article on PayPal no longer accepting payments for wikileaks.

    Or perhaps the number of companies no longer accepting business from wikileaks all because the US government tells them not to.

    I spoke to PayPal about this a few moments ago and they said they can choose who they have as customers.

    That's correct, any business can do that. But PayPal and ebay have a monopoly on such a payment system in the country and they do what government tells them to do.

    Just visit the ebay government page if you need any convincing.

    Why do companies need government pages? Does your small business have a government page?

    Of course not, we know who has and who needs government pages.

    A paypal boycott must begin, if they are going to remove organizations for 'illegal' activity when said organizations have never been convicted of any illegal activity who's next?

    If the governments don't like what you said are they going to dig up skeletons in your closet about rapes they can't convict you for and strong arm the industry into crippling you too?

    Innocent until proven guilty, unless of course the accuser is the government.

  33. solarian
    Grenade

    @bofh80

    > "US gov’ illegal [...] acts

    What exactly is "illegal" in these diplomatic cables, or military dispatches about Iraq or Afghanistan? Where is the evidence of illegality, precisely? And when are we going to see internal communications from Iran revealing massive vote fraud, torture, rape and murder? Or from Russia, that mafia state? Or China, with their widespread human rights abuses? Zimbabwe? Do that, and Assange might earn my respect. People like you think you have morals, obsessing about secret memos that reveal nothing bad, but you're so up your own arse that you don't see what happens in the world in plain sight.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge
      Pint

      Have a drink

      You've said it all!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Paypal Just Suspended The Wikileaks Account

    ...and I just requested the deletion of my own paypal account. The next computer I will buy won't be an Apple, the next phone not an Android or a Motorola and the next book I will buy will not be from Amazon. I will certainly not buy any Microsoft product anymore.

    My Default Web Search Engine is now YANDEX.com.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    O really? Well, it is quite another thing....

    ...quite another thing, to rationalize one's megalomaniacal, life-threatening behaviors with a bunch of name-calling.

    I pity the fool Asange for his evident blindness in the face of facts that the leaks do not paint big and bold - such as the dedication of our personnel serving abroad, the bravery of our personnel serving abroad, and the utterly asinine qualities of the politics by such as Asange and his fairweather followers.

    Anonymous, because: Eat my shorts.

  36. ratfox Silver badge
    WTF?

    US gov forbidden to read leaks!

    "White House Tells All Federal Agencies To Prohibit Unauthorized Employees From Wikileaks Site"

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/12/why-not-just-stamp-secret-across-the-front-page-of-the-ny-times/67310/

    Now, this is comedy material. "Yes, we know that everybody in the world can read these leaks. But YOU are our F**ING EMPLOYEES and YOU will only read what we ALLOW you to read!"

    A law school has also warned its students that talking about the leaks on social networks could possibly give them trouble if they apply for US gov positions. You never know.

    There is an IT angle: this could be due to Standard Security Procedures(TM). Apparently, any unclassified hard disk that is found containing classified information has to be shredded and replaced. Talk about an IT support nightmare!

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/12/more-about-secret-info-on-the-front-page/67423

  37. nyelvmark
    Boffin

    Latest leaks suggest bears responsible for faecal matter in woods

    I just got home (02.30am Sunday) and, as is my wont, checked the BBC news website to find out if Blighty is still afloat. I'm not sure how to react to the news that the latest "cables" (why do they call them that? Are they still using morse code?) reveal that China MAY have been behind the (late 2009) highly-targetted and very sophisticated attacks on specific Google employees.

    Duh, yeah? So that eliminates all those other suspects, like some 14-year-old kid in Botswana playing with his new OLPC and just happening to guess the names, corporate e-mail addresses and areas of responsibility of several Google oligarchs.

    Don't you guys know anyone at the Beeb? Couldn't one of you take someone by the hand and explain that things have moved on a tad since the days of the BBC micro? That "Click Online" is probably a great kids' show, but...

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like Assange's going MONSTERING!

    The term comes from an issue of the comic series Transmetropolitan (I wonder if Assange fancies himself a real-life Spider Jerusalem, out for "The Truth" at any price). In any event, the idea was to hold public figures to account and acquaint them with the kind of curb-stomping the masses endure everyday by putting their most embarrassing details up for everyone to see (much like what we're seeing now).

  39. solarian
    Pint

    @Ben Tasker

    > Have a drink

    Finally, someone on the internet whom I can agree with :-)

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Unbelieveable!

    The number of people claiming that the information in these leaks is nothing 'new' and therefore uninteresting and even 'not worth leaking' is unreal, a line that is also being repeated over and over again by the mainstream media in an effort to deflect interest from this huge repository of information. The leaks pertaining to the hack of Google by Chinese hired hackers, the US state department attepting to collect DNA information of foreign diplomats for espionage purpouses, attempts to spy on the secretary general of the UN (and more) are all extremely interesting and enlightening as to how world governments get things done.

    There are of course a few news organisations which have been posting interesting analysis of a number of the leaks (the UK's gaurdian for one, and I think the new york times has a section as well) and before all the cries of 'source' or similar, how about going out onto the vast treasure trove of information that is the internet and having a look?

    Not simply believing in its entierty everything we're told.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    hmm, lots of FUD on this thread..

    1. Most of you dolts wouldn't know a politically significant diplomatic cable from a length of CAT5, please try and do some reading before posting.

    2. Those saying they haven't seen anything important, consider for a moment your news sources may have been censored, please look at other news sites, possibly in other countries, before you say you didn't see anything. For instance, there are certain leaks that have consistently NOT been mentioned on the BBC.

    3. We are seeing US data because that's what was leaked to Wikileaks. If someone leaks data from some other place, we will probably see that too. Wikileaks can only publish what it receives from leakers.

    4. Obviously, if there is nothing to see in the cables, the USG wouldn't care that we see them. However, they do care.

    5. If Wikileaks is taken offline and Julian Assange and friends shot by firing squad, it won't matter - there will be a replacement site online before long. Wikileaks is just filling a need - shutting it down will not remove this need.

    6. Folks chat about brand damage to Amazon and Paypal from being associated with Wikileaks and that is probably what motivated their managements, however these companies seem to have forgotten their customers are the very people who will benefit from these disclosures, and that by making life hard for Wikileaks they are in turn making life hard for their customers. Customers who notice this are likely to make a fuss, as we have seen on this thread already.

    7. Isn't it great just when those big bad-assed companies like Apple and Google were starting to get some kind of cult following, along comes an in-your-face reminder that corporates don't love you, not even a little bit, and you should watch your back if you are even a little bit dependent on them.

    8. The academic theory concerning transparency in government, disclosure processes, whistleblower protection laws etc has all been written, it's unfortunate for the USG they did not have the infrastructure in place to allow this information to be disclosed in a correct manner. To have some PFY up on treason charges because the system permitted access, and then lacked a disclosure mechanism, through which he could take his concerns in a lawful manner, is shameful.

    9. It's a delight that this incident has introduced a whole new generation of users to concepts of online activism. I note several "freejulian" domainnames have already been registered. I imagine that the free Kevin et al campaigns of the 90's will seem miniscule by comparison, not only because the number of internet users is so much larger, and not just because the issues are more pertinent, but because once the facebook and twitter crowd get the idea that the USG is restricting their lulz, they are going to use all their shiny new social networking tools to protest, and that is in turn, going to generate a whole new crop of hackers and cypherpunks.

    In the end, there's not much the USG can do. It sowed these seeds, now it must reap them. If it did not want to have this bother, it should have conducted itself in an entirely different manner. This was not done and there is unfortunately nobody else to blame.

  42. Heff
    FAIL

    Paypal just dropped Wikileaks

    http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Issues+with+cancelling+WilkLeaks+founder+passport+Australia/3927467/story.html

    We're fucked. US is apparently the global law. I hope assanje has some real meat in the safe to post before he finally gets an ice-axe to the back of the head in some mexican chicken farm in Coyoacán.*

    This is going from a pantomime (he's a rapist! Oh no he isnt! Oh yes he is! Oh no he isnt! ad nauseum) To a farce (He's a terrorist!) and now we're moving into the final phase; its a tragedy, whether you agree with what he is doing or not, this is a scary word called a 'Precedent'.

    I can only end with the words of Patrick Niemoller;

    They came first for the Communists,

    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,

    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,

    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

    Then they came for me

    and by that time no one was left to speak up.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Water boarding

    Any news on that in these cables?

    Just asking....

  44. solaries
    Big Brother

    wikileaks and amazon

    It's back to the 1920s late 40s to 50s the new red scare and amazon is doing it's patriotic best being a moral coward well what is there to expect from a socicity that thought in the 50s that it's consitution and bill of rights commie documents it should call it self the United States of Oceania.

  45. bitmap animal
    Alert

    stolen classified != public domain

    Just because the documents have been stolen and released does not change the fact the documents are still Classified (or whatever rating each document is). The Wikileaks publication does not change the classification.

    I would assume that the discussion about Federal documents being in the public domain relates to documents that they have PUBLISHED into the public domain not security rated internal documents. If that was the case then there would be no secrets at all.

    The documents are still security rated therefore someone who does not have the security access to read them technically should still not have the access to read them.

  46. bitmap animal

    Have you ever come away from a meeting......

    Have you ever come away from a meeting with a customer .or supplier and thought one of them is a pratt, possibly very short, only talks about shagging and has really bad breath?

    You still have to meet and do business with that person, what good would it do for them to know that’s how you view them? You need to keep a public face on to keep a good relationship going but in an organisation often you need to pass on possibly unsavoury notes. That is what a lot of these leaks seem to have been about from reading the press.

    If they have found some earth shattering conspiracy then possibly they could justify the motivation but this is mainly exposing peoples private conversations.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      "Private Conversations" About Aircraft-Delivered Bombs In Yemen ?

      This here

      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:kF5-GQiKFJ4J:cablegate.wikileaks.org/cable/2010/01/10SANAA4.html+petraeus+yemen+wikileaks+%2BSaleh&cd=1&hl=de&ct=clnk&gl=de&client=firefox-a

      is more than a "private chat". It is about the Yemeni Government lying to their own parliament, making fun of it, when the subject is US bombs falling on Yemeni ground.

      I am not saying this is completely immoral - after all the Islamists have declared war on America - but it is quite enlightening to see what Arab Despots say, what they do and how USGOV aids them in lying to their own parliament. Make up your own mind about the morality of this, but please don't call it a "private conversation".

      It's a conversation about a deceptive civil war. Give me more of this, Julian !

      Then, America trying to construct Reasons For War Against Iran:

      "For Russia, the BM-25 is a mysterious missile."

      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:9rCsqBXprEgJ:213.251.145.96/cable/2010/02/10STATE17263.html+10STATE17263&cd=1&hl=de&ct=clnk&gl=de&client=firefox-a

      Anyone need to be reminded about "mobile chemical labs, producing WMD" ??

  47. ForthIsNotDead
    Big Brother

    The thing is...

    ...who would dare to actually type Wikileaks into your browser bar, or Google et al?

    I bloody wouldn't, that's for sure...

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Who would?

      Someone who has access to TOR, i2p, a friendly darknet, or access to the inevitable Wikileaks copies on Freenet. All of them are designed with anti-government motives and anonymity in mind.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      @typing wikileaks

      I do every day. It's funny to see the USG crackdown and how the nastycorps (Ebay/Paypal and Amazon, the DNS provider) can be strongarmed. I guess that's the way the Nazis did their work. "we do not yet have anything in the books, but you would not want to offend the Führer, would you ? Lay off that jew !"

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Damage, what damage?

    As far as I can tell the most embarrasing memo todate is suggesting that China, would like a different government in North Korea.

    OK, so who hadn't worked out that China would not like an unstable madman on their border developing nuclear weapons with probably naff all in safety procedures?

    The big story here is how the hell did a low level grunt have access to so much correspondance, and then manage to take it out of a secure(???) facility?

    Should the UK, NATO, and other US allies be trusting the US with confidential, let alone secret, information, if their security sucks this badly?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Talk To Your Congressman: State Dept CIO Susan Swart

      she's to blame. Not that little private.

      (I am sharing your misery regarding Privates, though. Other major countries couldn't handle Privates either. Especially of the Austrian sort. Still the blame is with those types from "War Colleges". They don't even learn how to drown an Austrian private in his own facilities. Never mind computa-training.)

  49. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Shoot the messenger - Always the route for delinquent governments

    "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." Sen.Lieberman (Dumb - Sorry Dem)

    So having worked with Al Gore who helped deep 6 recomendations on improving airport security prior to the attack on the World Trade Centre, he now thinks Wikileaks is the problem rather than the long running joke called US Gov Security.

    After the Gary McKinnon circus, any sane rational government would have overhalled it's security to make sure this never happened.

    But lets look at the track record for the US government and federal authorities;

    Colonel James Burton brought to light serious defects in the Bradley AFV, result Col. Burton is forced to retire

    Billy Mitchell, told the US Battleship loving brass (1920's) that they where vulnerable to air attack, result court martialed and forced to resign, and still didn't believe his evidence based assesment until after 07DEC41,

    And as for sticking head in the sand, most americans forget to mention the RN mounted a carrier attack on the Italian Navy at Taranto on 11NOV40, but the USN still insisted that you couldn't mount an attack on Pearl Harbour.

    So to sumerise the US Government loves scape goats;

    -----> crap IT security, blame McKinnon, talk about treason

    ------> crap communications security, blame WikiLeaks, talk about treason

    but what ever you do don't talk about systematic failings of the US Federal authorities and jobs for the boys, becauase the press may ask awkard questions to the chairmen of certain political committees!

  50. Bardlee
    Joke

    Jobs?

    You see? This is all a ploy to get us out of the recession! They are giving hard working people overtime to keep the website up and rollin'! and on the flip side, overtime to take it down. Couple that with law enforcement and INTERPOL hunts, JOBS FOR ALL!

  51. Rex Alfie Lee
    Thumb Down

    @thecakeis(not)alie partly true...

    There is some truth to what you say. The problem with your ideology is that when people cry "WOLF" a few too many time no-one believes them & the truth about them begins to emerge from probably as many sectors as the lies abound.

    The other point here is that WikiLeaks is reporting on stuff that has already been either stated to someone about others or has been written to someone about others. It's already possibly given those someones a fictitious view of the person(s) spoken about. What WikiLeaks has done has given the subjects the opportunity to either defend or perpetuate recourse against the perpetrator. Notice the word perpetrator sounds like traitor because that is exactly what they are, a traitor to the subject.

    In our lives you do have the opportunity without recourse to say what you like about someone else. That person then has the right to defend themselves & if it is a criticism devised by yourself then you have to prove that it is true. The other person does not have to prove that it isn't although there is the social mud-sticks that hang onto you & that is why we have these laws against others for defamation.

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