It’s Good That Wikileaks Is Using Amazon’s Servers

Because I used to work for an ISP wholesaler, I tend to have a little bit of a different viewpoint about terrorist groups and organizations that are hostile to America, like Wikileaks, being hosted on American servers:

WikiLeaks, the website that published a quarter-million sensitive diplomatic cables on Sunday, is using Amazon.com Inc. servers in the U.S. to help deliver its information. It sounds like an odd choice, but it could make sense.

The site cablegate.wikileaks.org, which WikiLeaks is using for the diplomatic documents, is linked to servers run by Amazon Web Services in Seattle, as well as to French company Octopuce. Wikileaks.org, the site’s front page, links back to Amazon servers in the U.S. and in Ireland. Several Internet watchers, including technologist Alex Norcliffe, reported earlier on WikiLeaks’ use of Amazon services.

Amazon and WikiLeaks did not return requests for comment.

The choice of Amazon, a U.S. company, seems strange given the amount of criticism WikiLeaks has received from the U.S. government. Rep. Peter King of New York, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder Sunday saying he supported charging WikiLeaks activist Julian Assange under the Espionage Act.

But experts said it was unlikely that Amazon would face legal action for selling services to WikiLeaks. For one thing, now that the information disclosed by the site is already public, it might not be considered contraband, said Jonathan Zittrain, a professor of law and computer science at Harvard University.

On the one hand, this feels like a slap, doesn’t it? How dare Amazon host Wikileaks?

However, here’s what you have to understand: Everything Amazon has access to, the federal government now has access to because it’s on an American server and there will be no problem getting a warrant. Personally, I wish every enemy of the United States had their website hosted here because it would give the government access to what they’re doing. How much that will help in the end is hard to say, but have no doubt: There are people who know computer code like you know the back of your own hand looking at every behind-the-scenes interaction between Wikileaks and Amazon. Keep that in mind.

Update #1: Well, so much for that. Guess Amazon didn’t like the bad press, which is understandable:

Amazon has terminated the account of Wikileaks and apparently the site has been down most of the day. Joe Lieberman has issued a statement on Amazon’s decision. Amazon has not commented directly on what happened to Wikileaks account. But they appear to have told Lieberman — or that’s the clear import of Lieberman’s statement — that they unilaterally terminated the account.

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