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Wikileaks.org pummeled into darkness?

By Paul McNamara on Mon, 02/18/08 - 8:11am.

Wikileaks, the ultra-controversial document-collection site dedicated to providing whistleblowers of all stripes an anonymous online outlet, finds its site offline as of 8:15 a.m. (ET) this morning, a victim of attacks both technical and legal, according to blog accounts.

According to Wikinews:

Several factors have taken the site off line including DDoS attacks, followed by a fire which took out the main servers hosting the site in Sweden, and a restraining order on the domain name 'WikiLeaks.org' issued in the United States.

The injunction was issued by a California court at the behest of a Swiss bank that has found its practices under examination by Wikileaks. It is not clear to what extent each of the technical and legal factors is contributing to wikileaks.org being dark.

And, this doesn't mean Wikileaks' content is inaccessible, as a list of the site's "cover names" can be found here.

A Wikileaks press release about the court case contends:

When the transparency group Wikileaks was censored in China last year, no-one was too surprised. After all, the Chinese government also censors the Paris based Reporters Sans Frontiers and New York Based Human Rights Watch. And when Wikileaks published the secret censorship lists of Thailand's military Junta, no-one was too surprised when people in that country had to go to extra lengths to read the site. But on Friday the 15th, February 2008, in the home of the free and the land of the brave, and a constitution which states "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press", the Wikileaks.org press was shutdown:

I'm attempting to contact Wikileaks for clarification of what's happening on both the legal and technical fronts.

My initial reaction was negative when the Wikileaks concept was made public, but that view has softened somewhat since the site began generating important documentary evidence of government abuses.

However, the potential for abuses - and the kind of trouble the site is experiencing at the moment - remains both extreme and threatening to the project.

(Update: They're discussing the situation over at Slashdot and Reddit.)


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