Monday, December 6, 2010

Hundreds of WikiLeaks Mirror Sites Appear


The New York Times

December 5, 2010

Hundreds of WikiLeaks Mirror Sites Appear


LONDON — The battle lines between supporters of the whistle-blowing Web site WikiLeaks and its detractors began to form on Sunday, as supporters erected numerous copies of the site on the Internet and the United States put pressure on Switzerland not to offer a haven to the site’s founder, Julian Assange.

Since several major Internet companies cut off services to WikiLeaks in recent days, activists have created hundreds of mirror sites, Web sites that host exact copies of another site’s content, making censorship difficult.

The collective Anonymous, an informal but notorious group of hackers and activists, also declared war on Sunday against enemies of Mr. Assange, calling on supporters to attack sites companies that do not support WikiLeaks and to spread the leaked material online.

Meanwhile, the American ambassador to Switzerland, Donald S. Beyer Jr., responded to signs that Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks might seek refuge in that country, warning in the weekly magazine NZZ am Sonntag that the Swiss “should very carefully consider whether to provide shelter to someone who is on the run from the law.”

Since the release of classified diplomatic cables a week ago, from a batch of more than 250,000 obtained by WikiLeaks, the Web site has been bombarded by cyberattacks and abandoned by Internet companies like PayPal, an online payment service that had accepted donations for the site, and Amazon, which had rented it server space.

WikiLeaks said that PayPal had “surrendered to U.S. government pressure,” but the government has not acknowledged involvement in efforts to try to disable the site.

On Friday, WikiLeaks sought refuge in a diffuse web of financial and Internet infrastructure spread across Europe, particularly in Switzerland. It moved to, a domain registered to the Swiss Pirate Party, a political organization that shares many of Mr. Assange’s aims.

A Swiss-Icelandic company, Datacell, will process donations instead of PayPal, and the WikiLeaks site shows that Mr. Assange is accepting direct donations into a Swiss bank account held with the financial arm of the Swiss postal service.

But that solace may be short lived: a spokesman for the financial arm of Swiss Post, Marc Andrey, also told NZZ am Sonntag on Sunday that it was “reviewing” its relationship with Mr. Assange subject to proof that he has Swiss residency, owns property or does business in the country. A message seeking comment from Mr. Assange’s British lawyer was not immediately returned.

The Internet group Anonymous, which in the past has taken on targets as diverse as the Church of Scientology and Iran, disseminated a seven-point manifesto via Twitter and other social networking sites pledging to “kick back for Julian.”

Gregg Housh, a prominent member of the group, said by telephone from Boston that an orchestrated effort was under way to attack companies that have refused to support WikiLeaks and to post multiple copies of the leaked material.

The Anonymous manifesto singled out PayPal, which cut off ties with WikiLeaks for “a violation” of its policy on promoting illegal activities, a company statement said.

“The reason is amazingly simple,” Mr. Housh said of the campaign. “We all believe that information should be free, and the Internet should be free.”

By late Sunday, there were at least 208 WikiLeaks mirror sites up and running.

“Cut us down,” said a message on the WikiLeaks Twitter feed on Sunday, “and the stronger we become.”

Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fact: Secrets are hard to keep. Cork out of the bottle. post-it-all 1-to:world. Your school or corporate emails? Is this a Problem ? Just as much the printed book once was. Main question: what’s next: E-Power to the people. Maybe it is good thing, because together we can control what no government can (ie. the global society we need to survive) Technology is a thread, it always was.. it always was unstoppable. However we NEED tech to survive. So..let's discuss it