Menu

Technology

WikiLeaks Relying on Amazon.com

Julian Assange

FILE: Founder and editor of the WikiLeaks website, Julian Assange, speaks to members of the media during a debate event held in London.AP

Despite outcry over the controversial information, Amazon.com's servers are still hosting leaked documents from WikiLeaks that government officials call a threat to national security.

Computers run by Amazon's Elastic Web Compute (EC2) service in Tulsa, Portland, New York and elsewhere host the site cablegate.wikileaks.org, noted the Wall Street Journal Tuesday, as well as Wikileaks.org, the controversial site’s front page.

Amazon did not return several FoxNews.com requests for comment on the content, which has prompted nationwide outrage and worldwide concern.

"I'll be very surprised if some people don't lose their lives," former president Bill Clinton said in a speech in North Carolina about the massive leak of diplomatic documents and cables, the latest from whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks and its leader Julian Assange. "And goodness knows how many will lose their careers."

Technologist Alex Norcliffe, who first noticed that Amazon's servers were hosting the controversial material over a month ago, speculated that having the content on U.S. soil could be grounds for legal action.

"To me it seemed so odd, surely a mistake, to put this material not only on servers run by a U.S. company, but physically on U.S. soil -- surely making it quite difficult to refute claims of illegality by the US authorities."

But experts told the Journal that it was unlikely Amazon would face legal action for selling services to WikiLeaks. 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 other hand, location is a crucial factor. “If that data happens in the moment to be in the U.S., that’s really good because we have a First Amendment,” said Eben Moglen, a law professor at Columbia Law School.

Where the hardware is located can make a difference legally, yet Moglen added that there wouldn’t be much point in getting Amazon to stop providing services to WikiLeaks. “For all practical purposes … if the law is unfavorable, that Web server process will go somewhere else,” he said.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal