Recap: WikiLeaks faces more heat in the wake of cablegate by Tech Herald

It’s been a long week for the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks. Problems started to mount after Amazon and EveryDNS forced them to shuffle their hosting. While this was happening, they also had to face political posturing and arrest warrants. The truth can be a dangerous and wonderful thing.


[Update: PayPal has forzen WikiLeaks’ donation account. More informaion is here.]

WikiLeaks had moved to Amazon after their site fell victim to a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack. The attack, peaking at 2 to 4 Gbps, was said to have originated from a single source. This source, Th3J35t3r, a self-titled ‘Hacktivist for good’, has been silent since word of his actions spread in the media.

The move to Amazon helped WikiLeaks remain online, but that was only the start of the problem. A day later politics entered the picture. Senator Joseph Lieberman is said to have called Amazon on December 1, to complain about their hosting of Wikileaks.

The assumption that Lieberman caused Amazon to boot WikiLeaks comes from a statement the Senator released that said in part, “After reading press reports that Amazon was hosting the Wikileaks website, Committee staff contacted Amazon Tuesday for an explanation.”

“[Amazon’s] decision to cut off Wikileaks now is the right decision and should set the standard for other companies Wikileaks is using to distribute its illegally seized material. I call on any other company or organization that is hosting Wikileaks to immediately terminate its relationship with them,” Lieberman’s statement added.

The French minister for industry, energy and digital economy, Eric Besson, seems to have jumped on Lieberman’s request. Reuters reported that he wrote a letter to CGIET, the agency that looks after internet use in France, looking for the means to block hosting for WikiLeaks in France. Shortly after getting the boot from Amazon, WikiLeaks moved to France’s OVH for hosting.

“The situation is unacceptable. France cannot host websites that violate diplomatic relations secrecy and endanger persons protected by diplomatic confidentiality. We cannot host sites that have been called criminal and rejected by other countries on the basis of harm to national rights,” Besson’s letter stated.

Amazon disputes the claims that they folded to political pressure, calling the reports “inaccurate”. Likewise, the reports that Amazon kicked WikiLeaks off their services due to DDOS attacks were inaccurate as well. “There were indeed large-scale DDOS attacks, but they were successfully defended against,” Amazon said. read all 4 pages

Burmese soldiers close Chaung Zone near Three Pagodas Pass sea route in preparation to launch an offensive

Tala Lawi : Burmese government soldiers have closed the sea route from Kyarinnseikyi to Chaung Zone, in order to launch an offensive against the Karen National Union (KNU).

The colonel of Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. 283, Thein Zaw, banned travel along the sea route in Chaung Zone on November 29th, closing this route for an indefinite amount of time.

Having closed this sea route, boat owners and businessmen who use this route in their daily work are unable to conduct their business. The LIB No. 203 commander has given soldiers the permission to shoot boats that do not possess permission to travel from the authorities said a resident living near a Chaung Zone check point.

“Now all of the gates are closed, no boats are moving, boat owners can’t carry out their jobs because they are afraid the Burmese soldiers will shoot them. Also, villagers in that area are afraid that fighting will start again [as a continuance of the fighting that began on November 8th]” he added.

LIB No. 283 and LIB No. 405 are based around Chaung Zone near Three Pagodas Pass (TPP) (border crossing between Thailand and Burma).

This Chaung Zone resident reported that fighting popped up again on the 28th of November between the KNU and the Burmese government troops in Mai Ta Pow village around 3 miles from Chaung Zone. Six villagers were injured, and one was killed during the fighting. The resident added that he believes the fighting was caused due to the closed sea route. Continue reading “Burmese soldiers close Chaung Zone near Three Pagodas Pass sea route in preparation to launch an offensive”