What happened to WikiLeaks over the weekend?
It has been a busy weekend for WikiLeaks. Their latest release made public a list of assets of strategic importance to the US, which are located across the globe.
And while the US, British and other governments condemn this latest move, WikiLeaks is battling the efforts geared towards its takedown. There is no news yet on whether Assange’s arrest is imminent, but the organization itself and its site have been hit by a couple of blows.
After the move of its domain to Switzerland, and its content to France, the French government expressed its displeasure with this move. But, according to Techdirt, the hosting company has seemingly no intention of denying service to WikiLeaks without being ordered to do so by a court of law. In the meantime, allies of the whistleblowing site have banded together and have set up a long list of sites mirroring WikiLeaks.
But the organization has received another heavy blow to its operations, as PayPal closed down the account held by the The Wau Holland Foundation which, according to the Daily Tech, was used to funnel donations to WikiLeaks.
“PayPal has permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity. We’ve notified the account holder of this action,” PayPal explained on its official blog.
The move seems to have triggered Anonymous, which chose to take sides with WikiLeaks and initiated a DDoS attack against PayPal’s blog, which went down for some eight hours. “While we don’t have much of an affiliation with WikiLeaks, we fight for the same reasons,” it says on their website. “The attempts to silence WikiLeaks are long strides closer to a world where we can not say what we think and are unable to express our opinions and ideas. We can not let this happen.”
Sides are obviously being chosen daily, and at least part of the institutions and organizations close to or part of the US Establishment have chosen to either ignore the fact that blocking access to the WikiLeaks domain would actually do nothing to prevent access to that material for those who want to do so, or to warn against the download and perusal of the leaked cables.