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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 12/ 3/2010

WikiLeaks sinks, resurfaces (repeat as necessary)

By Rob Pegoraro

Can you make a site vanish from the Internet?

Apparently not, even if you have a great deal of motivation and cooperation behind your attempts.

WikiLeaks, the site that has been publishing vast stashes of classified U.S. government data over the past few months, resurfaced hours ago at a new address, just hours after being unplugged from its earlier address and hosting arrangements.

Instead of visiting wikileaks.org, you now have to go to wikileaks.ch a Swiss-registered domain. You can also bypass the domain name system entirely and use the Internet Protocol address 213.251.145.96.

That move follows a series of expulsions of WikiLeaks by previous Internet hosts. Amazon booted WikiLeaks from its hosting service on Wednesday. Although Sen. Joe Lieberman (I.-Conn.) had pressured Amazon to dump the site, Amazon said WikiLeaks earned its eviction by violating its terms of service.

Then EveryDNS, the company that had hosted WikiLeaks' domain name managed WikiLeaks' domain-name services, kicked off the site on Thursday, citing risks to its other customers caused by a flood of attacks on its servers.

(To be clear: I do see freedom-of-speech issues when governments push companies to stop providing Web hosting services to other people. But that doesn't mean anybody has a First Amendment right to compel somebody else to publish their views.)

There will certainly be other moves to come in this whack-a-mole game. But even if you could get every single Web host and domain-name registrar in the world to refuse WikiLeaks' business, its organizers could still publish massive quantities of data through BitTorrent or other file-sharing systems. The Internet can do a lot of things, but making information disappear is not among them.

That's something to think about while Congress considers legislation that would allow the Justice Department to force domain-name providers to stop connecting Internet users to sites suspected--not convicted--of fostering widespread copyright infringement. If you can't make a site disappear when many people think its founders should be executed for treason, how can you do that when a site only helps people download movies or music without paying?

(Making this observation is separate from any judgment about the worth of WikiLeaks, much less its secretive leader Julian Assange -- who increasingly seems only a lunar base shy of being a James Bond villain. I think the site has been helpful in publicizing individual documents that deserve public attention; I pointed to it in my first column about the then-secret ACTA intellectual-property-protection agreement. But dumping enormous quantities of documents that don't show any evidence of any crimes is far less constructive. And to pretend that staging a denial-of-service attack on the ability of a democratic government's employees to do some useful, legal work in private will make that government function better is delusional.)

(3:57 p.m. Corrected an incorrect description of EveryDNS's role.)

By Rob Pegoraro  | December 3, 2010; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  Policy and politics, Telecom  
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Comments

I remind you that the full weight of secure international diplomacy did not stop an invasion of Iraq that was both illegal and insane by any reasonable standard. Furthermore, the American press, notably the Times and the Post, failed to hold the American government to account about the invasion. Both of these reasons may have prompted obviously unhappy American citizens to leak documents demonstrating American acts hidden by the American executive, machine gunning Iraqis from the air being an obvious example that needs no context.

Posted by: Neil_Kitson | December 3, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Maybe our governments can get tips from Communist China on how to stop people from accessing information that they don't want them to have. How near are we to them, anyway?
I appreciate that a lot of this is sensitive information, but maybe it's time for diplomacy to evolve into something more transparent than it currently is. I believe this is a positive thing, and real democracies can and should grow from it.
Let's not go back into the dark ages.

Posted by: jbuchyns | December 3, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: pc93 | December 3, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Great article highlighting the need for everyone to have a much higher computer/data security awareness. Check some reinforcing content at the blog, "The Business-Technology Weave" (can Google to it) - it reflects what this article is saying - scroll down to that author's take on WikiLeaks. The majority of breaches are due to human error, therefore awareness and common sense are key, in supporting all necessary best practices. The blog author also has a book we use at work, "I.T. WARS" (you can Google that too). It has a great Security chapter, and others that treat security. Highly recommended. Great stuff.

Posted by: janice33rpm | December 3, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for Wikileaks. Julian Assange is a cool dude from Queensland.

Washington Post is mostly morons.

Posted by: gtagta18 | December 3, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Prisons cannot be blamed for denying inmates information that will help them escape, nor can governments be blamed for denying citizens information that will help break its laws. Allowing literature to be published advising its readers to have sex with victims of AIDS for the sake of compassion is wrong. Censorship is a part of the natural order of society and it is needed.

Posted by: morristhewise | December 3, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Prisons cannot be blamed for denying inmates information that will help them escape, nor can governments be blamed for denying citizens information that will help break its laws. Allowing literature to be published advising its readers to have sex with victims of AIDS for the sake of compassion is wrong. Censorship is a part of the natural order of society and it is needed.

Posted by: morristhewise | December 3, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

James Bond villain? With Assange eluding the entire Western apparat sicced on him by the America govt, wouldn't Jason Bourne be a better fit? Delusional? Rather, de-illusional, ie, opening the world's eyes to the utterly duplicitous nature of America's dealings with all and sundry.

Posted by: orthotox | December 3, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

wikileaks should not be banned.This is the tactic of repressive regimes.Confidential information concerning defense etc., should be properly safeguarded. JZ, athenscentre.com

Posted by: insightonline | December 3, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

These leaks have been happening for months. Seems to me that there wasn't a whole lot of 'fury' until after Assange announced on Tuesday that the next leaks would be corporate in nature.

Posted by: Mair1 | December 3, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Dead rats can't raid your pantry. Spray for these Wikileaks parasites long enough, eventually you'll run out of people who remember the passwords.

Posted by: pcannady | December 3, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"documents that don't show any evidence of any crimes"

What about the ones that show the US government forcing other countries to drop crime charges against US officials and CIA agents?????

Posted by: Starteller | December 3, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

julian Assange should be nominated For a Nobel Peace Prize

Posted by: capskip | December 3, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Rob,

There's a bit of a technical error in this article. EveryDNS does not host domain names - it's a DNS service. In other words, they provide name resolution for the domain name wikileaks.org, but they do not *host* that domain name.

Dynadot is the registrar for the domain name wikileaks.org.

You can verify this yourself by checking out the whois info for wikileaks.org:

http://whois.domaintools.com/wikileaks.org

http://www.dynadot.com/domain/whois.html?domain=wikileaks.org


Thanks.

Posted by: jaebi | December 3, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

WikiLeaks exists because some people, compelled to expose wrongdoing, need a means to do so anonymously. WikiLeaks does not pass judgment but it affords others to have unvarnished materials by which to consider what truly transpires. It affords common workers the opportunity to do what corporate communication departments and government officials do all the time: leak information.

The difference, however, is that corporations and government leak information to further an agenda. They add their own spin. Information, in the form of hard documents, are published by WikiLeaks without spin, without an agenda other than making the information public.

WikiLeaks is the ideal to which a free society should subscribe, not some villainous aberration that causes harm. Imagine, for a moment, having access to the dealmaking between corporations and our lawmakers. Everyone knows it's going on; we just don't have documented proof. Imangine if we had access to the dealmaking between the banks and insurers in the marketing of mortgage securities, that have caused America's financial collapse. Everyone know it went on; we just don't have the documentation.

WikiLeaks should be Time's Man of the Year, and Julian Assange every child's hero.

Posted by: joachim1 | December 3, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Its shocking how the established mainstream media (aka WPost and NYtimes) are positioning Assange as a James Bond villain when in fact he should be positioned as the hero of one of these corporate/government conspiracy movies. He is fighting the 'conspiracy' to open the eyes of regular people as to the duplicitous nature of our governments. Judging by the reactions of the US government, Assange seems to be a bigger threat to our security than Bin-Laden

Posted by: sipa111 | December 3, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

The more death threats and cyberattacks against WikiLeaks, the more secret files upset honest people with access to them have/will send the organization.
And you can almost bet WikiLeaks, and other similar groups that are now starting to spring up, have more new secret data files than the average espionage agency like the CIA, NSA and FBI get in a year. And that's just in America.
Keep up the cyberattacks, arrest Julian Assange, and watch the information be posted online, in totality and without first having been screened, all over the planet, in all languages.
And then, as deep corporate and political secrets worldwide become public information, the proverbial poop will really hit the fan as the ugliest hidden information about these agencies, armed forces, secret police, governments and corporations stop being secret.
You would think everybody involved would prefer to cooperate rather than stage a cyberwar they can't win.
But nobody ever accused "everybody" of being particularly intelligent: sneaky and dirty yes, but nothing else.
Rudy Haugeneder
Canada

Posted by: Rudy7 | December 3, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

You know, I'm not too sure about Assange as a person, but "treason"? Don't you have to be a citizen of a particular nation to commit treason against it?
If you're from another country, I guess you could (hyperbolically IMO) call it an "act of war" but I don't think "treason" really fits, does it?

Posted by: someguynamedjosh | December 3, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

You know, I'm not too sure about Assange as a person, but "treason"? Don't you have to be a citizen of a particular nation to commit treason against it?
Given that he's not an American, I guess you could (hyperbolically IMO) describe publishing WikiLeaks as an "act of war" but I don't think "treason" really fits, does it?

Posted by: someguynamedjosh | December 3, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who calls it treason is a retard, as it was mentioned above, Assange is not an american you cannot betray a nation you have no ties to.

Assange is at risk of becoming the digital age robin hood, so be care full, if you oppose him your either going to be remembered as a prince john or the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Posted by: alex35332 | December 3, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

This is definitely a US plot as India and Israel are lilywhites and only arab and islamic are targets of wikileaks attacks.

Posted by: dcsltd | December 3, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

This is definitely a US plot as India and Israel are lilywhites and only arab and islamic are targets of wikileaks attacks. This isdefinitely a Jewish atteck and noto do with Wikileaks

Posted by: dcsltd | December 3, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

This guy has a lot of dirt on the criminals that run the world and they will stop at nothing to silence him. Teh cockroches are scrambling to hide from the light of day.

Posted by: runningman55 | December 3, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Nothing but Jewish and American propaganda. Only Iran and Arabs are targeted in the publications

Posted by: dcsltd | December 3, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Well said Joachim1.

Mr.Assange must have been aware of the risks involved when publishing (NOT creating) this, and other, controversial material. Why it should astonish author of this article that Assange is 'secretive' and akin to James Bond is disingenuous to say the least. I would say Mr. Assange and his colleagues are simply being prudent in the light of vocalized assassination threats, including one from a public figure here in 'nice' Canada!

http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/12/01/flanagan-wikileaks-assange.html

I applaud Julian Assange and Wikileaks and those who will follow them,and hope they will prevail against the vicious
backlash of governments opposed to the breaching of their mostly unwarranted climate of secrecy and misuse of power.


Posted by: Canuckgirl | December 3, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

When people leaked Bush administration documents liberals loved it and liberal politicians even petitioned to release more.

Now that it is dirt on the Obama administration liberals are up in arms and censoring web sites.

Looks like it takes Wikileaks to give true transparency to this farce of an administration.

Posted by: Cryos | December 3, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Its nice to see some intelligence in these comments. Unfortunately be aware of the latest buzz, fingerprinting of devices connected to the internet. Everything you say or do on the internet should be considered to be recorded by corporate and government interests and databased using your internet device as identification.

Posted by: skeyewater | December 3, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Hello, all. One general point: I see a difference between leaks that expose wrongdoing and warn of coming troubles and data dumps like "Cablegate." Some of you may not.

@jaebi: Thanks for pointing that out. I've corrected the post.

@joachim1: Everybody leaks for a reason, and these reasons aren't always high-minded. You'd be a fool not to consider that, just as you should evaluate the official statements of corporations and governments with due skepticism.

@someguynamedjosh: I'm aware of that difference, but many people aren't. (Of course, the Australian judicial authorities might have views of their own on this.)

@dcsltd: Could you at least try to use correct spelling in your anti-Semitic slurs?

Thanks for reading...

- RP

Posted by: robpegoraro | December 3, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey America, where is your sense of freedom now?

Posted by: mekhapes | December 3, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

All forms of government have two distinct groups: an elite and the masses. Democracy allows a bit more fluidity between the groups (but less than you would think).
The elite determines which information the masses are not allowed to see or know. This helps to keep power.
Very interesting social experiment we are living at the beginning of the XXI Century through WikiLeaks: information that the elites withheld from the masses is now provided.
The elites (in every Western Country at this moment) are furious because it runs counter to their interests and their core belief that the masses do not have the capability to process this information. No surprise here. That is why freedom of the press is secondary in this context (for them).
The interesting part is what the masses are doing. There are two groups, the first one basically is in agreement with the elites that this information should not be provided to them. They are better not knowing.
The other group understands the importance of being able to obtain the information denied by the elite and wants that this channel is kept.
What will happen ?(this is the Social experiment we are living). At this moment it seems that the first group is more numerous and thence it seems to validate the assumption of the elite.
Actually, it is not that surprising.
Let´s see what happens....

Posted by: hominidfriend | December 3, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

WikiLeaks is a battle and not the war. Fought over information, it’s an ageless war between those with power and those without. Clearly those charlatans masquerading as statesmen and the clowns dressed as legislators in the Washington Circus would dearly love to put the boots to those who expose them. Although WikiLeaks took the news media by storm, they contained little new about our widely mistrusted misleaders and the damage was limited to some ruffled feathers and bruised egos. The Leaks weren’t news after all, for who didn’t know that that Italian is a philandering buffoon, that the Afghanistan crowd we’re running with rivals the South Vietnamese in corruption and various venalities, or that we are in the process of extending to Pakistan the same largess we gave to Cambodia? Of course Putin rose to world prominence from the bloody cellars of the Lubanka and remains murderous to this day. Nothing new there and for those whose trust in the honesty of the Saudi Arabia was shattered, well not much can be done for those folks. Aside from reducing catty remarks in diplomatic cocktail parties, the Leaks will have no discernable consequence in 6 months; except for one thing. They do provide a great service to those in public disservice who wish to CYA. It is the monkeys in the Washington Circus who will benefit from the Leaks by way of new laws to shield their incompetence, corruption or in some cases both. The public loses another battle in the war for the information it needs to monitor and govern the Republic.
Editorial cartoons on this and more http://www.saintpeterii.com

Posted by: saintpeterii | December 3, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

WE AMERCIA looks down on countries that throw people in jail for exposing the goverment for wrong doing. how awful , how shameless, the people have no freedom to speakout, we were sent to Korea, and NAM to fight such dictators,WE ARE NOW AS WE WERE TOLD THEN. it is no wonder the worlds people voted us the most feared and hated, a nation of terrorest. lets hope that we change to what will restore respect, GUNS AND LIES are not doing us justice or is in our economy interest, no one buys from them they fear.

Posted by: dv1236 | December 3, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

This man is the same as a terrorist and should be treated as such by our government. He is doing much harm to the United States and placing some of our citizens in harms way. Send someone from Special Forces to apprehend him and take him to a place where he will not be able to do any more harm to our country. If he was doing this to China or Russia, he would be gone in a New York minute. This man is a enemy of the United States of America, just as bin laden is an enemy. Quit being so politically correct and go after him, Obama.

Posted by: libertymeanslife | December 3, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for Wikileaks. Julian Assange is a cool dude from Queensland.

Washington Post is mostly morons.

Posted by: gtagta18 | December 3, 2010 12:48 PM

====================================================

Born in Queensland, but lived and educated in Melbourne.

Assange probably wanted to be James Bond, like the previous versions (not elmer fudd looking Daniel Craig who sensibly only sleeps with married women who don't tell on him) who used to seduce exotic foreign (accented) women who say "Ooo, Meeester Bond!" and jump all over Bond (still can't figure out why, I usually need to wine and dine them first. lol), but instead he's become more of a James Bond Villain minus a furry white cat (rule number five, never sleep with women you don't know, they can be "honey traps"). To be an actually good James Bond Villain he'd need to have a polished British accent - which he has yet to acquire, an Aussie accent is too mangy. lol.

Incase no one has noticed Wikileaks so far has not been useful to anyone other than newspaper editors. lol.

Posted by: darkasnight1234 | December 4, 2010 5:59 AM | Report abuse

"But dumping enormous quantities of documents that don't show any evidence of any crimes is far less constructive."

That's the most ignorant statement I've ever heard from a "Journalist" before.

There are more than 250,000 cables that were dumped. You're going to link to some website that claims a government has the right to secrecy and cite that website as proof that all 250k cables are in line with laws?

So... The government blatantly lying to it's people is not a crime? That's what this is all about.

Leading up to the Iraq war, our DIPLOMATS told us they were doing all they could to prevent the war... They were lying. Nobody tried anything but to beat the war drums harder and louder until our boys were dying over there.

The U.S government is lying to the American people. This dump of cables prove it and the fact that you "Journalists" wont report on it shows that you are part of the problem.

Posted by: michealPW | December 4, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

"But dumping enormous quantities of documents that don't show any evidence of any crimes is far less constructive."

That's the most ignorant statement I've ever heard from a "Journalist" before.

There are more than 250,000 cables that were dumped. You're going to link to some website that claims a government has the right to secrecy and cite that website as proof that all 250k cables are in line with laws?

So... The government blatantly lying to it's people is not a crime? That's what this is all about.

Leading up to the Iraq war, our DIPLOMATS told us they were doing all they could to prevent the war... They were lying. Nobody tried anything but to beat the war drums harder and louder until our boys were dying over there.

The U.S government is lying to the American people. This dump of cables prove it and the fact that you "Journalists" wont report on it shows that you are part of the problem.

Posted by: michealPW | December 4, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

The 'True' things' in the United States are

-You could never believe what you hear in the Media
-Never get high on your own supply, have heard that one before...
-All Government Policy and 'fear of Governement Authority and the essential existence of a very government, depends upon the red wheel barrow of RE-TELLING the history of the United States in a classic form and in high yield; this to Robert whom includes A National Bank in his 'idea of Government Policy'.

Posted by: kadija1 | December 4, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Bless you, Rob. Glad to see the futility of DNS blocking tied back the to misguided COICA!

Posted by: awnonymous | December 4, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The awful truth about this country has been exposed, more by the Administration's response to the cables than the cables themselves.

This is no longer America, Land of the Free, this has become the 21st Century's Nazi Germany.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | December 4, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"If you can't make a site disappear when many people think its founders should be executed for treason".

Many people are stupid,some are born stupid, some go through the education process and end up stupid, some have stupidity thrust upon them.

Julian Assange is an Australian citizen (Australia, the big island near the South Pole)hence he cannot commit treason against the good ol' USA. You could try espionage or you could wonder what level of stupidity was required to let 2.5 mn - 3 mn people have access to State secrets. Don't kill the messenger because you sure as Hell can't kill the message.

Posted by: con_byrne | December 4, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

When you say "But that doesn't mean anybody has a First Amendment right to compel somebody else to publish their views." you make it clear that you don't understand the purpose of a DNS server. A DNS server translates a domain name, eg: wikileaks.org, into an IP address, eg: 127.0.0.1. Saying that a DNS provider is "publishing [...] views" is a falsehood. They just run a database that hosts pointer from a name to a number. If somebody on the internet is hammering a DNS server maliciously, I think that in itself is a crime. This is like the publisher of a phone book not listing you because they don't like your name; but even less than that to a degree, because you can only find the name if you go looking for it in the case of DNS. You could have all the obscenity and blasphemy you wanted in your domain names, but nobody would see it unless the looked at the DNS records. There's no excuse for this. I think the people behind wikileaks have got some decent lawsuits to pursue against some of these companies who are caving into government pressure.

Posted by: CocoLopez | December 4, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

When I see our government trying to shut down WikiLeaks, I am reminded of...communist China and how their government also suppress freedom of information...just like our government.

Posted by: jjedif | December 4, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I've canceled my paypal and ebay accounts. I will not do any business, no matter how small and insignificant, with a company that would categorize the publishing of leaked information from a verifiable source, no matter how sensitive the information, so long as it is within the law to publish it, as "illegal." Wikileaks did not engage in espionage or any other illicit activity... the organization engaged in journalism.

If the same dynamic applied during Nixon's re-election bid, there would be no stopping the morally bankrupt from devolving this fragile democracy into a fascist dictatorship.

Posted by: sql_yoda | December 4, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of morons! You all must have flunked Government 101, not to mention history. Diplomacy cannot be conducted publicly if one hopes to hammer out compromises with other governments.

Julian Assange is a self-aggrandizing egomaniac. If he was really serious about combating government secrecy, he would show some editorial judgment and not throw out on the internet thousands of documents willy-nilly. He is like a five-year-old saying "I'm going to do this just because I can."

I might take him seriously if he threw documents from other countries (especially China and Russia) out there but of course that would not allow him to conduct his immature vendetta against the United States.

It is about time that there are consequences to what Wikileaks and Assange have done. I seriously doubt that there will ever be a treason trial of Assange but he should pay a price for facilitating a crime. Manning is the one who will pay the price, years in prison while Assange wanders free.

Posted by: mumthere | December 5, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

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