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WikiLeaks.org resurrected in US of A

Whistleblower back in 'land of the free'

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Update: This story has been updated to show that PayPal shut WikiLeaks' account after reading a letter sent to WikiLeaks by the US government.

Wikileaks.org has reappeared in the US of A, after American outfit Dynadot picked up the site's DNS service.

On December 3, WikiLeaks' primary URL vanished after its previous DNS provider, the US-based EveryDNS, terminated its service. According to EveryDNS, it booted WikiLeaks due to the heavy DDoS attacks that hit the site after Julian Assange and crew released their initial trove of classified state department cables.

EveryDNS acted just after Amazon.com took down the WikiLeaks server mirrors running on its AWS hosting service. According to Amazon, it booted WikiLeaks because the site violated its terms of service. "It’s clear that WikiLeaks doesn’t own or otherwise control all the rights to this classified content," the company said.

"Further, it is not credible that the extraordinary volume of 250,000 classified documents that WikiLeaks is publishing could have been carefully redacted in such a way as to ensure that they weren’t putting innocent people in jeopardy."

Following the moves by Amazon and EveryDNS, several other American outfits severed ties with WikiLeaks, including MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal. PayPal says it acted after a reading letter sent to WikiLeaks by the US government.

According to NetCraft, WikiLeaks.org has been up and running in the US since Friday. It's using the San Jose, California-based outfit Silicon Valley Web Hosting to mirror its servers, and it has moved DNS service to Dynadot. Speaking with The Reg, Dynadot president Todd Han declined to discuss the WikiLeaks account in detail, but he acknowledged that site is using both Dynadot's DNS service and its domain name registration service. Previously, WikiLeaks was only using the domain name service.

It appears that the US server mirror is not actually serving content. The mirror simply redirects to servers hosted by Russian-based provider Heihachi Ltd, according to NetCraft records.

After Amazon booted WikiLeaks, US Senator Joe Lieberman – who chairs the Senate's Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs – praised the decision. “The company’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 said in a statement.

"WikiLeaks’ illegal, outrageous, and reckless acts have compromised our national security and put lives at risk around the world. No responsible company — whether American or foreign — should assist WikiLeaks in its efforts to disseminate these stolen materials. I will be asking Amazon about the extent of its relationship with WikiLeaks and what it and other web service providers will do in the future to ensure that their services are not used to distribute stolen, classified information."

After EveryDNS removed Wikileaks.org from its service, Assange and crew moved to other country-level domains, including Swtzerland (wikileaks.ch), Austria (wikileaks.at), and the Cocos Island (wikileaks.cc). ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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