Friday 3 December 2010

WikiLeaks Shut Down

According to ABC News, the WikiLeaks website was shut down. Few details are made available:

"WikiLeaks says servers in the United States have killed the site's domain name following 'mass attacks'.
The domain hosting withdrawal means the website is down worldwide. Earlier this week Amazon booted WikiLeaks from its servers."
You can try the WikiLeaks site here. When I tried (7:33 PM), it re-directed me to the WikiLeaks blog.

Frankly, I don't know much about the legislation covering the Internet. I do believe domain names are subject to copyright, as they are registered. This implies that they can be sold or leased, like any other asset. If they are similar to any other asset, they are private property.

I don't think it fits well with a Government that respects the sanctity of property rights to simply tamper with private property. If the reader is better informed, I would appreciate comments.

Notice that this could also be construed as an attack to the freedom of expression, which is granted by the US Constitution even to extremist groups, as the KKK. 

The reader will notice in the ABC News above that so far WikiLeaks has not been charged,  by the US Government, of any crime; just as Julian Assange himself has not been charged by the Swedish Government of any crime (at least, as of the date of writing this).

In any case, there is another perhaps even more troubling twist to the WikiLeaks/Julian Assange saga.

Tom Flanagan, one time adviser to Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has publicly called for Assange's assassination:

Flanagan: "I think Assange should be assassinated, actually. (...) Maybe use a drone or something."
Voice outside screen: "Just for the record: this is tough stuff..."
Flanagan: "I am feeling very manly today..."
Commenting on the WikiLeaks website and Assange saga, The Jerusalem Post's Pinchas Landau had this to say:
Do not expect the Internet to survive as an open arena for much longer, and don’t expect the change in the sociopolitical environment to stop at the Internet.
I fear he might be right.

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