Booted from US-based domain, WikiLeaks site finds refuge with Swiss Pirate Party

A US-based domain name provider terminated its relationship with WikiLeaks.org, saying that attacks on the WikiLeaks site were causing problems for other users.

By , Correspondent

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    The homepage of the WikiLeaks.org website is pictured in Beijing on Dec. 2. Amazon.com has stopped hosting WikiLeaks' website after an inquiry by the US Senate Homeland Security Committee amid anger about the release of classified US government documents on the site.
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The website WikiLeaks.org is no longer functioning, after its US-based domain host on Thursday terminated service for the controversial site. The expulsion forced WikiLeaks to relocate its domain name with a Switzerland-based domain name host, and the website is now found at WikiLeaks.ch.

Perhaps fittingly, the new domain host is the Swiss Pirate Party, which the Associated Press calls "a political group formed two years ago to campaign for freedom of information and sensible technology policy." The New York Times reported that the party is a branch of the Swedish Pirate Party, according to the website whois.com.

Recommended: Extradition fight: Who is Julian Assange, why is Sweden seeking him?

Former domain name host EveryDNS.net, a subsidiary of New Hampshire-based web host Dynamic Network Hosting, said in a statement on its website that it booted WikiLeaks at 10 p.m. EST on Thursday.

"The interference at issues [sic] arises from the fact that wikileaks.org has become the target of multiple distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks. These attacks have, and future attacks would, threaten the stability of the EveryDNS.net infrastructure, which enables access to almost 500,000 other websites," the statement says.

WikiLeaks confirmed the end of their service through EveryDNS.net on its Twitter account: “WikiLeaks.org domain killed by US everydns.net after claimed mass attacks KEEP US STRONG,” they wrote, appealing for donations.

The termination came a day after Amazon.com canceled its hosting of WikiLeaks' site, saying that sites must contain their own material.

A website requires both a domain name provider and a web server host. For WikiLeaks, EveryDNS.net hosted its domain name while Amazon provided use of its web servers. Though Amazon terminated service as web server host, WikiLeaks is also hosted on the Swedish web server Banhof, which is still providing service, according to the Associated Press.

Amazon denied that its decision was because of government pressure, saying it was instead because the WikiLeaks site violated Amazon.com’s terms of service as it was “clear” that WikiLeaks didn’t own the rights to nor control the classified material.

“There have been reports that a government inquiry prompted us not to serve WikiLeaks any longer. That is inaccurate,” the company said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

It’s not just the WikiLeaks website that is under fire. Sweden has an arrest warrant out for website founder Julian Assange over allegations of rape, sexual molestation, and unlawful coercion. Mr. Assange’s lawyers have denied the charges, saying the encounters were consensual. International police organization Interpol has issued a "red notice" alert on him to all 188 member countries.

It is possible that the US already has an indictment out for Assange, potentially for espionage, but a judge could order it kept sealed until he is apprehended by the US to prevent him from going further into hiding, The Christian Science Monitor has reported.

Assange is said to be hiding in Britain, the Monitor reported Thursday.

In an October profile in The New York Times, Assange described how he lives on the run, dying his hair and checking into hotels under false names. “When it comes to the point where you occasionally look forward to being in prison on the basis that you might be able to spend a day reading a book, the realization dawns that perhaps the situation has become a little more stressful than you would like,” he told the Times.

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