WikiLeaks loses American domain name, moves to Switzerland

The noose is tightening on WikiLeaks, as it faces challenges on multiple fronts to stay operational. In the latest blow to the notorious whistleblower website, the American company which translated Wikileaks’ domain name from its IP address withdrew support, effectively leaving the WikiLeaks brand without a domain to operate from.

But the site struck back on Twitter by publishing its IP address, with the message: “Free Speech has a number.” and claiming that it is now being hosted in Switzerland.

The Guardian reports: “In a statement on its website, the free service said that the “distributed denial of service” (DDOS) attacks by unknown hackers – who are trying to knock WikiLeaks off the net – meant that the leaks site was interfering with the service being provided to other users. That in turn meant that WikiLeaks had broken’s terms of service, and it cut the site off at 3am GMT on Friday (10PM EST Thursday).” claims that “WikiLeaks was given 24 hours’ notice of the termination, saying ‘Any downtime of the website has resulted from its failure to use another hosted DNS service provider.'”

This revelation comes hot on the heels of calls from the US Congress to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. A group of senators on Thursday unveiled a bill to make it easier to target the self-described whistleblowing website.

The legislation, crafted by Republican Senators John Ensign and Scott Brown as well as Independent Senator Joe Lieberman would make it illegal to publish the names of informants serving the US military and intelligence community.

In other news, a US company whose software was being used by WikiLeaks to create and display charts of its cache of secret US diplomatic cables said Thursday that it had pulled the plug on the whistleblower website.

Tableau Software said it cut WikiLeaks off on Wednesday, the same day that Amazon booted the website from its servers, in response to a public request from Senator Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

Tableau Software said WikiLeaks had published data visualizations of the more than 250 000 US diplomatic cables obtained by the site to Tableau Public, a free service offered by the company.

“Wednesday afternoon, Tableau Software removed data visualizations published by WikiLeaks to Tableau Public,” the company said in a blog post.

“Our terms of service require that people using Tableau Public do not upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any content that they do not have the right to make available,” it said.

“Furthermore, if we receive a complaint about a particular set of data, we retain the right to investigate the situation and remove any offending data, if necessary,” the Seattle-based company said.

“Given the controversy around the WikiLeaks data, we’ve closely followed the debate about who actually has the rights to the leaked data,” it said.

Tableau Software said the decision to no longer host the WikiLeaks charts was “not an easy decision, nor one that we took lightly.”

“This will inevitably be met with mixed reaction,” the company said. “However, our terms of service were created to ensure responsible use of data.”

Tableau Software had received about three dozen comments on its blog Thursday afternoon, most of them negative.

“This act of cowardice and capitulation in the face of government censorship makes it impossible for me to use your services with a clear conscience,” said a message from “veelo2.” “I’m very disappointed by your decision.”



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