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Wikileaks shutdown causes censorship debate

Wikileaks has gone offline three times this week, causing debate over authorities taking censorship too far. France have joined with others in airing their views that Wikileaks should be taken offline permanently as activists raise comparisons with China’s Google censorship.

Wikileaks was down again on Friday but later reopened via a Swiss domain. France have been outspoken in their condemnation of the site saying that it was ‘unacceptable’ for a ‘criminal’ site to be hosted in the country.

Amazon have already pulled the Wikileaks site from their servers after political pressure from Joe Lieberman the chairman of the Senate homeland security committee. While Amazon abided with Lieberman’s instructions he is not yet finished with the store giant, saying that his plans are to find out their exact involvement with the leaks based website.

The issue, on a larger scale is quickly turning into a censorship debate, with many citing ‘freedom of speech’ as a rule for its continued existance. The US Civil rights group Human Rights First, wrote to Amazon saying that their decision to cease hosting Wikileaks raised serious concerns and asked them to consider this before responding to Lieberman’s request for more information.

Electronic Freedom Foundation members Rainey Reitman and Marcia Hofmann said that it was “unfortunate that Amazon caved in to unofficial government pressure to squelch core political speech. Amazon had an opportunity to stand up for its customer’s right to free expression. Instead, Amazon ran away with its tail between its legs”. Various blogs are even calling for a boycott of Amazon.

Amazon said in a blogpost that they denied caving into political pressure on the matter and they said it was simply a case of Wikileaks violating their terms of service, which included terms that the content should not be harmful.

In their own words “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.”

Kitguru says: Are you for the removal of Wikileaks, or do you feel that they should be allowed to leak sensitive information online?

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