Amazon.com has stopped hosting the WikiLeaks website, a day after the site was forced to move from its service provider in Sweden to escape a cyber-attack.
WikiLeaks, which sparked U.S. condemnation several days ago for releasing classified government documents to major newspapers worldwide, announced the move on Twitter Wednesday. The rogue site says it has moved to a service provider in Europe after being "ousted" from Amazon.com.
"Fine our $ are now spent to employ people in Europe," WikiLeaks says.
Amazon.com provides web services, site hosting and storage, along with being an online retailer. WikiLeaks moved to the site after a distributed denial of service attack on Tuesday threatened its operations. The source of the attack is unknown. Speculation has ranged from the U.S. government to foreign regimes embarrassed by WikiLeaks' disclosures to the New York Times, Der Spiegel, Le Monde and other major newspapers.
Amazon.com was apparently under pressure to drop WikiLeaks. Sen. Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, acknowledges that his staff contacted Amazon.com for an explanation of its decision to host WikiLeaks. Amazon.com notified the senator Wednesday that it had stopped hosting the site.
"I wish that Amazon had taken this action earlier based on WikiLeaks' previous publication of classified material," Lieberman says in a statement. "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."
The documents posted by WikiLeaks revealed serious concerns with the U.S. diplomatic community about the resolve and trustworthiness of several key allies, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, in the war on terror. The documents also disclosed unflattering descriptions of Western leaders, such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
The Obama administration has ordered government agencies to develop stricter criteria for getting access to classified data and has ordered an investigation to find the source of the leaked documents.