Wikileaks, Amazon and Joe Lieberman

December 1, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol 

TPM explains how Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee asked and Amazon complied:

Committee staff had seen news reports yesterday that Wikileaks was being hosted on Amazon’s servers, a committee spokeswoman told TPM. The service, we should note, is self-serve; as with services like YouTube, the company does not screen or pre-approve the content posted on its servers.

Staffers then, according to the spokeswoman, Leslie Phillips, called Amazon to ask about it, and left questions with a press secretary including, “Are there plans to take the site down?”

Amazon called them back this morning to say they had kicked Wikileaks off, Phillips said. Amazon said the site had violated unspecified terms of use.

Amazon has not responded to requests for comment. Its terms of acceptable use include a ban on illegal activities (it’s not yet clear whether Wikileaks has broken any laws) and content “that may be harmful to our users, operations, or reputation.” It also prohibits using Amazon’s servers “to violate the security or integrity of any network, computer or communications system,” although Wikileaks obviously obtained the cables long before hopping on Amazon’s servers.

So was Amazon following the law, its terms of service or the demands of Joe Lieberman?

RELATED: Senator Lieberman’s statement. The Wikileaks tweet saying its servers on Amazon had been “ousted” and another saying “If Amazon are so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books.” And Techmeme discussion.


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