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Amazon denies government pressure over Wikileaks

Would have booted it anyway
Fri Dec 03 2010, 11:00

ONLINE BOOK SELLER Amazon has denied that it told the whistleblowing website Wikileaks to get out of its cloud because of government pressure.

Wikileaks retreated to the Amazon cloud after it was subjected to a denial of service attack. Amazon's servers were able to deal with the attack, but in the end it decided that Wikileaks had to leave.

In a statement, Amazon said that Amazon Web Services (AWS) rents computer infrastructure on a self-service basis. While AWS does not pre-screen its customers, it does have terms of service that must be followed.

Amazon said that by distributing documents that it could not prove it had legally under copyright law, Wikileaks was violating its service agreement.

The outfit's terms of service state, "you represent and warrant that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content... [and] that use of the content you supply does not violate this policy and will not cause injury to any person or entity."

Amazon pointed out that it is clear that WikiLeaks doesn't own or otherwise control all the rights to this classified content.

The company was also a little worried that the extraordinary volume of 250,000 classified documents that WikiLeaks is publishing had been carefully redacted to ensure that it wasn't putting innocent people in jeopardy.

However Amazon denied that it was trying to censor anything because it was too controversial. It said that some of the data on its cloud is controversial, and that's perfectly fine.

"But, when companies or people go about securing and storing large quantities of data that isn't rightfully theirs, and publishing this data without ensuring it won't injure others, it's a violation of our terms of service, and folks need to go operate elsewhere," an Amazon spokesperson said. µ



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