December 6, 2010

WikiLeaks under attack by governments

POLITICS - The governments of multiple countries are working together to discredit and shut down WikiLeaks. Today the Swiss postal system stripped WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of one of his bank accounts. The money inside the account will still be returned to him, but many banks and governments are either refusing to work with WikiLeaks or are shutting down anything related to him in an effort to censor WikiLeaks from releasing sensitive government information.

The Swiss Post / Postfinance accused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of lying about living in Geneva, claiming he didn't have any apartments or offices in Geneva.

“That's his money, he will get his money back,” says a Postfinance representative. “We just close the account and that's it.”

WikiLeaks secret spilling website isn't just being attacked by the Swiss either. Iceland, Germany, Sweden and other countries are making life difficult for WikiLeaks and its donation supported element (the donations are usually routed through Iceland and Germany).

And Sweden? Well, Sweden has upped the ante by claiming sexual misconduct against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange when he visited the country in the Summer. The Swedish case has been described by his British lawyer Mark Stephens as a political stunt. A European arrest warrant was issued for Assange last week and it is currently working its way through the British legal system.

The idea is that if a country can convict Assange of some minor crime that his website can be shut down somehow and prevent the release of more sensitive documents in the future.

WikiLeaks has been under intense international scrutiny over its disclosure of millions of classified U.S. diplomatic cables, after previously releasing tens of thousands of classified U.S. military documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The disclosures have embarrassed the U.S. and other governments worldwide.

The intensity of the scrutiny has resulted in internet service providers and even online payment providers to refuse to work or cut ties with WikiLeaks.

Today WikiLeaks' Swedish servers came under cyber attack, the latest in a series of attacks by foreign hackers from a variety of countries including the USA. U.S. officials are seeking to charge Julian Assange with something, but are uncertain of what to charge him with because they obviously want him to disappear, but they don't want it to look like a cover up.

Extradition experts say arrest warrants can take weeks or even months to lead to an arrest, which means WikiLeaks can continue to release classified information on schedule.

Assange says his site has another 250,000 documents which will be leaked en masse if he is charged in the USA.

Quite a few politicians are calling for Julian Assange to be charged with treason and even to be killed, but newspapers and news agencies are quietly supportive of Assange because they are eager to get the information that Assange plans to release.

It should be noted that these documents were likely doomed to be leaked eventually anyway, all WikiLeaks does is provide a forum for releasing the information confidentially.

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