When Wikileaks twittered that Amazon's removal of its website from its servers was a "free speech" issue, it seemed an odd turn of phrase: after all, Amazon is a private company and is free to host what it likes. The Guardian has just reported, however, that it did indeed remove Wikileaks after being pressured to do so by the U.S. government. Ewan MacAskill writes that U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman offered a prepared statement, announcing Wikileaks' removal from Amazon's server, as the plug was pulled.
The United States struck its first blow against WikiLeaks after Amazon.com pulled the plug on hosting the whistleblowing website in an apparent reaction to heavy political pressure. ... "[Amazon'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," [Lieberman] said. "I call on any other company or organisation that is hosting WikiLeaks to immediately terminate its relationship with them." The department of homeland security confirmed Amazon's move, referring journalists to Lieberman's statement.Funny how Amazon spent days loudly refusing to delete a pedophile guidebook on free speech grounds, but this happened behind the scenes and the company is refusing to comment. Must be the Joementum. WikiLeaks website pulled by Amazon after US political pressure [Guardian. Thanks, Richard!]