WikiLeaks out for hours after US firm pulls plug

Saturday, 4 December 2010 01:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Paris (Reuters): An American company that had been directing traffic to the WikiLeaks website withdrew its services late Thursday, making the site invisible for several hours., which helps computers locate the sites of its members, said WikiLeaks had breached its terms of service, and that it had stopped providing services to the controversial publisher of leaked information at 0300 GMT on Friday.

However, WikiLeaks announced Friday on Twitter that it could be seen using a new address,, which is operated by a Swiss academic network.

The United States is furious about WikiLeaks’ publication of hundreds of confidential diplomatic cables that have given unvarnished and sometimes embarrassing insights into the foreign policy of the United States and its allies.

“This is a smart move. Switzerland is known for not bending to international pressure,” said Michiel Leenaars, Director of strategy at NLnet, a Dutch internet research charity. said the WikiLeaks web address that it administered had been bombarded by hackers. This had undermined the service that it provides to its other clients, leaving it with no choice but to find WikiLeaks in breach of its terms of service.

“ has become the target of multiple distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks,” said on its website.

“These attacks have, and future attacks would, threaten the stability of the infrastructure, which enables access to almost 500,000 other websites.”

Tens of thousands of such registrars exist worldwide that provide DNS hosting – directory services to locate websites that do not maintain their own domain name services – which would be able to provide alternative services to Wikileaks.

Russia says leaked cables show US cynicism

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (Reuters): Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Friday said leaked diplomatic cables showed the “cynicism” of US diplomacy.

Medvedev, who was cast in the cables as playing Robin to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s Batman, also said the leaked documents were unlikely to seriously upset relations with Washington.

Medvedev was speaking at a briefing with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in the southern Russian resort of Krasnaya Polyana.

WikiLeaks changes domain name to after cyber attacks

LONDON — An American provider of Internet domain names withdrew its service to the WikiLeaks Web site after a barrage of attacks by hackers that threatened to destabilise its entire system, according to the provider and WikiLeaks itself on Friday. But within hours, WikiLeaks said it had registered its domain name in Switzerland.                    

By mid-morning, attempts to access the original Web site produced only a page saying: “The address is not valid.” But the new domain name, provided access to the site.

The action by EveryDNS, which provides around 500,000 Web sites, followed a decision on Wednesday by Inc. to expel WikiLeaks, the whistle-blowing organization, from its servers, although it remains on the servers of a Swedish host, Bahnhof, as it continues to anger the United States by publicizing a huge array of some 250,000 leaked State Department documents relating to American foreign policy around the globe.

In a statement on its Web site,, the provider said it terminated WikiLeaks domain name at around 4 a.m. Central European time on Friday.

“The services were terminated for violation of the provision which states that a ‘member shall not interfere with another member’s use and enjoyment of the service or another entity’s use and enjoyment of similar services.’”

It said “has become the target of multiple distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks.” Such attacks usually involve bombarding a Web site with attacks, preventing legitimate users from access and designed to make a targeted Web site unavailable.

“These attacks have, and future attacks would, threaten the stability of the infrastructure, which enables access to almost 500,000 other Web sites,” the statement said.

WikiLeaks, whose founder, Julian Assange, is being sought for questioning in connection to alleged sex crimes in Sweden, which he denies, said on its Twitter feed at around 5: 30 a.m.: “ domain killed by US after claimed mass attacks.”

It implored supporters to “keep us strong” and provided a link for financial donations. Hours later, a message on the WikiLeaks Twitter feed said: “WikiLeaks moved to Switzerland” and provided the new Web address.

- New York Times