Steven Musil / CNET News – 2010-11-29 20:23:20
WikiLeaks Site Under “Attack”
as Diplomatic Cables Go Public
Steven Musil / CNET News
WikiLeaks now has the documents here.
(November 28, 2010) — Whistleblower WikiLeaks said today its Web site has been targeted by a massive computer attack, just hours before an expected release of classified US documents.
“We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack,” WikiLeaks said on its Twitter feed. Efforts to reach the page as of this writing were unsuccessful.
The site released 75,000 confidential files on the war in Afghanistan in July and defied a series of warnings from the Pentagon and other government officials by releasing nearly 400,000 secret files from the Iraq war last month. In a Twitter post last week, the whistleblower site announced it was preparing to release its largest cache of classified documents.
“Next release is 7x the size of the Iraq War Logs. Intense pressure over it for months,” WikiLeaks said last week.
In a follow-up Twitter post today, WikiLeaks said newspapers such as El Pais, Le Monde, Der Speigel, The Guardian, and the New York Times would post the files, even if its site was inaccessible.
(Update at 1:30 p.m. PT: The files have since been released, revealing that the US ordered surveillance of UN leaders.)
The White House has condemned the leaks, saying they put lives at risk, and conservative commentators argued that Wikileaks.org should be shut down by any means necessary.
The WikiLeaks Web site has in the past been proposed as the first public target for a US government cyberattack. One Washington newspaper argued that WikiLeaks’ offshore Web site should be attacked and rendered “inoperable” by the US government. A State Department adviser under President George W. Bush wrote a column calling on the US military to “electronically assault WikiLeaks and any telecommunications company offering its services to this organization.”
Bradley Manning, an Army intelligence specialist, is suspected of being a source for the document-sharing Web site and was charged in June with obtaining “more than 150,000 diplomatic cables” from the State Department.
We here undersigned express our support for the work and integrity of Julian Assange. We express concern that the charges against the WikiLeaks founder appear too convenient both in terms of timing and the novelty of their nature.
We call for this modern media innovator, and fighter for human rights extraordinaire, to be afforded the same rights to defend himself before Swedish justice that all others similarly charged might expect, and that his liberty not be compromised as a courtesy to those governments whose truths he has revealed have embarrassed.
In earnest support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange: