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Robert Weller

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U.S. Politicizes Internet

Posted: 12/05/10 10:30 AM ET

Earlier talk of giving President Obama the power to shut down the Internet has apparently become a reality. The U.S. based Internet domain registrar EveryDNS.net has denied Wikileaks the use of the domain .org, widely used by non-profit groups.

Anti-war.com said the domain was effectively shut down because the Wikileaks site had become the victim of attacks. If that is true it means that all that is necessary to do to remove an annoying Web site is to attack it.

Just as in France, people are learning that the freedom of the Net depends on groups they knew little of or didn't even know existed.

"On Friday, Wikileaks has indirectly given us a new revelation: it exists in France a little-known institution, the General Council of Industry, Energy and Technology (CGIET), attached at Bercy. The Minister of Industry and also the Digital Economy have instructed the agency to consider the legality of hosting Wikileaks in France," reported the French online publication Rue89.

Anti-war and others are continuing to provide updated lists of locations where the whistleblower can be found. The Swiss server site Switch rejected pressure from the U.S. and France to shut Wikileaks down, the Guardian reported.

This is probably the biggest attack on the Internet since it became a worldwide business, leisure and household tool. Even China didn't try to shut down domains.The U.S. isn't the only government to attack Wikileaks.

Given the determination of Wikileaks it seems likely they would result to graffiti on city buildings if necessary. The attacks also are drawing support from others for the group of cyberhackers who believe governments have been lying to their people for decades. Some would compare it to non-Jews wearing the Star of David during Nazi roundups.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group that advocates for freedom of speech on the Internet, noted that the U.S. Constitution does bar "prior restraint," meaning any legal action against someone for publishing something offensive has to come after the act.

EFF noted that Amazon, one of the largest Internet businesses in the world, terminated Wikileaks' use of its servers after U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman's office called them. Lieberman was the first major figure to urge that the U.S. administration be able to black out the Internet during a crisis. The Obama Administration can argue that it was not involved in the U.S. registrar's decision.

Meanwhile, media reports say U.S. soldiers, students and citizens have been warned by various sources not to propagate Wikileak reports.

 
 
 

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