Amazon Web Services has removed whistle-blowing web site WikiLeaks from its servers after pressure from US authorities, in a move that could deter individuals and businesses from using public cloud services.
WikiLeaks acknowledged the removal in an update to its official Twitter feed. "WikiLeaks servers at Amazon ousted. Free speech the land of the free--fine our $ are now spent to employ people in Europe," the post said.
"If Amazon are so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books," WikiLeaks said in an earlier post.
Amazon has been praised for its decision to severe ties with WikiLeaks, most notably by Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman.
"I call on any other company or organisation that is hosting WikiLeaks to immediately terminate its relationship with them. WikiLeaks' illegal, outrageous and reckless acts have compromised our national security and put lives at risk around the world," he said in a statement on his web site.
"No responsible company - whether American or foreign - should assist WikiLeaks in its efforts to disseminate these stolen materials."
The senator added that he will be asking Amazon about the extent of its relationship with WikiLeaks, and what Amazon and other web service providers will do in the future to ensure that their services are not used to distribute what he described as stolen classified information.
WikiLeaks released thousands of confidential US government documents and cables earlier this week. The site was subsequently on the receiving end of two distributed denial-of-service attacks, but is online for the moment.
Robert Rutherford, managing director of IT consultancy QuoStar Solutions, warned that governments are likely to take ever greater control of the internet.
"The internet is now integral to all our lives and, of course, business. Our reliance on it means that it must be governed and it must be controlled," he said.
"We may not like it, but we are going to have to get used to it. The days of the internet being completely free and open are probably over."
V3.co.uk was still waiting to hear from Amazon Web Services at the time of writing.
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