Amazon removed whistle blowing website WikiLeaks from its servers amid pressure from federal lawmakers who were upset with WikiLeaks' recent release of certain confidential and sensitive government information.
Seattle-based Amazon's move came after an inquiry Tuesday afternoon by the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee over the online retailer's relationship with WikiLeaks.
I wish that Amazon had taken this action earlier based on WikiLeaks' previous publication of classified material, Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement.
Amazon, which is one of the U.S.'s leading online retailers and known for its Kindle e-readers, also hosts websites on a smaller scale.
Even though, Amazon has removed WikiLeaks from its hosting servers, Lieberman noted his problem with Amazon was not fully resolved.
I will be asking Amazon about the extent of its relationship with Wikileaks and what it and other web service providers will do in the future to ensure that their services are not used to distribute stolen, classified information, Lieberman said.
WikiLeaks had requested Amazon to host the site in Amazon's servers after attacks from hackers prevented users from accessing the classified information.
Last Sunday, WikiLeaks released thousands of classified government documents and sensitive diplomatic cables. The classified documents contained conversations between several diplomats, most of them expressing concern over Iran's nuclear activity and unease over North Korea. Earlier the website leaked thousands of US documents about the war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The leaks embarrassed the Obama administration, whose officials have repeatedly asserted that WikiLeaks' release of the classified cables is a criminal act, and White House spokesman Robert Gibbs even called it a serious violation of the law.
Meanwhile, Justice Department officials are exploring possible charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act.
On the other hand, WikiLeaks had slammed Amazon for its act. WikiLeaks tweeted: If Amazon are so uncomfortable with the First Amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books.
WikiLeaks also confirmed its oustage from Amazon servers on Twitter by saying WikiLeaks servers at Amazon ousted. Free speech the land of the free--fine our $ are now spent to employ people in Europe.
Meanwhile, US regulators are hell bent to stop WikiLeaks and officials with Interpol, the international police organization, issued a red notice this week calling for the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
I call on any other company or organization that is hosting WikiLeaks to immediately terminate its relationship with them, LIberman said in a statement.
The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange has been in hiding for some time, and his whereabouts are still uncertain. Assange was believed to have been in Sweden, but reportedly left last month after authorities there said he was wanted for questioning over a rape and other sexual offenses.
Meanwhile, the highest Court in Sweden has rejected Assange's appeal against his detention orders on Thursday. The Apex Court confirmed the earlier decision of the Svea Appeals Court to uphold the detention order. Earlier this week his lawyer appealed against an arrest warrant issued against the 39-year-old Australian.