Breaking: Wikileaks Missing
Breaking News has just learned that Wikileaks — the website utilized to post materials obtained from Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin's personal Yahoo mail account — is, for undisclosed reasons, no longer available online. The extent of the outage is not currently known, thought it appears all mirrors of the site are offline, including domains for the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Christmas Island.
We have been unable to identify the source of the outage, though the internet is alive with rumors. Paramount among them is the obvious and expected suggestion that U.S. law enforcement — who are known to be investigating the incident — has shut down the site. However, Wikileaks is hosted by Swedish provider PRQ — notorious for employing a "no questions asked" policy towards its customers — and U.S. authorities would lack the jurisdiction to take action against PRQ. Indeed, even a Federal court order — admittedly, issued by a judge with only slightly more understanding of the internet than those in the MIT case — was unable to bring down the site, or even prevent U.S.-based users from reaching the site via proxy. Sources in Canada and New Zealand have confirmed to Breaking News that the site cannot be reached from within either country, suggesting the site is not being blocked by U.S. officials. There have also been reports that users inside the People's Republic of China, who usually are able to access the site through proxies and disguised domain names, are also unable to reach it.
Perhaps more likely is the suggestion that the additional traffic generated by the massive media attention surrounding the hack caused the site's servers to collapse. The theory is certainly plausible, though one might well expect the site's operators to have arranged for such an eventuality, having repeatedly drawn vast media attention. Additionally, Wikileaks is said to have its own network of encrypted servers in undisclosed locations, providing so-called "bulletproof hosting." The site has, however, experienced technical difficulties in the past during periods of high demand.
The Breaking News team is endeavoring to obtain additional information, and will post updates as they become available.
Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.
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