Amazon Ousts WikiLeaks at Officials’ Behest

Growing Consumer Backlash as Amazon Move Shuts Down Whistleblower for Hours

Major Internet retailer Amazon.com is facing a growing public backlash and a call for boycotts, including a call by Antiwar.com, following its decision this morning to oust WikiLeaks.org from its cloud server hosting service.

The move came following pressure from a number of top officials, including Sen. Joe Lieberman (I – CT), who slammed Amazon’s decision in allowing the whistleblower to host information embarrassing to the US government.

Amazon.com has refused to comment on its removal but appears to have done so without giving WikiLeaks advanced notice, leaving their site down for much of the morning. The site is now back up and is based in Uppsala, Sweden. The new host in Bahnhof Internet AB.

WikiLeaks condemned the decision, saying “if Amazon are so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books.” A number of consumers have already vowed to boycott Amazon over the decision.

The call for a formal boycott is also growing from a number of groups, including Antiwar.com, which removed Amazon.com’s advertising links from its website in the wake of the announcement. In the past year Antiwar.com received approximately $10,000 through its referral links to Amazon.

Technically speaking, Amazon’s web hosting service allows all accounts to be banned at any time for virtually any reason. The decision to ban such an important website and at such an important time appears to have sparked considerable reaction.

And praise from Sen. Lieberman, who said Amazon has “set the standard for other companies” on the issue. As this standard appears to be removing any content the government finds sufficiently objectionable, this could be an extremely dangerous precedent.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • niqnaq

    I'm still seeing the Amazon.com advert. It's a small flash animation.

    • Don'tGiveItOut

      Calling amazon.com at their customer service line might help them understand their actions are unappreciated. Their listed customer service numbers are 1-866-216-1072 and 1-206-266-2992.

    • Don'tGiveItOut

      I suggest we each call our spineless U.S. Senators to request they sponsor a censure of Senator Lieberman for abusing his power as chair of the Committee on Homeland Security.

  • Andrew Sharp

    But…. the Amazon advert continues to flash proudly, right alongside this article! What's going on?

    • jasonditz

      We had them all over the site so its possible we missed a few but please let me know if any are still there.

  • dan

    Hmmmm! I see an Amazon.com link to the right ——–>

  • Wolfgang9

    Last night already I killed all my information on my Amazon account.
    Credit dard, address etc. I will also ask all of my friends to do the same.

    I found no way to cancel the entire account but will put them on my SPAM list too.
    W.

  • Good job on giving up $10k/year in dumping Amazon from Antiwar.com. Awesome, way to take a stand. I'll donate more to you to help out (not $10k, but I'll help).

  • Montaigne

    I have some outstanding orders with amazon.com and will probably annulate them, as well as return items on their way. I will NOT for the sake of sparing some money become a supporter of this unfair and illegal world, the US is pusuing with ever greater ruthlessnes.

  • I fully agree with the previous commentator and will also cancel my current membership with Amazone.com

  • Ozymandias

    “if Amazon are so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books.”

    Any comment Amazon?……..thought not

  • Kneel before ZOG

    Thanks to Antiwar.com and Jason Ditz for taking this principled stance.

  • How does one cancel one's account? Anyone know?

    • Dan

      It's easy. Go to Help: one of the options provided is closing your account. It entails two simple steps–cancelling existing orders, then using an internal email to close.

  • Randal

    Apart from properly removing the Amazon ad (it's still there at the time I write this), you should find a rival service to Amazon to promote as an alternative, even if they don't pay you – much more damaging to Amazon in the long run.

    Any ideas?

  • Carpenter

    Smart move, Amazon. Who are your foremost users? The internet-savvy surfers. Who are the most informed about news off the grid, from sources such as Wikileaks? The internet-savvy surfers.

    Licking the boots of Zionists like Joseph Lieberman doesn't exactly help your standing with this group.

    We know that WikiLeaks came under DOS attack from either the U.S. government or Israel proxies in the U.S. – that attack was about twenty times larger than the average DOS attack, something only a huge entity could pull off. WikiLeaks fled to Amazon's servers, and Amazon now kicks them out so that they will be attacked again.

  • Anton Vodvarka

    Thanks to Antiwar.com for joining/leading this boycott. I found no way to cancel my account but I deleted my credit cards and will unsubscribe any communications I receive from them. There is no way to send them feedback. Hit the bums where it hurts this holiday season. Tony Vodvarka

  • Zack

    Like the David Bowie song says, “This is not America”…actually “America” never was. It’s nothing but a place built on lies, empty slogans, symbols, and fantasy. And the entire world will rejoice when this house of lies, this house of genocidists, this house of rapacious, gluttonous, corporate lickspittles comes tumbling down. :)))

  • HP Deskjet

    "Buy from Amazon.com and Support Anti-War.com' still flashing proudly away on the http://www.antiwar.com website. Clicking on the advert takes one directly to http://www.amazon.com .

    After the amount of comments here and the statement from antiwar.com "The call for a formal boycott is also growing from a number of groups, including Antiwar.com, which removed Amazon.com’s advertising links from its website in the wake of the announcement.", it's astonishing that nothing has been done to rid the site of the advert. The above report is therefore not truthful in stating that all links have been removed. Odd coming from a site that likes to promote truth in its reporting.

    • Guest

      I don't see any amazon ads… maybe it took a while to accomplish? I guess nothing short of instant is good enough, right ?

  • nonym

    If you want to cancel your account, follow this link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.ht

  • John V. Walsh

    Cancelling one's account.
    Call them by phone and do so. There is a phone number on the site.
    I called last night and cancelled and told them why.
    I hope that this takes off.

  • Dan

    Bravo to Antiwar.com; the next time you appeal for funds, I promise to make a donation over and above the monthly bit I automatically send your way.

  • In the midst of this hatefest, I'd like to stick up for Amazon.com. They're in business to make an honest profit, and the directors have an obligation to the stockholders. In our current police state, the feds could have damaged the company severely.

    • Carpenter

      As people, they have an obligation to the people. People die because of the establishment's lies.

      Suppose WikiLeaks' reporting hurts the establishment just a little bit, makes them hold back just a little bit, so that a few lives are saved. Is that less important than Amazon's stockholders losing what, half a percent or (gasp!) two percent of their yearly income? And why would they lose income anyway because of a Zionist like Lieberman smearing them? He might do that but he can't ban the company.

      Here we have a chance to make sure the establishment's hangers-on, without which it CANNOT function, know that they might be a bit hurt by the opposition too.

    • Guest

      You have a point, but don't you think the decision they made will hurt their business as well? The police state does not pay Amazon's stockholders, customers do. Lose customers… lose $$$$, pretty easy equation. They have made a tragic mistake…even if you DO support Amazon and their stockholders! I guess they have a new PR campaign now Amazon = Police State lackey. Priceless !

  • Druthers

    This could be called unofficial official censorship. Old Joe speaks up and the site goes down. Did AIPAC clear its throat so forcefully that it left Amazon trembling in its booties.
    I removed all my information on Amazon and sent them a message to make it clear why I did so.

  • Terrance&Philip

    Glad to join in the boycott of Amazon.com.

    Truth must ALWAYS come first. Bye-bye, Bezos.

  • Ann

    We are avid readers and purchase a lot of books. We are dumping amazon.com and switching to Barnes & Noble. We have also explained to amazon.com why we will no longer make purchases from them.

  • melawman

    Unfortunately boycotting Amazon will prove to be an idle gesture. We are, like it or not, residing in a fascist country of brainwashed citizens. They neither want the truth, nor could they handle it. Like most human beings, they are trained through organized religion to believe rather than think rationally. How else can you assess the apparent majority clamor to punish and even assassinate Assange who has only been the medium for disclosing the truth about the conduct of governments which supposedly exist to serve the public? Americans are generally fat, lazy, ignorant and indoctrinated to accept anything authority figures espouse.

    • hypewaders

      On the contrary, with corporate interests so often directing events, such boycotts are the nearest thing we have to a democracy. The first to the polls were those opposed to exposing the world's deadliest lies. Now it's our turn to be heard. Merry Christmas.

      Boycott Amazon

      Christmas too.

  • John V. Walsh

    Does anyone know of a web site that is organizing the boycott?
    It would be good to spread it around and to get them to keep a count of those who join the boycott.
    And it should spread abroad too. Amazon should take a very serious hit for this and we should make an example of them with a well organized boycott.
    I hope AW.C will publicize this boycott. I suspect that those who are antiwar and like Wikileaks read and buy more books than the average person.

  • Peaceful_Idiot

    As usual, there's Obama's Senate Mentor and Good Friend Joe Lieberman doing his dirty work for him.

  • dan

    Websites are cached in all sorts of places for performance reasons, including the browser installed on your computer. This means that you may be seeing old versions of certain parts of antiwar.com, until the new versions have finished propagating throughout all the different caches.

  • C. Jones

    Just cancelled my account with Amazon.

  • I’m an ex-pat Yank down under. Used (Note-USED!) Amazon. No longer! Would sooner celebrate Ben ARNOLD’s birthday than use Amazon again. Will be using various means to get it across to people here about (is back-stabbing an appropriate term?) what Amazon did.

    Wikileaks seems to have become very interesting to people down here. Hmmmmmm…..Must ask my Bp if praying for lightning strike is political incorrect for this!

  • Zack

    Melawman hit the nail squarely on the head.

  • vesko

    Cancel your Amazon account – o.k. But stop paying taxes is a little bit trickier..
    By the way, who the heck are the idiots that elect that PoS Lieberman?!