Ebook About WikiLeaks Disappears From Amazon
Due to releasing a large number of classified US cables, WikiLeaks is currently the center of attention both on the web and on TV. It’s impossible to miss news regarding the whistle-blowing website because they are virtually everywhere. When any single thing becomes so popular, usually a book or movie regarding it will follow. That’s probably why author Heinz Duthel decided it might be a good idea to offer his book called “WikiLeaks documents expose US foreign policy conspiracies” through Amazon UK.
If you’re read what happened to WikiLeaks in the past few weeks, you probably know that Amazon Web Services kicked WikiLeaks off its servers because it was infringing on its set of rules. According to AWS, the site was hosting illegal information and could cause injury to other people. Some of WikiLeaks supporters argued that it wasn’t really appropriate that Amazon refused to host the site while at the same time agreed to sell a book regarding the leaked US cables and make profit from it.
Recently, Duthel’s book mysteriously disappeared from Amazon’s store. Initially people suspected that Amazon decided to stop selling the book. As it turns out, the author of the book removed it because of the controversy surrounding its sales, PCMag reports.
Amazon was quick to respond to this situation and stated that: “We did not remove the title, and are verifying that it was removed from sale by the author.” The online retailer also explained that it didn’t remove Duthel’s book because it didn’t actually include the cables that were published by WikiLeaks. “This book contains commentary and analysis regarding recent WikiLeaks disclosures, not the original material disclosed via the WikiLeaks website,” Amazon mentioned in a note on the product detail page.
The dispute over the e-book came at a time when Amazon was targeted by an attempted denial of service attack from Operation Payback, a team of people who’ve declared themselves supporters of WikiLeaks. Amazon reportedly avoided a denial of service attack. Operation Payback apparently couldn’t gather up all the support needed and chose to switch its attention to PayPal, another company who in their view caused some serious problems for the website that publishes classified US documents.
Yesterday morning Operation Payback, operated by a group called “Anonymous” that allegedly includes members of the bulletin board 4chan.org, Tweeted the following message: GET: WWW.AMAZON.COM.” It’s quite clear what they were going after. Sadly (for them at least) they couldn’t gather enough supporters and figured PayPal might be a better target. About three hours later on the same Twitter account the team re-tweeted a message informing users that no one is attacking Amazon because everyone has moved on to PayPal’s website. Another Twitter feed @AnonOpsNet included a Tweet that explained an attack versus Amazon isn’t possible for the moment. While the previous schedule implied that they’d attack the site, “we don’t have enough forces.” PayPal confirmed the attacks and claimed that they only managed to slow down operations but didn’t pull the whole site offline.
Earlier this week the same group targeted Visa and MasterCard successfully. This brings forth a lot of questions. First of all, will that book ever return to Amazon or become available through other sources? Does anyone really care about it enough? Secondly, will Operation Payback continue to attack all companies that pulled support for WikiLeaks? They probably will. As one of the supporters of WikiLeaks explained, this has turned into a pretty unconventional war, a war of data. With a huge number of mirror sites on the web, WikiLeaks definitely won’t disappear any time soon. In fact, judging by the public attention it has received it will probably continue to offer a lot of classified documents people would have never gotten to see if it weren’t for this site.11