This week has been quite a ride for Wikileaks, and for the herd of journalists that have been reporting on the site’s hosting difficulties. At times it almost seemed that the technology behind the site was becoming more interesting than the actual content being released, much to the delight of the US Government.
Between the DDoS attacks and the DNS-server bans, it almost went unnoticed that a leaked cable from the Spanish embassy showed that the United States wrote Spain’s proposed copyright law. An interesting revelation to say the least.
It is expected that future cables will reveal more about how deeply the copyright lobby is being played out at the highest political levels, including more details on the ACTA lobby. But, this of course requires that the public has access to the released materials. Here, Pirate Parties worldwide are lending a hand.
Just a few days ago Wikileaks was ‘saved‘ by the Swiss Pirate Party, who helped the whistleblower site after they were kicked out by their nameserver provider. Today, a coalition of Pirate Parties is stepping up to host a worldwide network of mirror sites for Wikileaks, making it virtually impossible to shut the operation down.
“Pirate Parties from around the world, including the Pirate Party UK, today reaffirmed their commitment to whistleblowing worldwide. Concerned about freedom of information, opinion and press, the Pirate Parties have decided in a joint resolution to make Wikileaks available on a worldwide mirroring infrastructure,” the UK Pirate Party just announced.
“The mirrors will guarantee that the release of US diplomatic cables can continue and previous publications will stay online,” the Pirates add, explaining that the new solution is not just redirecting people to one central server, but actually hosting files on different servers scattered around the globe.
The initiative is supported by the Pirate Parties of the Czech Republic, Austria, Australia, Germany, Luxembourg, Romania, Russia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. With the added mirrors they hope to keep Wikileaks online and fight the political and technological pressure the US Government has put on the hosting providers of site.
Over the last week many hosts have abandoned Wikileaks due to the controversial nature of the site and the continued DDoS attacks.
Interestingly enough, the US Government hasn’t gone after the Wikileaks domain yet. This should be an easy job considering the seizure of Torrent-Finder last week, and the fact that the US Government is the copyright holder of the leaked cables.
Even if the .org domain is seized, Wikileaks is not going away since there are still plenty of backup domains around which can be used.
In a way, this cat-and-mouse game is reminiscent of the anti-piracy efforts against torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay that we’ve witnessed over the years. Every time a hosting provider cuts off access, the site reappears somewhere else unharmed. If a domain is seized, a new one is registered in a matter of seconds and the game continues.