December 03, 2010, 1:45 PM — As the efforts to drive WikiLeaks off the Internet continue to intensify, it'll be interesting to see how long before two major U.S.-based social media companies currently hosting accounts held by the whistleblower organization succumb to the pressure. I'm talking about Twitter and Facebook.
You can find the WikiLeaks Twitter account here and its Facebook account here. For now. But you can be fairly certain that Twitter and Facebook are being strong-armed into deleting those accounts, both by the U.S. government and Americans outraged by what they consider to be the "treasonous" behavior (by an international organization run by an Australian) of releasing classified U.S. State Department documents.
U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, on Wednesday made his intentions quite clear while talking about Amazon's move Wednesday to boot WikiLeaks off its servers:
"The company's decision to cut off Wikileaks now is the right decision and should set the standard for other companies Wikileaks is using to distribute its illegally seized material. I call on any other company or organization that is hosting Wikileaks to immediately terminate its relationship with them. Wikileaks' illegal, outrageous, and reckless acts have compromised our national security and put lives at risk around the world. No responsible company - whether American or foreign - should assist Wikileaks in its efforts to disseminate these stolen materials."
Could Lieberman's determination to run WikiLeaks off the Internet by pressuring other web companies be any more explicit?
For the record, Amazon claims that it terminated its relationship with WikiLeaks because the organization violated the company's terms of service, which it coincidentally discovered only after the call from Lieberman's committee. (Network World's Buzzblog has a detailed statement from Amazon.) It's also worth noting that after evicting WikiLeaks from its servers for what it called a violation of its own rules, Amazon felt compelled to inform Lieberman's staff -- the U.S. government -- about its presumably internal policy-based decision.