The WikiLeaks website is back online with a new Swiss address, after its previous domain name was killed. The whistleblower website’s original domain host, EveryDNS.net, says it terminated its services because WikiLeaks had been coming under “massive” cyber attacks. The new address – wikileaks.ch – was put online six hours after the original site wikileaks.org was killed.
An internet trace of the new domain name suggests that the site itself is still hosted in Sweden and in France. Web users accessing the wikileaks.ch address are directed to a page under the URL http://188.8.131.52/ which gives them access to the former site, including a massive trove of leaked US diplomatic traffic. The WikiLeaks website released more than 250,000 secret US diplomatic cables this week, which has left governments around the world scrambling to deal with the fallout.
Meanwhile, British media reports Scotland Yard could arrest the site’s founder Julian Assange within days. Prosecutors in Sweden want to question Mr Assange over alleged sex crimes involving two women during a visit to Stockholm in August. Mr Assange, who was born in Australia, has not been charged and he denies the allegations.
Assange reportedly avoided arrest this week because Swedish authorities had filled out an Interpol red notice incorrectly. Britain’s Independent newspaper reports that police know Mr Assange’s whereabouts in England and are expected to arrest him in the coming days.
Mr Assange’s Stockholm-based lawyer Bjoern Hurtig says he will fight his client’s extradition to Sweden in the event of his arrest. “Together with my British colleague Mark Stephens and international experts, we will fight the extradition warrants,” he said.
A WikiLeaks spokesman says Mr Assange has to remain out of the public eye because he is facing assassination threats following the whistleblowing website’s publication of the secret cables.
Several US senators have also called for him to be charged with espionage. Senator Dianne Feinstein says the leak is a serious breach of national security and action must be taken. “We have reviewed the espionage statutes and we believe it qualifies,” she said.”That this, allowed to be carried out, incapacitates this nation to carry out business.”
“Could become as important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act.” – Time Magazine
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