The Center for Grassroots Oversight

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Profile: Amazon.com, Inc.

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Amazon.com, Inc. was a participant or observer in the following events:

Staff from the office of Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) contact the Internet retailer Amazon to ask about its hosting of WikiLeaks’ website. Lieberman is chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security. (MacAskill 12/1/2010) His staff learns of the hosting from media accounts and leaves a series of questions, including, “Are there plans to take the site down,” with Amazon’s press secretary. (Slajda 12/1/2010) The next day, Amazon will remove the website from its servers (see December 2, 2010).

The Internet retailer Amazon cancels WikiLeaks’ server account, removing its website from its servers. The move follows pressure from Senator Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee (see December 1, 2010). As a result, the WikiLeaks website is inaccessible for a time, but it soon moves to servers in Sweden. The announcement that Amazon has got rid of WikiLeaks is also made by Lieberman, who adds that the “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.” Amazon attributes the break between the two organizations to a terms of service violation by WikiLeaks. However, WikiLeaks expresses disappointment with Amazon, saying in a post on Twitter that if Amazon is “so uncomfortable with the First Amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books.” (MacAskill 12/1/2010)


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