Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 8th Dec 2010 12:16 UTC
Internet & Networking It looks like several companies are learning what happens when you mess with the internet - and they're learning it the hard way. Several major companies have been hit by the collective powers of Anonymous after 4chan launched several distributed denial-of-service attacks. What many have been predicting for a long time now has finally happened: an actual war between the powers that be on one side, and the internet on the other. Update: PayPal has admitted their WikiLeaks snub came after pressure from the US government, and Datacell, which takes care of payments to Wikileaks, is threatening to sue MasterCard over Wikileaks' account suspension. Update II: is down due to the attack. Update III: PayPal has caved under the pressure, and will release the funds in the WikiLeaks account.
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RE[3]: Completely disagree
by boldingd on Thu 9th Dec 2010 00:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Completely disagree"
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" Wikileaks 'attacked' first.

This is nonsense. WikiLeaks didn't do anything illegal. The person sharing the information did. He's in custody.

This is in fact not true. Under U.S. law, knowingly receiving classified documents for which you are not cleared, possessing classified documents for which you are not cleared, and distributing classified documents for which you are not cleared to parties that are not cleared are all crimes. Any one of which can get you prosecuted for treason. Whether you believe it's moral or not - which is debatable, certainly - handling classified material for which you are not cleared is unambiguously a serious federal crime, with grave consequences.

Now, Assange isn't a U.S. citizen, and I really don't know how these laws would affect him (international legal relations are extremely complex). However, a strong legal case can be made that any U.S. entity that operates in support of Assange (i.e. provides hosting or funding) is acting in support of treason, and thus would potentially be liable.

Now, the ethics of this particular situation are up for discussion -- and highly subjective. But certain aspects of the legal situation are crystal clear.

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