WikiLeaks Servers Beyond U.S. Government Reach

By Fahmida Y. Rashid  |  Posted 2010-12-08 Print this article Print


Having multiple DNS providers ensures redundancy. So that even if some providers fall, the site remains up. "If you ask any of those 14 servers where to find, they'll point you to one of three differently routed IP blocks," in the Netherlands, Sweden and France, said Cowie. 

It appears that WikiLeaks has weaned itself off United States-based companies for most of its infrastructure needs as governments act against the site. The main homepage currently is a Swiss top-level domain and has the support of the Swedish Pirate Party, a political party in Sweden. 

Back in August, the party had promised to house the site's servers inside Sweden's Parliament building, which would protect the servers from legal action, if it won the election in September. Even though the party did not win any seats in Parliament, the party is providing bandwidth and hosting on its PirateISP service to WikiLeaks for free, "as part of its political mission," according a statement on the party's site. 

WikiLeaks still has its original host, Bahnhof, which operates in a Cold War-era nuclear bunker carved out of a rocky hill in downtown Stockholm. 

Cowie noted that WikiLeaks is still hosting content in Europe. If the site moves its content outside of Europe, it becomes even more of a challenge to stop the site, he said. Supporters have rallied to WikiLeaks, with mirror sites popping up each day. The list is currently over 1,000 sites, so even if the hosts go down, the mirrors will still have the content. 

United States officials and politicians have called on companies to sever ties with WikiLeaks and have tried to shut down or restrict access to the whistle-blowing site. "No responsible company-whether American or foreign-should assist WikiLeaks in its efforts to disseminate these stolen materials," said Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, who heads the Homeland Security Committee, last week. 

The providers claimed to cut WikiLeaks off because of violations in their usage policies. claimed WikiLeaks violated its terms of services for hosting content it doesn't own. PayPal originally said in a statement that WikiLeaks violated its usage policy, although Osama Bedier, PayPal's vice president, told BBC on Dec. 8 that the company made the decision after receiving a letter from the State Department. Swiss bank PostFinance froze accounts because WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was not a resident of Switzerland. 



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