WikiLeaks vs The Machine: Now the war spreads to cyberspace
US government tells firms to pull plug on whistleblowing website as hackers cause chaos with revenge attacks on Assange’s ‘enemies’
By Martin Hickman
Thursday, 9 December 2010
The American corporations blamed for trying to silence WikiLeaks are under sustained attack from a loose global alliance of anonymous cyber hackers.
As the 39-year-old Australian editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks languished in Wandsworth Prison accused of sex offences, the financial and technological giants that withdrew support from the website in the face of pressure from the US government were hit by online hacking attacks, paralysing their net operations. MasterCard’s website was downed.
Another of the companies, PayPal, confirmed that it had only stopped collecting donations for WikiLeaks after intervention from the US State Department – fuelling suspicions that the US is leaning on businesses to strangle support for the website, which is involved in the embarrassing leak of 250,000 American diplomatic cables.