The other day we learned that Amazon.com was renting out server space to WikiLeaks, and yesterday Amazon announced that it understands public relations and is no longer hosting the site. WikiLeaks reacted with all the calm professionalism we’ve come to expect from them. Chris Moody reports:
Taking to the site’s official Twitter feed, a WikiLeaks spokesman suggested that Amazon was acting in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which in part restricts the government’s ability to restrict speech.
“WikiLeaks servers at Amazon ousted. Free speech the land of the free — fine our $ are now spent to employ people in Europe,” one Wednesday post read. “If Amazon are so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books,” read another.
Unfortunately for WikiLeaks’ argument, Amazon is a private company that can legally sever ties with anyone it wants. If anything, the company is exercising its right to free speech and association by choosing not to work with another independent organization.
But it’s not fair! WAHHHHHH!!!
Here’s what the First Amendment says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I don’t see anything in there obliging anybody to publish anything they choose not to. Considering how terrible Assange thinks America is, maybe he doesn’t want to read our founding documents for fear of cooties.
Meanwhile, over at Reuters:
Swedish police said on Thursday that technical problems hindering the arrest of Julian Assange, the founder of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, had been overcome, and a British newspaper said he was in Britain.
A Swedish court upheld an arrest order for the 39-year-old Australian for alleged sexual crimes, refusing to let him appeal a lower court’s ruling. He denies the allegations.
A spokesman for WikiLeaks said Assange had received assassination threats and had to remain out of the public eye.
Yes, it’s all so intriguing. What an international man of mystery. If somebody was going to kill him for leaking this stuff, wouldn’t it have happened already? Then again, he hasn’t really pissed off Russia and China yet…