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Amazon Claims No Foul in WikiLeaks Purge

I'm going to try and stay out of the politics of the latest WikiLeaks release of a quarter million government documents, some embarrassing, some revealing, and some just plain dull. I honestly don't have a firm opinion. I think we should know what our government is up to, but there's lots of info that is protected for a reason. (Please weigh in by writing dbarney@redmondmag.com. Don't cc: the government -- they can get a copy if they want!)

Anyway, Amazon was a WikiLeaks host, and turned off access to the site after the new docs were posted. Now Amazon is explaining why it did so. Conspiracy buffs thought the Amazonians bowed to government pressure. Amazon says nyet, that this content is not in keeping with its terms of service.

There are two issues here: Amazon requires that posters truly own the content. Whether WikiLeaks owns the content it did not create is a bit of question. Than again, did Daniel Elsberg own The Pentagon Papers?

The more pertinent point is Amazon will not host content that causes harm to others. While a tough thing to judge. Releasing 250,000 confidential documents has to hurt someone.

The Internet can do both bad and amazing things. Which did it do in this case? Put on your pundit cap and send opinions to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 12/06/2010 at 1:18 PM


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