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Wikileaks Now Has Over 500 Mirrors

BY Nick Judd | Monday, December 6 2010

As of this morning, Wikileaks had over 500 mirrors around the world, and is providing visitors with step-by-step instructions on how to create new mirrors.

The instructions ask would-be hosts set up an account for Wikileaks on their web host, set aside some space, and fill out a web form with all the info the Wikileaks staff would need to know in order to log in and set up a mirror. Wikileaks staff would then log in and set up a mirror of its site, including, presumably, the over 250,000 leaked, (formerly) secret U.S. diplomatic communications it has slowly been releasing since Nov. 28 in cooperation with news organizations around the world.

The call to create mirrors for Wikileaks came after Wikileaks' free domain name service provider, EveryDNS, for fear of the heat that would surely come with being part of the infrastructure for such controversial information, stopped providing service to the organization last week. As a result of that move, the main Wikileaks site at Wikileaks.org no longer works. However, a Wikileaks site hosted using a Swiss top-level domain but also getting service from EveryDNS, Wikileaks.ch, still works, as do several other variations of the Wikileaks site. Wikileaks.ch uses multiple nameservers from a variety of hosts in a variety of countries, and I would surmise that the list that came up when I ran a WHOIS search will be different within a day of this writing.

Other Internet commentators are wondering if Wikileaks allowed its site to become unreachable on purpose. Julian Assange, Wikileaks' founder, already told readers of the Guardian newspaper last week that Wikileaks had been using hosting in various countries around the world as a sort of acid test for true freedom of speech. Since then, as the rest of the Internet well knows by this point, Amazon ceased providing Wikileaks with cloud hosting; the free service it was using for visualizations, Tableau, did the same; and, recently, PayPal followed suit.

The cascade of what some folks are calling "political denial of service" attacks against Wikileaks generated publicity, sympathy, and, eventually, these mirrors.

Interesting sidenote — for some reason, various people around the web apparently got confused about which DNS provider stopped serving Wikileaks. It was EveryDNS, not EasyDNS, where CEO Mark Jeftovic opined on the fragile nature of fact on the Internet and started listing people who had confused his company for the other one.

And, perhaps out of spite, Jeftovic's company is now listed among the DNS service providers for Wikileaks.ch.

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