The WikiLeaks saga takes another twist today, as founder Julian Assange is placed under arrest by the UK police and refused bail. At the same time, VISA and MasterCard have followed in PayPal's footsteps and ceased payment acceptance on the WikiLeaks site, claiming ongoing investigations into whether the nature of the site contravened their conditions of service.
WikiLeaks may be prompting embarrassment in embassies across the world right now, but it could soon have us all looking to the skies. Founder Julian Assange has confirmed that parts of the as-yet-unpublished remainder of the cable documents passed to the site does make reference to UFOs, though he's not saying what, exactly, the confidential files are claiming.
The cat-and-mouse game to keep WikiLeaks content online and available continues today, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) denying that government intervention was their motivation for pulling the controversial site. In a new statement, the hosting company blames WikiLeaks' contravening of AWS terms of service for the decision to yank their content. Meanwhile, everydns.net ceased resolving WikiLeaks.org - effectively making the site impossible to find without knowing its IP address - claiming the ongoing DDoS attacks were impairing service for its other users.
The WikiLeaks saga continues, with Amazon pulling the plug on the site's servers only days after the group moved their hosting to avoid ongoing DDoS attacks. According to the NYT, Amazon was forced to remove WikiLeaks' content from its S3 hosting service after the US Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee demanded the retailer explain its connection with the cable-leaking group. It's a move the WikiLeaks team is already claiming violates first amendment rights.
Instead, the group will look to hosting outside of the US for more stable uptime. While Amazon is yet to comment on the move, an indignant Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, chairman of the senate governmental affairs committee, has said that "no responsible company – whether American or foreign – should assist WikiLeaks in its efforts to disseminate these stolen materials."
Documents released as part of the ongoing WikiLeaks controversy have again fingered China as directly responsible for hacking attempts on Google in January 2010, with a Chinese source apparently informing the American Embassy in Beijing that the incidents were "part of a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by government operatives, private security experts and internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government." The attacks were supposedly prompted by a senior Politburo official finding critical sites when performing a vanity search using Google .
The NSA has denied knowledge of the Heartbleed bug, following allegations that not only did the security agency discover the exploit two years ago, but that it opted to keep it secret so as to use it in its spy tool arsenal. Anonymous insiders claimed earlier that the National Security Agency had identified Heartbleed - which left as many as two-thirds of websites vulnerable to password and data theft - as part of its regular efforts at hunting down potentially useful bugs and hacks.
Storm clouds are circling over Dropbox, after its decision to add former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to its board prompted a wave of negative reactions from users who disagree both with her politics and her history with wiretaps. Dropbox announced Dr. Rice's new role yesterday, alongside new apps Mailbox for Android and Carousel, leaving some cloud storage subscribers outraged at her proximity to decisions around how their data is handled, and proposing a boycott.
At South by Southwest Interactive today, Google's Eric Schmidt spoke on the topic of NSA spying and security, touching on things like user privacy and how the Internet giant responded to the information contained in Snowden's leaks. Among it, Schmidt said the company's data is likely safe now.
Internet anonymity service Tor is working on a messaging client to offer Skype, Google Hangouts, and other IM users concerned about who might be reading their conversations a little piece of mind. Dubbed the Tor Instant Messaging Bundle, or TIMB, the app is expected to build on top of the existing InstantBird messenger, which will eventually be bundled in locked-down, encrypted form with the general Tor Launcher later this year.
This week it's been made clear that two members of Norway's Socialist Left Party intend on adding Edward Snowden to their shortlist for possible recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize - nominating him, that is. While the nomination certainly makes sense given the aim of award itself, critics on both sides have begun to set in for this NSA leakster, gainer of one massive amount of publicity over these past 12 months.