‘We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack.’
So read the Twitter feed of Wikileaks, just a few hours ago.
It is unclear at this time where the attack is coming from, but the obvious culprits are the governments of the United States or Britain.
Whoever is responsible it is unlikely that it is mere coincidence that tomorrow was meant to be the date when Wikileaks would release their largest leak yet: a mammoth storehouse of secret communiques from American diplomats abroad.
The US has spent the last week warning its allies that if the leak happens it could seriously damage America’s relations with a number of other countries. There has been speculation that this is because the documents contain evidence or accusations of fraud and corruption amongst the governments of many nations.
It is almost inevitable that the powerful people who have been stung by Wikileaks activities would try to fight back.
But I don’t know if they can.
Newspapers have already received copies of the documents so that they could start the process of analyzing and reporting on them. The UK Guardian has already announced that they intend to go ahead with plans to publish articles based on the leak, whether the leak actually happens or not.
Or, as Wikileaks themselves put it on Twitter just a few seconds ago:
“El Pais, Le Monde, Speigel, Guardian & NYT will publish many US embassy cables tonight, even if WikiLeaks goes down”.
Also, even if Wikileaks’ website goes down and never comes back up that won’t stop the leak because there are numerous other ways that the information could be made available.
Bit torrents, hosting websites, or here’s a crazy idea: why don’t they just put it on flash drives and post it to key people?
These things are not hard to do, and once it’s out there it will be out there forever.
If I find out anything else I shall write about it
The American ambassador to Britain has just said, and I quote,: “our government has taken, and will continue to take, aggressive action” to protect their classified information.
This isn’t even political double-speak. This is him literally saying that the US is attacking Wikileaks.
They aren’t even bothering to hide it.
The other interesting piece of information is that a few months ago Wikileaks hosted a large encrypted file called “insurance”, but didn’t tell anyone what it was.
Well, we sure know now.
It turns out that this file contains the entire document archive that they are currently trying to leak.
If Wikileaks is unable to leak the file themselves then they will publish the password via Twitter, Facebook and other means, and everyone who has that file will be able to leak the documents themselves.
Interesting times people.
The story is starting to break, and some news outlets are saying the lack has occured, but I haven’t been able to find out where the information is being hosted.
The UK Guardian has an interactive database of several dozen of the files.
It also has a name: "Cablegate"