Since at least Friday night, the famous whistle-blowing site has been hosting data on Amazon's AWS infrastructure cloud, both in the US and Ireland, records collected by UK research outfit NetCraft show. WikiLeaks is also mirroring servers with French service provider Octopuce, according to NetCraft.
They are waiting for the U.S. to shut down those servers so that they can say "Oh, look at the information the U.S. doesn't want you to know!" - It's a publicity stunt, and a nice catch by you.
The original blogger who spotted this is less paranoid; quote from TheRegister:
Norcliffe is less sure. "WikiLeaks has set a confusing new precedent for its approach to hosting; in the past much has been made of its reputation for putting its servers in bunkers in Sweden for apparent legal protection, and yet for this launch the primary websites are being served in some cases from US datacenters.
"I can't believe this is incompetence on WikiLeaks' part, but whatever their reason it also seems unlikely a US company like Amazon won't be under pressure soon from US authorities."
This is not incompetence. This is smart. If you are about to invite the world to come get some data on the web and you don't want it to go down, you host it on Amazon, Google, or some other service provider who has the infrastructure to cope. There's basically no other way to achieve something of this scale and not be killed with alternative storylines of WikiLeaks brought down by demand, how stupid of them not to foresee!
Who cares where the data is actually hosted? Certainly the DoD will explode with frustrated machismo but since the data is out there on the Internet somewhere then it will certainly get into the hands of readers somehow; this is an expression of the power of having the raw data available ubiquitously. Censorship will be spotted, and - yes - if it occurs then it will doubtless be pointed out loudly and noisily because any attempt to not play fair will fall foul of the Streisand Effect: that which you attempt to cover up will receive the brightest spotlight. Ask the Westminster MPs whose redacted expenses were eventually compared to the unredacted versions.
But expectation of censorship is not the point; the point is that WikiLeaks, like any other Amazon customer, gets an inexpensive, scalable service that meets their needs.
This is a triumph of cloud computing!
Also - as an aside - if you're ever in a position where information you'd rather was secret gets splashed across the web, blogosphere and twitterverse, you should own up to it. It tends to go faster that way. Plus, you can injunct the newspapers but you can't injunct the entire planet.