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WikiLeaks case a warning on cloud computing

Ross O. Storey | Dec. 9, 2010
Can cloud providers pull the pin on a service based on its content?

Then, after the AWS action the IDG news service reported that Dynamic Network Services' subsidiary,, terminated the domain name because repeated DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks against WikiLeaks.

On its website, said that future attacks would, threaten the stability of the infrastructure, which enables access to almost 500,000 other websites. said on its website.

Twitter note

This was despite a Twittter note from WikiLeaks saying that DDOS attacks against its servers reached 10 Gigabits per second on 30 November.

Amazon Web Services also confirmed the DDOS attacks, saying in a blog posting that, "There were indeed large-scale DDOS attacks, but they were successfully defended against."

There seems to be something very wrong here. Although the renegade Myanmar government reportedly strangled internet services in that country ahead of its stage managed election, the world expects more from the free liberal democracies.

In whose interests was it for WikiLeaks to be downed by DDOS attacks? We can only make our own conclusions.

Then Paypal, Visa and Mastercard cut off services to WikiLeaks too.

Putting the political and human rights aspects aside, the case is a clear warning about the blurry situation relating to cloud service SLAs and their negotiation. Does this mean that seems that cloud service providers will not hesitate to bail out on their clients because someone else doesnt like them?

What does this mean for the future of cloud services? It seems there is much fertile ground here for lawyers and insurance companies. And for the state of freedom of speech plus transparent and open government.

What do you think?

Ross O. Storey, currently the Managing Editor of Fairfax Business Media Asia, is responsible for the editorial content and production of MIS Asia, CIO Asia, Computerworld Singapore and Computerworld Malaysia magazines.     


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