Amazon backlash after website starts selling WikiLeaks cables

December 9, 2010 | by | 7 Comments

Furious Amazon users have accused the online retail giant of double standards after it was found to be selling the WikiLeaks embassy cables – just days it cut off the whistleblowing website from its hosting servers.

Amazon selling WikiLeaks cables as Kindle package

The batch of 250,000 US classified documents were available free to users of the WikiLeaks website before it was taken offline following pressures from authorities.

However, the cables have now been repackaged by Amazon user Heinz Duthel and are available as an eBook for the Amazon Kindle – priced at £7.37.

The item’s description states that the cables ”contain US officials’ comments on foreign governments and leaders and speculation about the activities and manoeuvres of the latter, as well as details about American foreign policy operations.”

However, the revelation that Amazon is profiting from WikiLeaks after it pulled the plug on the website’s hosting has prompted an angry backlash in the internet community.

On the comments section of the Amazon page, Miriam Esther said: ”Wikileaks’ work is free. People risk their lives to give us free access to these materials. Amazon management lost all sense of decency by allowing this item for sale.

”I am, like millions of others, stopped doing ANY business with Amazon until its shameful behavior towards Wikileaks is rectified.”

Winger 2000 added: ”This is despicable! a complete travesty of commercial ethics and I will not be purchasing the 13 items I had in my basket and in fact I have now thrown the basket in the bin!!!!”

Amazon user Atticus Hart also joined the argument, saying: ”Seriously, Amazon? You abandon Wikileaks, leave in the dark and then you profit from the information that THEY have exposed?

”All of the information, by the way, which you can read for FREE on their website. I’m seriously disappointed.”

Amazon is one of a number of multi-national organisations which have severed ties with WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange.

Fans of the secretive Australian – known as ‘Hacktivists’ – have launched crusades against the likes of Mastercard and Visa, crashing the companies’ websites in what is known as a ‘distributed denial of service’ (DDOS) attack.

Assange is currently holed up in Wandsworth Prison after the Australian handed himself into police over sexual assault allegations made in Sweden.

The 39-year-old, who gave his address as an Australian PO box in court, was refused bail despite a number of celebrities offering the money.

Amazon were unavailable for comment

Update (20.45GMT) Amazon has removed the eBook from its website

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Comments (7)

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  1. crazy doc says:

    try downloading a sample

  2. Harryhardon says:

    Backlash? Amazon selling? Are you serious? This is a private seller that reformatted and posted these up on Amazon. Since Amazon took the pages off their servers they’ll probably take this down too. Quit freaking out over nothing.

  3. Anonymous says:

    AMAZON SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH TREASON. and this time it’s an actual part American company so there would be grounds.

    • Adam Fuller says:

      It’s true. Their lack of support for freedom of the press and freedom of speech is clearly a betrayal of the constitution.

      on another note;
      To be fair, they were probably not intentionally selling wikileaks. I doubt very much they check the contents of every e-book they put up for sale. This was probably just one book in a batch that was sent in and automatically processed.

  4. Truth Seeker says:

    Is it really that hard to actually look up what you are writing about before you post your article ? There have been only about 1100 cables released so far of the 250,000 they have. All it would take is a simply visit to wikileaks website to know this. They have a handy little counter to show you. Your site like many others continues to help spread the lie that wikileaks just dumped 250,000 cables on the net. This is patently false and you should correct your article.

  5. Anonymous says:

    OP: the site isn’t offline, the ip still works.

  6. Leatherneck73 says:

    What about those companies providing 3G service so people can download the book to their Kindle? Obviously profiteering from WikiLeaks also, while not offering to host mobile access for the WikiLeaks’ site. Seriously, Amazon likely does not even know this book is on their website. Once they are aware, I’m pretty sure they will be pulling it. Nice try at sensationalist journalism though. You may have a future in TV news.

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