Internet Law

WikiLeaks Cites New Woes for Site & Founder as Officials Warn US Workers & Students to Stay Away

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After last week’s refusal by Amazon to continue hosting WikiLeaks in the wake of a massive U.S. State Department data dump by the secret-spilling website, as well as news that its founder, Julian Assange, 39, is being sought by Interpol for questioning concerning alleged sex crimes, both the site and Assange face new woes.

Representatives of PostFinance, the Swiss post office’s bank, say they have frozen a an account Assange set up there using his Geneva-based lawyer’s address, alleging Assange lied about being a Swiss resident, according to the Associated Press and Raw Story.

That apparently means Assange can’t now access a legal defense fund of approximately $40,000. However, postal officials say the money will be returned to him.

A PayPal account for the WikiLeaks also was reportedly frozen, although the site continues to operate in a “wiki-cave” in a former wartime bunker in Stockholm, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Obama administration have warned federal workers and contractors to stay away from WikiLeaks, saying they should avoid classified material even after it has been made public, reports the New York Times and the Washington Post’s Federal Eye blog.

Similarly, the career services office at a Columbia University graduate school also warned its students to stay away, for fear of hurting their government job prospects. However, it has since reversed course, reports Wired’s Threat Level blog.

It appears that the measures have had little deterrent effect on WikiLeaks, however, which has now published a secret State Department inventory of global sites deemed vital to American security, creating an uproar in the U.S. and Great Britain, reports CBS News.

Related coverage:

Business Insider: “Who Made Amazon The Judge Of What’s Legal On The Web?”

Telegraph: “Is this the Keystone Kops presidency? Barack Obama needs to get serious about WikiLeaks”

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