جمعہ، 10 دسمبر، 2010
WikiLeaks' backers strike back
Anonymous hackers targeted the sites of MasterCard and Visa, a Swiss bank, the Swiss Post Office, the Swedish government.
The attack on MasterCard is an apparent retaliation for the credit card giant's blocking of donations to WikiLeaks, Reuters reported.
The Stockholm-based Aftonbladet daily said the government's official website was offline for a few hours, publishing a screen shot that showed the server could not be reached.
Swedish government spokeswoman Mari Ternbo told AFP that the government does not comment on security matters and could not confirm the cyber attack had taken place.
Aftonbladet reported that WikiLeaks supporters had created a website bearing Swedish Justice Minister Beatrice Ask's name that then redi-rected users to WikiLeaks' own site.
WikiLeaks has so far denied any links to those cyber attacks.
Online payment service PayPal, which was among companies that suspended WikiLeaks' accounts used to collect donations, said it had acted at the behest of the US government.
However, Navi Pillay, UN's human rights chief, expressed concern Thursday about pressure on private companies to stop providing financial or Internet services for Wikileaks, saying "they could be interpreted as an attempt to censor the publication of information, thus potentially violating WikiLeaks' right to freedom of expression."
Separately, Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blowing website, is being detained in London pending a hearing on extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over rape allegations.
The two Swedish women who are accusing Assange are 26-year-old Sofia Wilen and 31-year-old Anna Ardin, according reports in Swedish media.
Meanwhile, news organizations in the US and Europe continued releasing more US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks.
Washington pressured Berlin not to enforce arrest warrants against CIA agents involved in the alleged 2003 abduction of a German citizen, leaked documents showed Thursday, according to AFP.
US agents confused Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese origin, with an Al Qaeda operative with a similar name and alleged links to the 9/11 attacks.
In January 2007, German prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 13 people in connection with the case after being given a list of names by Masri's lawyer, but this was dropped later that year.