|When, in late 2010, Wikileaks started releasing a trove of US diplomatic cables, lawmakers were dumbfounded. The whistleblowing organisation had previously raised ire within the US government for its release of its 'Collateral Murder' video, but until the leak of the classified cables, requital seemed uncertain. Then, unable to take legal action against the site because of First Amendment protections, panicky legislators did the one thing they could: Pressure intermediaries to deny service to Wikileaks. The strategy was immediately effective. After public calls from Senator Joseph Lieberman, web giant Amazon.com was first to follow, dropping Wikileaks from its servers and creating a domino effect.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.
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