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21 February 2024

New WikiLeaks website now available in UAE

By Joseph George

UPDATE: As of late afternoon, wikileaks.ch was freely accessible to UAE consumers using etisalat lines. Earlier in the day, users reported browser inconsistencies, with the site available to those using Firefox but not to those using Internet Explorer.


The Wikileaks website, hosted in Switzerland, was not available in parts of the UAE.

Some subscribers of etisalat were unable to log on to wikileaks.ch the new domain of the whistleblowers site.

Subscribers of du however, were able to log on as of Monday morning.

Several other governments have also blocked access to the website accusing it of jeopardizing countries’ security and foreign policy.

China on Sunday blocked access to the website. France says it would block Wikileaks from using French servers. According to reports French Industry Minister Eric Besson wrote a letter to business and technology leaders calling for ways to ban WikiLeaks from using servers in France. Amazon, an online retailer, stopped hosting for Wikileaks and Paypal has cancelled all donations to the website using its services.

“I have been trying to unsuccessfully access the new website since Saturday. Thanks to the dozens of mirror sites, the access has become easier,” said Sudarshan a UAE resident.

Abdul Rahman who works in the publishing industry said he has also started to download the files uploaded on torrents.

WikiLeaks has posted a 1.4GB file encrypted with a 256-digit key said to be unbreakable. The file is titled "insurance.aes256", and contains all the US cables said to be in WikiLeaks’ possession. The file can be decrypted only after the key is supplied.

Switzerland meanwhile has rejected growing international calls to force the site off the internet. The site's new Swiss registrar, Switch, today said there was "no reason" why it should be forced offline

In Pakistan, Lahore High Court has dismissed a petition seeking a ban on the Wikileaks website.The judge dismissed the petition and called it 'non-maintainable'. The judge added, “We must bear the truth, no matter how harmful it is.”

WikiLeaks moved its website address to the Swiss https://wikileaks.ch on Friday after two US Internet providers withdrew their services.

Meanwhile, mirror websites, which replicate WikiLeaks’s data, have emerged across the globe. A message on its Twitter says, “WikiLeaks strikes back. Cut us down and the stronger we become,” along with links to more than two dozen mirrors.

The US State department was the latest to urge its staff and Columbia University students not to discuss Wikileaks. “Talking about WikiLeaks on Facebook or Twitter could endanger your job prospects,” a State Department official warned students at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs this week, reports said.

But support has been pouring in from Facebook and Twitter users. On Facebook alone it has more than 781,000 followers and another 380,000 plus followers on Twitter. Last night the numbers were increasing by the hour.

In one Twitter entry, a user said he/she would stop using paypal henceforth.

Some of the interesting tweets:

“All the censoring of WikiLeaks is more alarming than the actual content of the leaks. It only further justifies WL’s actions.”

“It's not wrong to lie, cheat, steal, corrupt, and torture. It's wrong to let people know about it.”

“We elect Governments, not to dictate our freedoms, but to support our liberty. They serve us, we do not serve them.”

“My Swedish girlfriend cannot do LIKE Wikileaks on Facebook. It's been removed shortly after added. Social censorship is coming!

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