Not Amazon then

Posted on:December 08 2010

I do consulting work from time to time, in most cases this involves helping companies creating computer games, but it's also about Website development quite often. This discussion came up yesterday:

Client: We think about using Amazon AWS for hosting, what do you think?
Me: I wouldn't do it. Amazon recently showed that they'll shut down your whole site from one minute to the next, without any warning, if they don't like you.
Client: Really?
Me: Yes, they did this with Wikileaks, just last week.
Client: You are right! So no Amazon then.

They will now use some of the many alternatives. Probably a good decision. If you are running web services, you better be reliable, I guess. Amazon also just announced their DNS service. I think people will now think twice before using this.


eh, it's more a political thing and not about amazon's general reliability. it seems unlikely that they'd do it do just any website
2010-12-08 09:11:00

You cannot know.
2010-12-08 12:22:00

It's shameful how Amazon (and everyone else) caved to the US government over Wikileaks, but seriously, good luck finding a hosting company of any size that wouldn't have.
2010-12-08 15:49:00

Imagine I'd scan in your passport, bank account activity data and other documents that you consider 'private' (love letters, anyone?). Then present all on a website, encouraging people to 'see what this guy is about'. Wouldn't you approach the provider to shut the site down? Honestly, I can not really see what Amazon was doing wrong.
Just a thought...
2010-12-08 22:14:00

@miq, there is a huge difference between me or you and the government. They are public service working for us. And we are paying for that. So, we should know what they are doing without any (wiki)leaks.
2010-12-08 22:23:00

@Vox, you are absolutely right.
2010-12-09 10:32:00

haha, good job niko ;)
keep up the good work!
2010-12-09 19:44:00

I fully concur that Amazon's shutdown of wikileaks was despicable. That said, I do feel that the situation is unique and not applicable to most websites. In Amazon's defense, there is a section of its TOS that prohibits the sharing of stolen material. While wikileaks deserved fair warning, I don't think anyone will argue that the leaked documents don't exactly constitute wikileaks' property. I think, if anything, this situation exemplifies the backdoor influence of American politics and the pressure the government is able to exert on corporations without going through the judicial system. It's unfortunate, but I don't think it's fair to hold Amazon responsible for this one event. The only thing Amazon could have done was postpone the inevitable court order and accompanying bad press - after all, the US isn't Switzerland.
2010-12-11 08:06:00

with all due respect to your point-of-view, to which you are fully entitled, may I ask: did it occur to Amazon only after they received a threatening letter from the US state department?? Come on now!

Moreover, did you even think twice before writing:
"....there is a section of its TOS that prohibits the sharing of stolen material."

What stolen material? Who has copyright on "information"? Define "stealing" please. So far as I know, an act of stealing is when you take something from someone without their consent, could be materil property or intellectual property. Did Assange/WikiLeaks went and "stole" the information they are publishing? Or did someone "provid" that information to them of his/her own free will?? When news papers publish a story about a corrupt politician without the politicians consent, are they "stealing" the information??

In a democratic system, we, the PEOPLE hold power. WE elect "representatives" and athorize them to use that power on our behalf, and we have all the right in the world to know how the power which we invested in our government in good faith is being used. We have total and absolute right to know what is being said and done "on our behalf" behind closed doors!

Personally, I would thank the person who "stole" the cables and sent to WikiLeaks. He/she has done a great service to democracy and freedom.
2010-12-11 11:34:00

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