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Swiss WikiLeaks website blocked, spawns alternatives

Published on 03/12/2010

The Swiss address of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks was out of service late Friday after the domain name was blocked by the US system provider, the group which owns the name said.

However, the Swiss Pirates Party gave 21 alternative websites where WikiLeaks could be found, many of them European domain names and including its German counterpart.

“As expected wikileaks.ch was blocked by EveryDNS.net,” the party said in a statement posted online a few hours after it warned that the step was likely.

Attempts to access the site gave error messages.

The Swiss Pirates Party said it intended to find another server for its own address.

The original wikileaks.org domain was taken offline at 0300 GMT Friday by its American domain name system provider, EveryDNS.net, following reports of massive attacks on the site.

It then came back online on Friday with the Swiss wikileaks.ch domain name.

The party said earlier that it was examining whether to move the data and where.

The Swiss Pirates Party, which campaigns for Internet freedoms and transparency, was founded in 2009.

Denis Simonet, who heads the group, told AFP it had registered the domain name wikileaks.ch six months ago.

“We did it to support WikiLeaks,” he said in an emailed reply, adding that it was not done at the request of Julian Assange, founder of the whistleblower site.

Assange said last month that he was considering requesting asylum in Switzerland, among other places, and basing the website in the neutral Alpine country.

“That is a real possibility,” Assange said when asked whether he and the website might relocate, adding that Switzerland, and perhaps Iceland, were the only Western countries in which his outfit feels safe.

Assange told Swiss national television TSR that WikiLeaks was examining the possibility of creating a foundation that would allow it to operate out of Switzerland, and confirmed that he might apply for asylum.

Assange’s defence fund also has a bank account with the Swiss Post Office, according to the WikiLeaks website.

The link to the Swiss Pirates Party’s Wikileaks access list is at http://www.pirateparty.ch/wikileaks_ch_blocked .