China has reportedly blocked Internet access to the latest "massive leak" of U.S. cables by WikiLeaks.
PCWorld reports that access to the cablegate page and Chinese news articles covering the leak have been blocked since Monday. "China takes note of the government reports. We hope the U.S. side will handle the relevant issues," Hong Lei, a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry, said at a Beijing news conference on Tuesday. "As for the content of the documents, we will not comment on that."
The ban comes as WikiLeaks struggles to keep their site functional. The site has been under a heavy DDoS attack since Sunday. "DDOS attack now exceeding 10 gigabits a second," wrote a company official on the Wikileaks twitter account today. Wikileaks has decided to move their operation to Amazon's EC2 cloud computing platform. Amazon hosts a variety of big corporations' data and is headquarted in the United States. However, not all Amazons's servers are based in the U.S. and wikileaks is taking advantage of its cloud power.
China is widely known for censoring its media and western websites and services. In May this year, popular cloud storage service Dropbox was blocked by China. Google has also suffered regular blocks on its content over the past couple of years. Despite having 298 Million Internet users the country continues to block social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. China also attempted to impose further restrictions on the way its people use their computers by trying to pass legislation which would have required all personal computers sold within the country, to be shipped with software blocking access to certain websites. Fortunately the software, Green Dam Youth Escort, is only required on schools, internet cafes and other public use computers.
Wikileaks is an international non-profit organization that specialises in releasing leaked documents and information. On November 28 the site leaked 200,000 U.S. cables and documents. Wikileaks plans to issue 251,287 documents in total. Western governments have condemed the leaks whilst media and journalists have been picking through the documents in detail to highlight any important information.
WikiLeaks spokesperson, Julian Assange, said in an interview with Forbes magazine that the organization's next target will be a major American bank in early 2011. "We have one related to a bank coming up, that’s a megaleak. It’s not as big a scale as the Iraq material, but it’s either tens or hundreds of thousands of documents depending on how you define it," said Assange.