Skip to main content

WikiLeaks supporters attack Amazon book offering

Doug Gross
Critics slammed Amazon for selling a book about WikiLeaks after dropping service to the site.
Critics slammed Amazon for selling a book about WikiLeaks after dropping service to the site.
  • WikiLeaks supporters criticize Amazon for selling book about the site
  • Last week, Amazon quit hosting WikiLeaks on its servers
  • Company says book doesn't violate terms because it doesn't include documents

(CNN) -- Supporters of WikiLeaks were criticizing on Thursday for refusing to host the controversial site while apparently profiting from a book about it.

The criticism, over a book available on the internet bookseller's United Kingdom site, comes the same day that a group of anonymous hackers threatened to attack Amazon.

Last week, Amazon said WikiLeaks, which recently released thousands of government documents that critics say jeopardize security, violated its terms of service.

Best known for selling books, Amazon also has a Web-hosting service and had been home to some WikiLeaks files for about a week. The company was criticized by politicians in the United States and elsewhere but said its own rules, not the pressure, lead to the decision.

The company said specifically that WikiLeaks does not own the rights to the information it is posting.

On Thursday, however, a user had uploaded a book for sale on called "WikiLeaks Documents Expose U.S. Foreign Policy Conspiracies."

That led some users to accuse the e-commerce site of a double standard.

"Amazon hypocrisy! So you wilfully help to proliferate the lies for free, but you will only support the truth if there is a fast buck to be made," wrote one user whose comment had been rated the "most useful" review of the book. "One nation under gold, right?"

What is WikiLeaks? Here's how it works

Amazon, however, said there's a key difference.

"This book contains commentary and analysis regarding recent WikiLeaks disclosures, not the original material disclosed via the WikiLeaks website," Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said Thursday. "We clarified this on the product detail page."

By early Thursday afternoon, the book's title had been updated with the all-caps phrase "DOES NOT CONTAIN TEXT OF CABLES."

The author of the book is listed as Heinz Duthel, whose 30 pages of other offerings on Amazon include "The Complete Internet Pornography Encyclopedia," "Discovering Asian Women" and "Islamic Terrorism is Terrorism Committed by Muslims."

Other book topics for Duthel include "Hannah Montana" actress Miley Cyrus, numerology and conspiracy-theory favorites including the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group.

Several tech blogs on Thursday posted stories criticizing Amazon for carrying the book after dropping Wikileaks from its servers, although most appeared to have been written before the site clarified the nature of the book.

According to one of its Twitter feeds, the group "Anonymous Operations" planned an attack on Amazon at 11 a.m. ET. But Amazon's U.S. site was loading properly and navigating smoothly as of early Thursday afternoon.

Any action would be the latest in a seriesof denial-of-service attacks by WikiLeaks supporters against companies and institutions they say have treated the document-leaking site unfairly.

Part of complete coverage on
What next for Julian Assange?
What next for WikiLeaks editor and founder Julian Assange, now that he's been released on bail in the UK?
Assange condemns investigations
Julian Assange says the sexual misconduct charges against him are little more than an effort to discredit him and his organization.
Assange released on bail
WikiLeaks editor walks out of London court after being freed on bail nine days after being arrested for questioning about alleged sex crimes in Sweden.
Assange's apparent online dating life
In 2006, Julian Assange was apparently looking for a date. After launching WikiLeaks, he evidently created a profile on
Assange finds celebrity support
A court in London found itself in the world's spotlight, as a small army of celebrities turned up to offer support -- and bail money -- to Julian Assange.
WikiLeaks rival set to launch
The founders of say they are former WikiLeaks members unhappy with the way the organization is being run under Julian Assange. attack planned
Hackers who support WikiLeaks want others to replicate the attacks they say took down the websites of MasterCard and Visa.
Expert: 'Poison pill' can't be stopped
Does Julian Assange's threat to release "Doomsday Files" from Wikileaks carry validity?


Most popular Tech stories right now