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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.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 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
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(CNN) -- Supporters of WikiLeaks were criticizing Amazon.com 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 Amazon.com 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.

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