Lieberman, Amazon and Wikileaks

Sen. Joe Lieberman is being credited–or blamed–for getting Amazon to stop hosting the Wikileaks operation, including its controversial cache of diplomatic cables.

After hacker attacks on its own sites earlier this week, Wikileaks moved its material to Amazon which, as notes, does not screen or pre-approve content.

Staffers from the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which Lieberman chairs, contacted Amazon to ask about its hosting of Wikileaks, according to committee spokeswoman Leslie Phillips. They left questions with a press secretary including, “Are there plans to take the site down?”

Wednesday morning Amazon called back to say Wikileaks had been banished, Phillips said.

Later Wednesday, Lieberman issued a statement saying Amazon’s “decision to cut off Wikileaks now is the right decision,” but regretting that it had not been made earlier.

But Kevin Bankston, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told TPM Amazon’s decision was “disappointing,” adding, “This certainly implicates First Amendment rights to the extent that web hosts may, based on direct or informal pressure, limit the materials the American public has a First Amendment right to access.”