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May 11, 2021

Australia blames U.S. over WikiLeaks

Australia’s foreign minister put the blame for the release of tens of thousands of pages of diplomatic cables and military information through WikiLeaks squarely on the United States Wednesday, CNN said. “I have been pretty consistent about where the core responsibility lies in this entire matter and that lies with the release of an unauthorized nature of this material by U.S. personnel,” Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd told Reuters news agency. “My responsibility as the foreign minister is to ensure that this individual is treated no differently to any other Australian around the world who find themselves in legal difficulties,” Rudd said.

“I take that responsibility very seriously because he has, in my view, complete entitlement of presumption of innocence before the law, and our job as the Australian government is to ensure that he has full access to normal consular and legal services that we would seek to provide to any Australian in these sorts of difficulties in any country around the world.”

WikiLeaks has been under intense pressure from the United States and its allies since it began posting the first of more than 250,000 U.S. State Department documents November 28. Since then, the site has been hit with denial-of-service attacks, been kicked off servers in the United States and France, and found itself cut off from funds in the United States and Switzerland.

In apparent revenge for MasterCard’s decision to cease taking donations to WikiLeaks, its website was hacked and partially paralysed yesterday, according to ‘The Guardian.’ A group of online activists calling themselves Anonymous appear to have orchestrated a DDOS (“distributed denial of service”) attack on the site, bringing its service at www.mastercard.com to a halt for many users. The Swiss bank PostFinance has already been targeted by Anonymous after it froze payments to WikiLeaks, and the group has vowed to target Paypal, which has also ceased processing payments to the site.

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