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Can we use S3 and EC2 to host free speech?
By Dave Winer on Friday, December 24, 2010 at 11:34 AM.

A picture named portrait.gifAs far as I know the issues around Amazon's decision to evict WikiLeaks from EC2 have not been discussed in the tech blogosphere. If I've missed the discussion, please post pointers in a comment on this post. I want to read what has been said.  permalink

In a previous post here on Scripting News, Matt Terenzio, who works as a system manager at a small Connecticut newspaper, said that basically Amazon can't be used to host independent news. I quoted Matt in my talk at the PDF conference a couple of Saturdays ago. What he says is not only true, but very important to journalists and bloggers. permalink

"I'm not running to cancel anything, . . but the more I do think about it, it would be hard to use their services for any journalism service. permalink

"You'd be knowingly violating the terms they are "claiming" were the reason for the shut down any time you needed to expose a document that wasn't yours. permalink

"Probably wouldn't get shut down, but aside from any moral issues it will seriously figure into any journalism company strategy as to whether to take such a chance. permalink

"Strictly as business decision." permalink

Initially, I said that I wouldn't take my sites off Amazon because of their decision to not host WikiLeaks. I'm re-thinking that, but I want the benefit of a really good examination. Perhaps Amazon would like a chance to clarify their intentions, now that that the dust has settled. What would they like their customers to think about this, as it relates to their work?  permalink

Where would I move my sites? Do other vendors have a more clear statement of what they will and won't do under pressure from the US government?  permalink

We need to look at this dispassionately as possible.  permalink

The question is this: What service-level guarantees do we need from vendors to make it possible to use their services in our public writing.  permalink

Can we use S3 and EC2 to host free speech? Not a question I ask lightly, since this page, as of 12/24/10, is hosted on EC2. permalink

Update: This piece is also running on the Atlantic. permalink

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