Wikileaks Amazon Datacenter Locations
Wikileaks; the whistle-blowing website, raised the eyebrows of the world on 11 October when it presented a document titled “Amazon Atlas” claimed to be an internal document from Amazon Web Services. The document, whose content is dated to effective from 2015, lists the addresses and some operational details of about one hundred data centers spread across fifteen cities in nine countries which does not add up to what is published officially by Amazon.
As under-cover, the document shows that Amazon runs colocation datacenters with providers such as Equinix, CyrusOne, Digital Fortress, Hitachi, Terremark, KVH, KDDI, Keppel, Tata Communications, Colt, Global Switch, iseek-KDC, NextDC, and Ascenty. For easier visibility, the 20 paged document has been transcribed to a smart map by Wikileaks and can be viewed on https://wikileaks.org/amazon-atlas/map/
Although Amazon is yet to give a strong response to this allegation, Analysts suspect that this could be a mission of vengeance that resulted from Amazon kicking out Wikileaks’ website from their server in 2010.
Although Amazon wasn’t the first service provider to have kicked out Wikileak, the situation that surrounds this particular case was unique and severe. Let’s take a good look at the circumstances around the kick out.
It was on Wednesday, 1 December 2010, when Wikileaks announced on Twitter that their website had been dropped from its hosting platform – AWS. This happened just after Wikileaks published the United States diplomatic cables, widely known as Cablegate, from Sunday, 28 November 2010. These were classified cables that had been sent by 274 of US consulates, embassies, and diplomatic missions around the world. It contained diplomatic analysis from world leaders, and the diplomats’ assessment of host countries and their officials. The 251,287 cables consist of 261,276,536 words, making Cablegate the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain as of 2010.
To this end, Amazon unplugged their website leaving a statement that possession of such documents without required licenses or authorizations violates their terms of service and puts innocent people jeopardy/danger and that their action wasn’t due to political pressure or DDOS attacks from hackers. The atmosphere was much tensed with exchanges of threats and suits, to the point of Wikileads asking Amazon to quit their bookstore business if they won’t support its course.
Coming back to 11 October, 2018. It can be suspected that Wikileaks just got their pound of flesh for an old wound from AWS. Interestingly, Amazon is silent about this while Wikileaks went on to make a puzzle game from the Amazon Atlas document called “Quest of Random Clues”, in a bid to find more hidden locations.
The validity ratings of the document seem to be high as the popular JEDI military project was also mention in Wikileaks’ statements which tallying deadlines.
We are now left with lots of questions such as;
Will amazon confirm the validity of the document? If yes, then will they be ready to give valid reasons for having such amount of secret facilities or more?
On the other hand, Andrew MacAfee; during the 2010 Amazon-Wikileaks issue had this to say;
“What we don’t need is a webcam constantly trained on the sausage factory of statecraft. Only a child or a fool would think that we’ll get better outcomes, or improve our standing in the world, if we have no private diplomatic conversations. Instead, we’ll get embarrassed and angry allies, fewer frank conversations, and less reliable information about the state of the world. “Information wants to be free” has become a silly phrase; “All information needs to be free” is a stupid one.”
Can we then say that Wikileaks is not helping the United States and the world by publishing highly confidential documents?