update The Domain Name System (DNS) services of Wikileaks.org and Cablegate.org have been ceased in a move that may torpedo efforts to access the websites.
The websites can still be accessed via their IP addresses, http://188.8.131.52/ and http://184.108.40.206/ respectively, according to a Wikileaks list of IP address mirrors. Alternatives are also on the mirror site.
However, the DNS services that allow a user to enter an alphabetical web address, such as www.wikileaks.org, have ceased. Users attempting to type in the address will be served a blank page.
Wikileaks' DNS provider EveryDNS.net pulled the DNS services at 10pm US Eastern Standard Time after the site suffered a massive denial-of-service attack (DoS). EveryDNS.net said in a post on its site that it had done so because the DoS contravened acceptable use policy.
Only weeks ago the US Federal Government introduced the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) which essentially prevents users across the world from accessing websites banned under US law by forcing the nation's powerful domain registrars to withdraw the domain registrations they control.
The Act calls for the creation of two blacklists: one established with domain names fed through the US courts and the other maintained by the nation's Attorney-General's Office in the Department of Justice.
So far, the US has blocked the DNS registrations of 70 pirate websites under COICA.
Updated at 8:45pm, 3 December 2010: replaced the term registration with services.