Amazon Web Services on Thursday set the record straight on why Wikileaks was removed from the cloud service: It violated the terms of service because it didn't control the rights to the classified content it posted.
As noted Wednesday, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has the right to terminate accounts if customers violate its terms.
In a blog post, AWS said that Wikileaks wasn't removed due to a government inquiry or hack attacks. Here's the reason (emphasis mine):
AWS does not pre-screen its customers, but it does have terms of service that must be followed. WikiLeaks was not following them. There were several parts they were violating. For example, our terms of service state that “you represent and warrant that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content… that use of the content you supply does not violate this policy and will not cause injury to any person or entity.” It’s clear that WikiLeaks doesn’t own or otherwise control all the rights to this classified content. Further, it is not credible that the extraordinary volume of 250,000 classified documents that WikiLeaks is publishing could have been carefully redacted in such a way as to ensure that they weren’t putting innocent people in jeopardy. Human rights organizations have in fact written to WikiLeaks asking them to exercise caution and not release the names or identities of human rights defenders who might be persecuted by their governments.
AWS said it won't shy away from controversy, but folks that violate its terms of service "need to go operate elsewhere."