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Cyberwar erupts over WikiLeaks

The battle lines between supporters of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks and its detractors began to form on Sunday, as supporters erected numerous copies of the site on the Internet and the United States put pressure on Switzerland not to offer a haven to the site’s founder, Julian Assange.

world Updated: Dec 07, 2010 00:50 IST

The battle lines between supporters of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks and its detractors began to form on Sunday, as supporters erected numerous copies of the site on the Internet and the United States put pressure on Switzerland not to offer a haven to the site’s founder, Julian Assange.

Since several major Internet companies cut off services to WikiLeaks recently, activists have created hundreds of mirror sites, websites that host exact copies of another site’s content, making censorship difficult.

The collective Anonymous, an informal but notorious group of hackers and activists, also declared war on Sunday against enemies of Assange, calling on supporters to attack sites companies that do not support WikiLeaks and to spread the leaked material online.

Meanwhile, the US ambassador to Switzerland, Donald S Beyer Jr, responded to signs that Assange and WikiLeaks might seek refuge in that country, warning that the Swiss “should very carefully consider whether to provide shelter to someone who is on the run from the law.”

Since the release of classified diplomatic cables a week ago the WikiLeaks website has been bombarded by cyberattacks.

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