Now, mini WikiLeaks on web, US cautions Switzerland over Assange asylum offer

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London, Dec.6 (ANI): The Obama administration has reportedly put pressure on Switzerland about any moves to offer a haven to WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, warning that country's government to be careful about which person it is offering asylum to, even as the latter's supporters have erected numerous copies of the site on the Internet on Sunday.

By late Sunday, there were at least 208 WikiLeaks mirror sites up and running.

Since several major Internet companies cut off services to WikiLeaks in recent days, activists have created hundreds of mini sites, web sites that host exact copies of another site's content, making censorship difficult, the New York Times reports.

The collective Anonymous, an informal but notorious group of hackers and activists, also declared war on Sunday against enemies of Assange.

It called on supporters to attack sites companies that do not support WikiLeaks and to spread the leaked material online.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Switzerland, Donald S. Beyer Jr., has responded to signs that Assange and WikiLeaks might seek refuge in that country, warning in the weekly magazine NZZ am Sonntag 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, from a batch of more than 250,000 obtained by WikiLeaks, the web site has been bombarded by cyber attacks and abandoned by Internet companies like PayPal, an online payment service that had accepted donations for the site, and Amazon, which had rented it server space.

WikiLeaks said that PayPal had "surrendered to U.S. government pressure," but the government has not acknowledged involvement in efforts to try to disable the site.

On Friday, WikiLeaks sought refuge in a diffuse web of financial and Internet infrastructure spread across Europe, particularly in Switzerland. It moved to, a domain registered to the Swiss Pirate Party, a political organization that shares many of Mr. Assange's aims.

Swiss-Icelandic company, Datacell, will process donations instead of PayPal, and the WikiLeaks site shows that Mr. Assange is accepting direct donations into a Swiss bank account held with the financial arm of the Swiss postal service.

But that solace may be short lived: a spokesman for the financial arm of Swiss Post, Marc Andrey, also told NZZ am Sonntag on Sunday that it was "reviewing" its relationship with Assange subject to proof that he has Swiss residency, owns property or does business in the country.

A message seeking comment from Assange's British lawyer was not immediately returned.

The Internet group Anonymous, which in the past has taken on targets as diverse as the Church of Scientology and Iran, disseminated a seven-point manifesto via Twitter and other social networking sites pledging to "kick back for Julian."

Gregg Housh, a prominent member of the group, said by telephone from Boston that an orchestrated effort was under way to attack companies that have refused to support WikiLeaks and to post multiple copies of the leaked material.

"The reason is amazingly simple. We all believe that information should be free, and the Internet should be free," the NYT quoted Housh, as saying of the campaign. (ANI)

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