Quasi-Governmental Entities AT&T and Verizon Blocking Wikileaks Sites

We know the government is blocking Wikileaks sites: the Air Force, the Library of Congress, the Department of Education, as well as orders from the State Department that its employees should not read the leaked cables.

Which is why I find it so interesting that AT&T and Verizon are blocking Wikileaks sites internally, too. From Greg Mitchell’s liveblog:

Just received email tip from man purporting to be Verizon employee at a headquarters and offering to send screen shots.  Here’s an excerpt:  “Last week, I was browsing several news sites at work when I noticed something strange: any time I tried to read a story about Wikileaks, the site was blocked. Typically, our intranet blocks the usual ‘time-waster’  sites…. In these cases, the entire domain is blocked and any content offered up by that domain on a separate site (such as videos embedded from YouTube) would be blocked on the other site as well.”In this case, though, only specific URLs were being blocked, while the rest of the site was fine. In the screenshots, you can see I can access, for example, the Guardian front page, as well as another, non-Wikileaks related article. But if I tried to go to any of the cable articles, I received the block message…. It appears there’s a blanket URL block for any URL containing the word “wikileaks” no matter what the context. Also, I’ve confirmed with a friend of mine who works for AT&T that they’re doing similar blocking.   I have screen shots available.”  He also claims that a friend at AT & T says same thing going on there.

I wonder whether the block has anything to do with the large amount of domestic and international spying these telecoms do for the government, effectively making them high security quasi-governmental entities. Is it possible that these telecoms are working under governmental orders not to access anything to do with WikiLeaks, in the same way actual governmental agencies have been told that accessing the cables might constitute a security violation.

Maybe we can just find out who is spying for the government based on which companies implement these kinds of blocks on Wikileaks?

[bmaz here – We have received word from a trusted source at AT&T that they are not blocked, at least not consistently or completely; so consider the post so updated]

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