Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has called for US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to resign if it is shown US diplomats were ordered to engage in espionage.
Speaking over Skype from an undisclosed location, Mr Assange, himself the target of a US criminal investigation following Wikileaks' release of masses of classified US diplomatic cables this week, said: "If it can be shown that she was responsible for ordering US diplomatic figures to engage in espionage in the United Nations, in violation of the international covenants to which the US has signed up, yes, she should resign."
With Wikileaks continuing to haemorrhage secrets that the US would prefer to keep buried, there has been growing anger among some commentators curious as to why the world's most powerful military cannot employ its considerable might to take the whistle-blowing website out.
The former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin led the charge yesterday, calling on the US military to hunt Julian Assange "with the same urgency we pursue al-Qa'ida and Taliban leaders".
This week, the site has been hit by two denial of service (DoS) attacks, a common cyber-assault which temporarily disables a website by flooding it with requests for information. But a DoS is only a temporary way of bringing a website down.
A website such as Wikileaks is all but impossible to take offline. Until recently, it was predominantly hosted in Sweden by a "bulletproof" service provider called PRQ which has become the favoured choice for a variety of political dissidents, activists and refugee groups who would be closed down if they hosted websites in their own countries.
The company keeps no logs on its clientele and specialises in protecting against the most sophisticated hacking techniques. When the DoS attacks began, Wikileaks also began shifting its websites on to a host of back-up servers.
Then there are the mysterious "insurance files" that Julian Assange has encouraged supporters to download and store in case something happens to either him or his website. The contents of these files are encrypted, but as Mr Assange has said: "All we have to do is release the password to that material and it's instantly available."
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