Internet, friends, trust and continuity
When Dave Winer asks "Can we use S3 and EC2 to host free speech?", following Amazon decision to remove the wikileaks site from its server, he is following up on a discussion started in the Rebooting the News podcast on Friends of the internet. In this he more or less said that the internet has no friends in the corporate world. While originally viewing this as the realpolitik of the corporate world, leaving his own servers on Amazon, he now seems to be more troubled. He is correct in both cases, but I also think he is also overly pessimistic.
There are services which are inherently more Internet friendly, such as WordPress or Acquia. By simply providing their platform as open source they allow their client to chose between the comfort of hosted service, installation and support on other services (such as Amazon) or private hosting. This means that of your platform is important enough for you you can move more rapidly if your current provider has gone to the dark side.
This, however, is not the same for one of the more basic and fundamental services of the Internet, the DNS system. This is the system which makes it possible to use domain names. Blocking, manipulating or overtaking this can fragment the Internet. This is much harder to fix or migrate from, and poses a more serious question then trusting a hosting provider.
I have recently received an e-mail from one of my registrars, easydns, regarding wikileaks and publications regarding its DNS. This was also published in their blog. While I am not sure on what's Mark Jeftovics opinion on WikiLeaks, I think he made his position known as a service provider. I can't help but wonder if the fact that easydns is a Canadian company has something to do with this.