Government officials in the UK are warning employees that government websites could be next on the list for attacks by WikiLeaks supporters. Sir Peter Ricketts, the UK's national security adviser, noted the websites citizens use to file tax returns and to claim government benefits are the most vulnerable.
BBC News reports that pro-WikiLeaks attacks in the UK are likely because founder Julian Assange recently appeared in a London court. He was arrested in London on a European arrest warrant because he is wanted for questioning in Sweden concerning a sexual assault. Though he was granted bail, the authorities have appealed that decision. He will remain in jail until the appeal is decided.
From prison, he commented on recent attacks against MasterCard, Visa and other websites that the group known as "Anonymous" sees as "anti-WikiLeaks," intimating that the companies were persuaded by U.S. government officials to stop taking payments to WikiLeaks. He said:
We now know that Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and others are instruments of U.S. foreign policy.
Not surprisingly, U.S. officials deny asking individual companies to stop doing business with the self-proclaimed "whistleblower" site. They are, however, seeking to prosecute Assange for his role in the website's release of classified U.S. government information.