PARIS -- An American company that had been directing traffic to the WikiLeaks website withdrew its services late on Thursday, making the site invisible for several hours.
EveryDNS.net, which helps computers locate the sites of its members, said WikiLeaks had breached its terms of service, and that it had stopped providing services to the controversial publisher of leaked information at 2200 Eastern time on Thursday (0300 GMT on Friday).
However, WikiLeaks announced on Friday on Twitter that it could be seen using a new address, http://wikileaks.ch , which is operated by a Swiss academic network.
The United States is furious about WikiLeaks' publication of hundreds of confidential diplomatic cables that have given unvarnished and sometimes embarrassing insights into the foreign policy of the United States and its allies.
"This is a smart move. Switzerland is known for not bending to international pressure," said Michiel Leenaars, director of strategy at NLnet, a Dutch Internet research charity.
EveryDNS.net said the WikiLeaks web address that it administered had been bombarded by hackers. This had undermined the service that it provides to its other clients, leaving it with no choice but to find WikiLeaks in breach of its terms of service.
"Wikileaks.org has become the target of multiple distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks," EveryDNS.net said on its website (www.everydns.com ).
"These attacks have, and future attacks would, threaten the stability of the EveryDNS.net infrastructure, which enables access to almost 500,000 other websites."
Tens of thousands of such registrars exist worldwide that provide DNS hosting — directory services to locate websites that do not maintain their own domain name services — which would be able to provide alternative services to Wikileaks.
© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.