Amazon -- the company, not the river -- has been on my shit list since they became patent-abusing bastards. But their recent actions have moved them up the list.
Most troubling is the sudden removal of WikiLeaks's content from Amazon Web Services. There was much speculation that the U.S. government put pressure on Amazon to make this happen -- but just a few weeks later, Amazon was bragging that the federal government is one of its biggest customers. This suggests that the pressure involved was good ol' money: piss of one of AWS's big customers, and Amazon will pull the plug on you.
But wait -- there's more. Rather like the rat bastards at Apple, Amazon's censorship of WikiLeaks goes along with a pattern of censorship of sexually explicit material.
It's not as if they don't know what they're doing. When people objected to a book with the (disgusting, to be sure) title Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure showing up the Kindle store, Amazon said, "Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions." That's a wonderful statement -- but Amazon then caved in and removed the book.
Amazon is now removing erotic incest fantasy fiction and works that portray homosexual rape -- and not just removing such stories from further sales, but deleting stories from purchaser's Kindles. Amazon was famously sued over such remote deletion last year, and supposedly set a policy which limited its use.
Amazon now says that the recent retroactive deletion was due to a "technical issue". Ha.