For earlier updates, see Wednesday's story....
UPDATE 1640 GMT: Tweet of the Day. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley has tweeted, as the Department opens World Press Freedom Day, "No country believes in press freedom more than the United States. We practice what we preach."
UPDATE 1555 GMT: WikiLeaks has issued a statement: "These denial of service attacks are believed to have originated from an internet gathering known as Anonymous. This group is not affiliated with WikiLeaks. There has been no contact between any Wikileaks staffer and anyone at Anonymous. WikiLeaks has not received any prior notice of any of Anonymous’ actions. Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said: 'We neither condemn nor applaud these attacks. We believe they are a reflection of public opinion on the actions of the targets.'”
This morning the websites of Visa and MasterCard are still off-line, taken down by Denial of Service attacks by the hackers Anonymous. There is no further word on any problem with of payment services, after MasterCard's on-line platform was disrupted for some time on Wednesday.
The attacks are part of Operati on PayBack, which is retaliating for the decisions by companies to withdraw financial and electronic services.
There is no confirmation of the claim of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, spread in her e-mail to journalists last night, of an attack to down her website and steal her credit card details.
Last night Twitter suspended Anonymous; however, the hackers were soon back with a new account, which is "live" this morning.
WikiLeaks, presenting a step to calm the situation, announced on Twitter, "We are replacing operation #payback with operation #payitforward. Hackers, please perform random acts of kindness."