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Wikileaks whistleblower site shut down in the U.S.

According to a report from the BBC,  a US federal court has shut down Wikileaks (it used to be at www.wikileaks.org but you won’t find anything there now), a controversial website that allows whistle-blowers to post corporate and government documents anonymously.  The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco issued an injunction ordering  Dynadot, which controls the site’s domain name, to remove all traces of Wikileaks from its servers.  The court also ordered that Dynadot should prevent the domain name from resolving to the wikileaks.org website and demanded that details of the site’s registrant, contacts, payment records and "IP addresses and associated data used by any person…who accessed the account for the domain name"  be handed over.
However, the site remains online in other countries, including Belgium, India and Germany.  The order came because Swiss banking group Julius Baer filed a lawsuit after "several hundred" documents were posted about its offshore activities.  Some of those documents allegedly reveal that Julius Baer was involved in offshore money laundering and tax evasion in the Cayman Islands.  Wikileaks  was founded in 2006 by dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and technologists from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa. 

UPDATE: 
Legal Blog Watch also posted on this story today; the posting points to an excellent writeup at the Citizen Media Law Project  that in turn mentions a press release from Wikileaks responding to the injunction which states that  "The order is clearly unconstitutional and exceeds its jurisdiction.  Wikileaks will keep on publishing, in-fact, given the level of suppression involved in this case, Wikileaks will step up publication of documents pertaining to illegal or unethical banking practices."

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4 Comments

  1. Roostah says:

    This sets a bad precident for the domain industry. There is no free speach. The whole ruling is tantamount to being accused of libal and having your mouth permantly duct taped…..this is bullshit.

  2. dcornwall says:

    Dear Right Wing Dog:

    Wikileaks was not directed exclusively at the United States. Dissidents living under brutal regimes had been trying to use it to fight their governments, which reacted by trying to censor it:

    When the transparency group Wikileaks was censored in China last year, no-one was too surprised. After all, the Chinese government also censors the Paris based Reporters Sans Frontiers and New York Based Human Rights Watch. And when Wikileaks published the secret censorship lists of Thailand’s military Junta, no-one was too surprised when people in that country had to go to extra lengths to read the site.

    Hooray is not a term I’d use when we join a politiuro and a military junta in shutting down an internet site.

    I’d also be interested to know why you think Wikileaks is such a boon for terrorists. Can you cite a publicly documented instance where a terrorist group used information from wikileaks to cause harm? And it needs to be a specific incident with name of group and verified target.

    I don’t know for sure, but logically it seems like if Islamist militants wanted actionable US military information, all they’d have to do would be to use their contacts in Iraq’s military and police forces. They’re known to 1) be infiltrated by insurgents, and 2) have access to much of the information that the US occupation forces have. Much less hit and miss than prowling Wikileaks.

     

     

    ————————————

    "And besides all that, what we need is a decentralized, distributed system of depositing electronic files to local libraries willing to host them." — Daniel Cornwall, tipping his hat to Cato the Elder for the original quote.

  3. RightWingDog says:

    Hooray! The government 1 -terrorists 0 This is great news. This site was a potential goldmine for beginning damage to the U.S. I would hope any data gained from it’s servers will be used to track down anyone who may wish to do harm to this country. This is exactly why we need the FISA law expanded and passed NOW. RightWingDog

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hooray! Our government breaks the constitution again. This is great news. Ben Franklin: “Those who give up liberty for security deserve neither.”

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