March 1, 2008
Judge Dissolves Wikileaks.org Injunction
First Amendment Rights of Internet Users Upheld in Today’s Hearing
San Francisco – A federal district court judge in San Francisco today rescinded a controversial order that disabled the “wikileaks.org” domain name which had — until two weeks ago — pointed to Wikileaks, a website designed to give whistleblowers a forum for posting materials of public concern.
This week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) moved to intervene in the case, along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California and the Project on Government Oversight (POGO). In a hearing in federal court today, EFF and its fellow intervenors and amici argued that the order infringed on the First Amendment rights of Internet users who have an interest in accessing material of public concern on the site. Ruling from the bench, Judge Jeffrey White cited concerns about the First Amendment, the effectiveness of disabling the wikileaks.org domain name, and the court’s own jurisdiction over the case as reasons to dissolve his previous orders.
“We’re very pleased that Judge White recognized the serious constitutional concerns raised by his earlier orders,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. “Attempting to interfere with the operation of an entire website because you have a dispute over some of its content is never the right approach. Disabling access to an Internet domain in an effort to prevent the world from accessing a handful of widely-discussed documents is not only unconstitutional — it simply won’t work.”
In addition to dissolving the permanent injunction, which permits the wikileaks.org domain name to be reactivated, the court also declined to extend a previous temporary restraining order requiring Wikileaks to disable access to 14 disputed Julius Baer documents.
For the full order:
19 February 2008. A offers the Wikileaks archive as separate files:
A has placed the Wikileaks archive (Torrent, 2,000 files, 400MB) on Piratebay:
18 February 2008
A sends hundreds of links to Wikileaks documents and mirrors:wikileaks-gag.pdf + Wikileaks Gag Order (Update) February 18, 2008 wikileaks-bjb.zip + Wikileaked Bank Julius Baer Documents (Update) February 20, 2008 (4MB)
‘Wikileaks.org’ taken off line in many areas after fire, court injunction
> From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
February 18, 2008
The website WikiLeaks.org has been taken off line in many parts of the world.
Wikileaks is a website dedicated to leaking documents that are “anonymous,
Several factors have taken the site off line including DDoS attacks, which
was followed by a fire which took out the main servers hosting the site in
Sweden, and a restraining order on the domain name ‘WikiLeaks.org’ issued
in the United States.
According to the website HongPong.com, Wikileaks experienced “a 500Mbps
distributed denial of service attack” before the fire, but it is not known if
the DDoS attack is connected to it.
After the attack, a fire was reported in the Uninterruptible Power Supply
of the servers which host the site.
The third and final factor taking the site off line is a permanent
injunction granted in the California Northern District Court in San
Francisco, California to Bank Julius Baer, a Swiss Bank, which has caused
the domain to be taken off line in the U.S.. Wikileaks previously
published hundreds of documents obtained from a whistleblower of
the Swiss Bank, “purportedly showing offshore tax evasion and money
laundering by extremely wealthy and in some cases, politically sensitive,
clients from the US, Europe, China and Peru.”
According to a Wikileaks press release received by e-mail, the
injunction issued by the court states, “Dynadot [Wikileaks host] shall
immediately clear and remove all DNS hosting records for the
wikileaks.org domain name and prevent the domain name from resolving to the
wikileaks.org website or any other website or server other than a blank park
page, until further order of this Court.”
“The order was entirely written by Cayman Island’s Bank Julius Baer lawyers
and was accepted by judge White without amendment, or representations
by Wikileaks or amicus. The case is over several Wikileaks articles,
public commentary and documents dating prior to 2003. The documents
allegedly reveal secret Julius Baer trust structures used for asset
hiding, money laundering and tax evasion. The bank alleges the documents were
disclosed to Wikileaks by offshore banking whistleblower and former Vice
President the Cayman Island’s operation, Rudolf Elmer. Unable to lawfully
attack Wikileaks servers which are based in several countries, the order
was served on Wikileaks’s California registrar Dynadot (“the power
company”). The order also enjoins every person who has heard about the order
from from even linking to the documents,” said Wikileaks in the release.
Despite the injunction, Wikileaks states that they 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.”
* wtwu “Wikileaks survives a fire, but is under Temporary
Restraining Order partial censorship”. Spy Blog, February 17, 2008
* HongPong “WikiLeaks battles suspicious front companies in the Caymans;
Swedish server room fire”. HongPong.com, February 17, 2008
* “Bank Julius Baer vs. Wikileaks”. WikiLeaks, January 23, 2008
http://wikileaks.cx/wiki/Wikileaks:Cover_Names for more.
WikiLeaks, a whistle-blower site publishing thousands of leaked documents, was taken offline in the United States after posting allegedly stolen documents: individuals’ banking records that suggest a Cayman Islands branch of a Swiss bank was helping customers practice money laundering and tax evasion across the globe.
Dynadot — WikiLeaks’ U.S. hosting company and domain registrar based in San Mateo, California — agreed to take down and lock the site at the behest of Julius Baer Bank and Trust. Judge White, appointed by the second President Bush, signed off on the deal last week. While users could not get to the site using the wikileaks.org domain name, the site was still reachable by users who knew its IP address, which supporters spread around the web.