Wikileaks Taken Offline

Whistle-blower site taken offline
A controversial website that allows whistle-blowers to anonymously post government and corporate documents has been taken offline in the US.

Wikileaks.org, as it is known, was cut off from the internet following a California court ruling, the site says.

The case was brought by a Swiss bank after “several hundred” documents were posted about its offshore activities.

Other versions of the pages, hosted in countries such as Belgium and India, can still be accessed.

However, the main site was taken offline after the court ordered that Dynadot, which controls the site’s domain name, should 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 or any other website or server other than a blank park page, until further order of this Court.”

Other orders included that the domain name be locked “to prevent transfer of the domain name to a different domain registrar” to prevent changes being made to the site.

Wikileaks claimed that the order was “unconstitutional” and said that the site had been “forcibly censored”.

Web names

The case was brought by lawyers working for the Swiss banking group Julius Baer. It concerned several documents posted on the site which allegedly reveal that the bank was involved with money laundering and tax evasion.

The documents were allegedly posted by Rudolf Elmer, former vice president of the bank’s Cayman Island’s operation.

A spokesperson for Julius Baer said he could not comment on the case because of “pending legal proceedings”.

The BBC understands that Julius Baer asked for the documents to be removed because they could have an impact on a separate legal case ongoing in Switzerland.

The court hearing took place last week and Dynadot blocked access from Friday evening.

Wikileaks says it was not represented at the hearing because it was “given only hours notice” via e-mail.

A document signed by Judge Jeffery White, who presided over the case, ordered Dynadot to follow six court orders.

As well as removing all records of the site form its servers, the hosting and domain name firm was ordered to produce “all prior or previous administrative and account records and data for the wikileaks.org domain name and account”.

The order also 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” to be handed over.

Wikileaks allows users to post documents anonymously.

Information bank

The site was founded in 2006 by dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and technologists from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa.

It so far claims to have published more than 1.2 million documents.

It provoked controversy when it first appeared on the net with many commentators questioning the motives of the people behind the site.

It recently made available a confidential briefing document relating to the collapse of the UK’s Northern Rock bank.

Lawyers working on behalf of the bank attempted to have the documents removed from the site. They can still be accessed.

Dynadot was contacted for this article but have so far not responded to requests for comment.

Story from BBC NEWS:

[quote]Frank Castle wrote:
Other versions of the pages, hosted in countries such as Belgium and India, can still be accessed.[/quote]

Like here:

It sounds like the court got this ruling wrong (unconstitutional prior restraint).

Prior restraint - Wikipedia (had to look that up)

http://weblog.infoworld.com/robertxcringely/archives/2008/02/wikileaks_money.html?source=rss (this guy gets it, good links in the article too)

http://www.infoworld.com/archives/emailPrint.jsp?R=printThis&A=http://weblog.infoworld.com/robertxcringely/archives/2008/02/wikileaks_money.html

The court did a great job of ensuring that the entire content of wikileaks will forever be available on the internet. The whole site (still readily available online, by the way) was archived to torrent sites and is now “backed-up” on thousands of hard drives across the globe.

The bank also did a bang-up job of insuring that it’s name will forever be linked with money-laundering.

Funny that in 2008, corporations and courts still don’t get the internet, and not in some small way, but in a completely stupid, mouth-breathing morons kinda way… “Duh… tha intarwebs? Wuzzat?”

[quote]pookie wrote:

[/quote]

Streisand effect?

When will legal people get a clue about this shit?

It is not practical to take down a website.

IT just can’t be done.

I don’t understand how an order to remove a DNS entry is in anyway to be considered equal to the removal of the offending documents.

The material is still stored on a server in Sweden. Said server is not in the USA and the court can go fuck themselves.

Idiots.

I need to hurry up and get my legal degree…

Just about every court in the 9th circuit completely ignores the constitution.

Classic Fool!

“White’s lack of internet savvy was in further evidence when he directed that a copy of his order be emailed to Wikileaks within 24 hours of the issuance of his order. The only problem there was that the suspending of Wikileaks.org prevented the organization’s email system from working.” - El Reg (Wikileaks judge gets Pirate Bay treatment • The Register)

[quote]pookie wrote:
…Funny that in 2008, corporations and courts still don’t get the internet, and not in some small way, but in a completely stupid, mouth-breathing morons kinda way… “Duh… tha intarwebs? Wuzzat?”
[/quote]

Exactly. Cat is out of the bag, it is a whole new ballgame…

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
pookie wrote:
…Funny that in 2008, corporations and courts still don’t get the internet, and not in some small way, but in a completely stupid, mouth-breathing morons kinda way… “Duh… tha intarwebs? Wuzzat?”

Exactly. Cat is out of the bag, it is a whole new ballgame… [/quote]

This is why the judiciary needs to have subject matter experts who are also legally trained to advise them.

For the same reason they don’t regularly get medical negligence cases wrong because they listen to medical professionals they should listen to IT professionals and not the lawyers on cases involving technology.

It would take 1 week to ground the judiciary in how the Interweb works (and that’s 9 to 5 with two meal breaks each day).

[quote]Spry wrote:
This is why the judiciary needs to have subject matter experts who are also legally trained to advise them.
[/quote]

The court issued an ex parte restraining order (ex parte = Dynadot wasn’t represented at the hearing). The court wasn’t interested in hearing both sides of the story or getting the ruling right. I expect this is just the beginning of the case.

[quote]Loose Tool wrote:
Spry wrote:
This is why the judiciary needs to have subject matter experts who are also legally trained to advise them.

The court issued an ex parte restraining order (ex parte = Dynadot wasn’t represented at the hearing). The court wasn’t interested in hearing both sides of the story or getting the ruling right. I expect this is just the beginning of the case.

[/quote]

I don’t understand your point. The court thought that removing a DNS entry would remove the website from the Interweb.

That is incorrect and shows a large lack of understanding.

[quote]Spry wrote:
Loose Tool wrote:
Spry wrote:
This is why the judiciary needs to have subject matter experts who are also legally trained to advise them.

The court issued an ex parte restraining order (ex parte = Dynadot wasn’t represented at the hearing). The court wasn’t interested in hearing both sides of the story or getting the ruling right. I expect this is just the beginning of the case.

I don’t understand your point. The court thought that removing a DNS entry would remove the website from the Interweb.

That is incorrect and shows a large lack of understanding.[/quote]

My point was that the court didn’t care to “understand”. It likely issued an order that was drafted by the attorneys for the bank (who had no clue either). It is early in the evolution of the case. Typically, experts do not get involved until later. This was just a restraining order, not the final ruling in the case.

[EDIT - Rather than speculate further based on what I’ve read about the injunction, I took a look at it. A couple things stand out. It looks like it was drafted by counsel for the bank, for the judge’s signature. It references a stipulation between the Bank and Dynadot, so it looks like the Bank and Dynadot reached some sort of an agreement before the hearing. It could be that Dynadot was willing to enter into an agreement with the Bank that it knew would not effectively remove public access to the documents. Last, the injunction states that the Bank will dismiss Dynadot with prejudice. In other words, the suit is presently over. But the judge retained authority to enforce the order.]

http://wikileaks.cx/wiki/images/Dynadot-injunction.pdf

great success!