Tuesday, February 19, 2008

WikiLeaks Censored ... sort of

The New York Times and others are reporting on a Federal Judge's order to force Dynadot from resolving the wikileaks.org domain name and block anyone from transferring the registrar.

On Friday, Judge Jeffrey S. White of the Federal District Court in San Francisco granted a permanent injunction ordering Dynadot of San Mateo, Calif., the site’s domain name registrar, to disable the Wikileaks.org domain name. The order had the effect of locking the front door to the Wikileaks.org site — a largely ineffectual action that kept back doors to the site, and several copies of it, available to sophisticated Web users who knew where to look.

Wikileaks can still be accessed through several mirrors as well as its Ip address @

Legal experts thankfully are stating just how ridiculous this order is.

Judge White’s order disabling the entire site “is clearly not constitutional,” said David Ardia, the director of the Citizen Media Law Project at Harvard Law School. “There is no justification under the First Amendment for shutting down an entire Web site.” NYTimes

"This is akin to seizing all the copies of the New York Times, locking the doors and ordering the landlords not to let anyone back in the building," said Julie Turner, a Palo Alto Internet attorney who briefly represented Wikileaks, but not during last week's hearing in front of White. Wikileaks was not represented at that hearing.
Associated Press

Then there are a minority who say this case is not about censorship.

While many weblog postings about the Wikileaks case have been quick to claim that government-backed Web censorship is taking place, the possibility that trade secrets may be involved or that laws may have been broken by leaking the documents do complicate matters significantly, said Bart Lazar, a partner with the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw.

"There is a difference between stating your opinion and illegally posting trade secret information," Lazar told LinuxInsider. "If the information is truly a trade secret, namely it is the subject of reasonable efforts to protect and has value by reason of it being a trade secret, and the trade secret was, in fact, misappropriated, the likelihood is that the case and injunction should be upheld."
Linux Insider

You can check the documents yourself . They are all over the web, proving just how effective the order is. It appears the trade secrets involve hiding assets, tax evasion and using private investigators to harass whistle blowers. Certainly we must protect these all important trade secrets.

Read the judge's Full order (pdf)

Here's hoping for a quick appeal and reversal.


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