US court attacks web freedom; enjoins out of existence


Richard Moore

US court attacks web freedom

US court attacks web freedom; enjoins out of existence
Stephen Soldz

One of the most important web sites in recent months has been 
Created by several brave journalists committed to transparency, Wikieaks has 
published important leaked documents, such as the Rules of Engagement for Iraq 
[see my The Secret Rules of Engagement in Iraq], the 2003 and 2004 Guantanamo 
Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures, and evidence of major bank fraud in 
Kenya [see also here] that apparently affected the Kenyan elections. Wikileaks 
has upset the Chinese government enough that they are attempting to censor it, 
as is the Thai military junta.

Now censorship has extended to the United States of America, land of the First 
Amendment. As of Friday, February 15, those going to have gotten 
Server not found messages. Today I received a message explaining that a 
California court has granted an injunction written and requested by Cayman 
Island¹s Bank Julius Baer lawyers. It seems that the bank is trying to keep the 
public from accessing documents that may reveal shady dealings. Wikileaks was 
only given a couple of hours notice ³by email² and was not even represented at 
the hearing where a U.S. judge took such a drastic step attempting to totally 
shut down an important information outlet. The result was this totally 
unprecedented attempt to totally wipe out the existence of Wikileaks:

³Dynadot shall immediately clear and remove all DNS hosting records for the domain name and prevent the domain name from resolving to the website or any other website or server other than a blank park 
page, until further order of this Court.²

There have, of course, been previous attempts by the U.S. Government and others 
to block publication of particular documents, most famously in 1971 when the 
Nixon administration attempted to stop publication by the New York Times of 
excerpts from the Pentagon Papers, leaked by Daniel Ellsberg. But trying to 
close down an entire site in this way is truly unprecedented. Not even the Nixon
administration, when they sought to block publication of the Pentagon Papers, 
considered closing down the New York Times in response.

If this injunction stands, it will set an incredible precedent for all of us who
use the web to unveil misbehavior by the rich and powerful. Fortunately, 
Wikileaks is fighting this unconstitutional attack on press freedom, aided by 
six pro bono attorneys in San Francisco. While Wikileaks has so far not issued 
any particular call for support, all who value freedom should stand ready to 
offer whatever support they need.

Meanwhile, Wikileaks still exists. Its founders, knowing that governments and 
institutions will go to extreme lengths to censor the truth, have created an 
extensive network of cover names from which one can access their materials or 
continue leaking the secrets of governments and the corrupt rich and powerful. 
Thus, everything is available at, among other names. Let the leaks 

Entry Filed under: Social Issues, Democracy, Free Speech

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