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Wikileaks survives a fire, but is under Temporary Restraining Order partial censorship

It looks as if the interesting and controversial, Wikileaks website, which promises "anonymous, untraceable, uncensorable" publication of leaked documents from whistleblowers, and which recently published the devastating No2ID Campaign annotated leaked UK National Identity Scheme document , is weathering some technical hitches and legal litigation attacks.

It seems that there has been a fire in an Uninterruptible Power Supply, which took the WikiLeaks web servers offline for much of Saturday, at their Swedish co-location hosting company, PRQ Inet, which has experience of attempts at censorship, through their former hosting of the peer to peer filesharing and political phenomenon, The Pirate Bay.

More seriously and for the longer term, the brand name of WikiLeakS.org is no longer online, due to a Temporary Restraining Order issued by the California Northern District Court in San Francisco, aimed at a Domain Name Registrar, rather than just the actual publishers of controversial material, who happen to be outside of US legal jurisdiction..

See this partial public list of Wikileaks Cover Names for alternative URLs which have not yet been censored.

The plaintiffs in the California case are a Swiss Bank bank - Bank Julius Baer and its associated Cayman Islands tax avoidance subsidiaries, egged on by their expensive Hollywood media celebrity shyster lawyers Lavely & Singer. Julius Baer have been pursuing a Swiss whistleblower, some of whose leaked documents have been allegedly published on WikiLeaks.org. Why this is a problem when the world's financial monitoring and tax authorities appear to have already had access to them, is a mystery.

See Bank Julius Baer vs. Wikileaks

WikiLeakS.org have also had legal threats from shyster lawyers who displayed such ineptitude in trying to censor blogs critical of the dubious Russian / Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov which caused much of the UK political and Arsenal football club fan blogosphere, to rally together in condemnation of the "collateral damage" which was to caused to innocent political bloggers, across the political spectrum.

Schillings are acting against Wikileaks.org because of their publication of a prospectus to potential rescue investors of the Northern Rock plc bank scandal, something which is now obsolete, but was of massive public interest to all UK taxpayers and investors, and which the mainstream media caved in to after Schillings' shyster bullying legalistic threats, and an expensive (effectively taxpayer funded) High Court Injunction.

See Northern Rock vs. Wikileaks

It is interesting that the first threats to this supposedly "uncensorable, anonymous, mass whistleblowing" project, do not come from Government Big Brother authorities, but from the private sector, and from equipment failures at a Single Point of Failure.

As with the Alisher Usmanov affair, the tactics of the media celebrity shysters "reputation management" lawyers in the Bank Julius Baer case is to threaten parts of what should be neutral, exempt internet infrastructure companies, with potentially expensive litigation in court, rather than just the actual publishers of the allegedly defamatory or confidential or copyright material.

Even if such companies win in court, the expense of legal advice is such that it could cost them far more money in legal fees, than they are getting from a cheap domain name registration or webhosting package, so they are tempted to cave in to such shyster unscrupulous demands for censorship.

Only by pointing out the damage to their own brand names and potential profits, as a result of the disgust that most active internet customers feel, when the rich and powerful and their shysters pettifoggers , try to bully individuals or small groups of activists, can this economic threat be counterbalanced.

See the Censorship Threats from Lawyers category archive of blog postings on the WikiLeak.org blog, which comments on the technical, legal and ethical aspects of the WikiLeakS.org project.

UPDATED - too many "shysters"


Gee, you just copy and paste their information on your blog- how does that add value?

Hint- it doesn't.

@ Hank - you are very wrong - read it again

Hint: pay close attention to the date and the GMT time stamp

All I see is an overabundant use of the term 'shyster'

On what grounds did the judge go for this?

@ MJam - not all lawyers are shysters, but the Hollywood media lawyers Lavely & Singer, and the the London media lawyers Schillings, appear to be prime examples.

If, as it seems, there was no formal legal representation for the WikiLeaks.org defendants last Thursday, then perhaps the Judge had little option except to grant a temporary Order.

There is another California Northern District Court hearing in San Francisco scheduled for 9am on the 29th February

Order to Show Cause re: Preliminary Injunction

Perhaps the Presiding Judge Hon. Jeffrey S. White will find in favour of WikiLeakS.org then, or at least make his reasoning clear.

The mainstream media finally seem to have noticed the Wikileaks court case, but people seem to be confused by the alternate Wikileaks Cover names lile wikileaks.be or wikileaks.org.uk etc.

These are not actually physical mirror sites, holding copies of the Wikileaks leaked documents, they are just other, as yet uncensored, Domain Name System DNS entries which all point to the same servers in Stockholm in Sweden.

Obviously you can, for now, also connect directly to the current IP address, but that could change or be blocked at any time.

The contested documents remain available on Wikileaks websites hosted in other countries, including at http://wikileaks.be/wiki/Wikileaks in Belgium and at http://wikileaks.in/wiki/Wikileaks in India.

Hell, I might fire up FreeNet 0.7 http://freenetproject.org/ and publish these documents on the FreeNet "Distributed Anonymous Information Storage and Retrieval System"

@ Mr Wikileaks - those Belgian and Indian domain names are just that, they still point to the same Single Point of Failure IP address

in Stockholm, Sweden.

Earlier this evening the wikileaks.be and wikileaks.org.uk were displaying a squid reverse proxy message saying that the servers were too busy, and to try again later

Freenet is all very well, but almost nobody uses it.

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