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Wikileaks Domain Name Pulled in Spat over Leaked Documents
The US district judge Jeffery White ordered the domain name to be disabled at the request of a Swiss banking group who had filed a lawsuit alleging that confidential information appeared on Wikileaks.org. The plug has been pulled on Wikileaks.org a site that specialised in posting leaked documents that were often provided by whistleblowers.
Dynadot the registrar of Wikileaks or appeared to be associated with was ordered the following: Dynadot shall immediately lock the wikileaks.org domain name to prevent transfer of the domain name to a different domain registrar, and shall immediately disable the wikileaks.org domain name and account to prevent access to and any changes from being made to the domain name and account information, until further order of this Court. Dynadot shall immediately disable the wikileaks.org domain name and account such that the optional privacy who-is service for the domain name and account remains turned off, until further order of this Court. Dynadot shall preserve a true and correct copy of both current and any and all prior or previous administrative and account records and data for the wikileaks.org domain name and account.
White also granted a restraining order against Wikileaks stating the defendants were “enjoined from displaying, posting, publishing, distributing, linking to and/or otherwise providing any information" that the Bank Julius Baer considers to be confidential Judging by the first few weeks of this lawsuit it could easily spiral out of control (filed 6th February). The team behind Wikileaks have chosen to remain anonymous and have stated that they are developing
One countermeasure was registering the domain anonymously; it's now, however, listed as registered to a "John Shipton" in Nairobi. Another is using anonymous email addresses at hush.com. Yet another was trying to transfer the domain name away from Dynadot (which does not seem to have been done in time). For more, here's an excerpt from a legal brief that the bank filed last week: In order to hide their location, the Wikileaks Defendants use non-traceable "anonymous" e-mail addresses and operate a Website for the express stated purpose of providing "uncensorable," "simple and straightforward means for anonymous" and "untraceable mass document leaking," regardless of legality or authenticity. In fact, in self-response to a question they posted on their own Website, "Is Wikileaks concerned about any legal consequences?", they state that "... we are prepared, structurally and technically, to deal with all legal attacks..." The long-standing Internet trick of mirroring is working for now at least. This is Until Bank Julius Baer escalates the lawsuit by naming a whole slew of potential defendants.
Cryptome.org run by an activist (John Young) posted 3mb of files about Bank Julius Baer on BitTorrent. Supporters of the site are urging people to mirror or use a numeric IP address instead http://126.96.36.199/wiki/Wikileaks. In summary the leaked documents on Wikileaks surround Rudolf Elmer the former chief of the bank in the Cayman Islands. The documents allege that the bank supports tax avoidance, tax evasion and money laundering.
At present the allegedly incriminating bank documents remain online but for how long it is unsure. This is of course barring an escalation of legal activity by the banks lawyers. Wikileaks seemingly in preparation for this day has registered a slew of similar domains.