Federal Judge allows legal briefs in support of WikiLeakS.org to be heard


The Electronic Frontier Foundation has some copies of even more of the legal documents in the Bank Julius Baer versus Wikileaks case (.pdf 3 pages)

The good news is that Judge Jeffrey S. White has rejected the weaselly submissions of the Hollywood media celebrity vanity lawyers Lavely & Singer, acting for Bank Julius Baer, and is allowing the amicus curiae brief and Motions to Participate filed by various media and civil rights groups, and by some individuals who are having their access to WikiLeakS.org censored, to be heard by the Court.

See Court's Questions for Hearing (.pdf

He has allocated 25 minutes for each of the sets of lawyers to give oral answers to the Questions he has posed,

The fact that he is asking about the major First Amendment prior restraint prohibition, and whether Dynadot domain name registrar is exempt from legal action by virtue of the Communications Decency Act, and how the plaintiffs intend to enforce the Permanent Injunction, if it is still allowed to stand, all seem to be positive Questions for the defendants.

The Question of whether or not an accredited legal Counsel for Wikileaks turns up at the hearing later today (Friday 29th February 2008, 9:00am Pacific Standard Time = GMT +8 hours) is probably negative for Wikileaks, but only if nobody actually appears.

The Questions :

The parties (and amici curiae) shall each have 25 minutes to address the following questions:

1. How do Plaintiffs respond to the holding in Bartnicki v. Vopper, 532 U.S. 514, 528-29 (2001), in which the Supreme Court found that "punishing disclosures of lawfully obtained information of public interest by one not involved in the initial illegality" is unacceptable absent a need of the highest order? Isn’t Plaintiffs’ remedy against Rudolf Elmer, not Wikileaks or Dynadot?

2. Federal courts have a duty to raise and decide issues of subject matter jurisdiction sua sponte at any time it appears subject matter jurisdiction may be lacking. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12; Augustine v. United States, 704 F.2d 1074, 1077 (9th Cir. 1983).

    a. In addition to diversity, Plaintiffs claim this Court maintains jurisdiction because this is "a civil action by an alien for a tort committed in violation of a treaty of the United States." What is the basis of this claim?

    b. Does Dynadot, as a domain name server, qualify as a provider of an "interactive computer service" and is it therefore immune from liability under 47 U.S.C. § 230(c)(2)?

    c. Is there any evidence of an agreement setting out terms of usage between Dynadot and WikiLeaks?

3. There is evidence in the record from correspondence and press generated by WikiLeaks indicating that it is represented by six pro bono counsel as well as Roger Myers from Holme Roberts & Owen LLP. Do any of these attorneys intend to appear or conduct a
defense of WikiLeaks? Without WikiLeaks making an appearance, was there any more narrowly tailored remedy for protecting private information from stolen documents from the website beside locking and disabling the website until such time as the disputed documents were removed or redacted?

4. Plaintiff contends that "there is no support for the notion that privacy rights are subordinate to those of the press." (Supplemental Brief at 3.) Although many cases find that the extraordinary remedy of a prior restraint may be merited where there are questions of "competing constitutional interests," and "the need to protect individual privacy rights may, in some circumstances, rise to the level of a substantial government interest and defeat First Amendment right of access claims," what authority stands for the proposition that the right to privacy trumps the freedom of access to information in this or a similar context? See Proctor & Gamble Co. v. Bankers Trust Co., 78 F.3d 219, 225 (6th Cir. 1996) and McClatchy Newspapers, Inc. v. District Court, 288 F.3d 369, 374 (9th Cir. 2002). How do the amici respond to the court’s holding in Virgil v. Time, Inc., 527 F.2d 1122, 11228 (9th Cir. 1975), in which the Ninth Circuit held that "the public's right to know is, then, subject to reasonable limitation so far as concerns the private facts of its individual members"? Is the private financial information of Plaintiffs' customers privileged as newsworthy

5. Should the Court grant Plaintiff’s application for a preliminary injunction, how do Plaintiffs intend to enforce the Court’s order?

6. Do the parties have anything further they wish to address?

About this blog

This blog here at WikiLeak.org (no "S") discusses the ethical and technical issues raised by the WikiLeakS.org project, which is trying to be a resource for whistleblower leaks, by providing "untraceable mass document leaking and analysis".

These are bold and controversial aims and claims, with both pros and cons, especially for something which crosses international boundaries and legal jurisdictions.

This blog is not part of the WikiLeakS.org project, and there really are no copies of leaked documents or files being mirrored here.

Email Contact

Please feel free to email us your views about this website or news about the issues it tries to comment on:

email: blog@WikiLeak[dot]org

Before you send an email to this address, remember that this blog is independent of the WikiLeakS.org project.

If you have confidential information that you want to share with us, please make use of our PGP public encryption key or an email account based overseas e.g. Hushmail


Now that the WikiLeakS.org project is defunct, so far as new whistleblower are concerned, what are the alternatives ?

The LeakDirectory.org wiki page lists links and anonymity analyses of some of the many post-wikileaks projects.

There are also links to better funded "official" whistlblowing crime or national security reporting tip off websites or mainstream media websites. These should, in theory, be even better at protecting the anonymity and security of their informants, than wikileaks, but that is not always so.

New whistleblower website operators or new potential whistleblowers should carefully evaluate the best techniques (or common mistakes) from around the world and make their personal risk assessments accordingly.

Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers and Political Dissidents

The WikiLeakS.org Submissions web page provides some methods for sending them leaked documents, with varying degrees of anonymity and security. Anybody planning to do this for real, should also read some of the other guides and advice to political activists and dissidents:

Please take the appropriate precautions if you are planning to blow the whistle on shadowy and powerful people in Government or commerce, and their dubious policies. The mainstream media and bloggers also need to take simple precautions to help preserve the anonymity of their sources e.g. see Spy Blog's Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers - or use this easier to remember link: http://ht4w.co.uk

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

Digital Security & Privacy for Human Rights Defenders manual, by Irish NGO Frontline Defenders.

Everyone’s Guide to By-Passing Internet Censorship for Citizens Worldwide (.pdf - 31 pages), by the Citizenlab at the University of Toronto.

Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents - March 2008 version - (2.2 Mb - 80 pages .pdf) by Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Guide to Covering the Beijing Olympics by Human Rights Watch.

A Practical Security Handbook for Activists and Campaigns (v 2.6) (.doc - 62 pages), by experienced UK direct action political activists

Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress & Tor - useful step by step guide with software configuration screenshots by Ethan Zuckerman at Global Voices Advocacy. (updated March 10th 2009 with the latest Tor / Vidalia bundle details)

WikiLeakS Links

The WikiLeakS.org Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

WikiLeakS Twitter feeds

The WikiLeakS.org website does not stay online all of the time, especially when there is a surge of traffic caused by mainstream media coverage of a particularly newsworthy leak.

Recently, they have been using their new Twitter feeds, to selectively publicise leaked documents to the media, and also to report on the status of routing or traffic congestion problems affecting the main website in Stockholm, Sweden.

N.B.the words "security" or "anonymity" and "Twitter" are mutually exclusive:

WikiLeakS.org Twitter feed via SSL encrypted session: https://twitter.com/wikileaks

WikiLeakS.org unencrypted Twitter feed http://twitter.com/wikileaks

Internet Censorship

OpenNet Initiative - researches and measures the extent of actual state level censorship of the internet. Features a blocked web URL checker and censorship map.

Temporary Autonomous Zone

Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ) by Hakim Bey (Peter Lambourn Wilson)

Cyberpunk author William Gibson

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us, UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond

Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

Open Rights Group

The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Tor - the onion routing network
Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

Wikileaks.org - the controversial "uncensorable, anonymous whistleblowing" website based currently in Sweden.

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