Wikileaks gets its domain back
Whistle-blower website Wikileaks is back online at its original address. On Friday, US judge Jeffrey White reversed the injunction with which he had forced Californian registrar Dynadot to block the domain.
The dispute centres around documents relating to customers of Swiss banking group Julius Bär, which were published on the website in January. The bank's lawyers initially unsuccessfully demanded that the documents should be deleted, before persuading a court to block the domain. Civil rights and media organisations saw this as infringing the US constitution and supported Wikileaks in court. The bank group disputed whether the documents were genuine and accused Wikileaks of invading the privacy of its clients.
The court's reasons for reversing the decision included the ineffectiveness of the initial injunction. The disputed documents were mirrored on numerous other websites and were still available after the domain name was blocked. Rather than protecting the identity of its clients, as a result of the Streisand effect, the bank has achieved precisely the opposite.
The operators of Wikileaks remain in fighting mood. They have since published further documents relating to the bank's offshore business and accuse the bank's lawyers of lying and misusing the court. In conjunction with Swiss NGO The Berne Declaration, they intend to verify the documents through a statement from a former manager at the bank, in order to enforce investigations over alleged tax-avoidance. (Thorsten Kleinz)