According to Wikipedia, the Wikileaks website was started in 2006 and allowed whistleblowers to anonymously release government and corporate documents, allegedly without possible retribution and claimed that those posting the documents could not be traced by anyone.
A California district court has ordered the website Wikileaks.org, a site where whistleblowers can post documents anonymously, be taken down and has now been cut off from the internet.
From the inception in December of 2006 to November of 2007, they say the website held over 1.2 million documents.
Today we see that Wikileaks has been taken offline in the U.S. due to a court order from the U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
A Swiss bank, Julius Baer, brought the case to court after documents related to their offshore activities, which allegedly reveal that the bank was involved with money laundering and tax evasion were posted on the whistleblower website.
Rudolf Elmer, former vice president of the bank's Cayman Island's operation is the man that posted the documents to the Wikileaks site.
Judge Jeffery White, ordered Dynadot, which hosts the sites domain name to remove the site as well as all traces of Wikileaks from its servers. The court further orders that "Dynadot should "prevent the domain name from resolving to the wikileaks.org website or any other website or server other than a blank park page, until further order of this Court."
The wording in the court order was "Dynadot shall immediately clear and remove all DNS hosting records for the Wikileaks.org domain name."
Wikileaks claims the order is unconstitutional and that the site is being forcibly censored.
Wikinews has issued a statement on their website about this case, this morning.
The third and final factor taking the site off line is a permanent injunction granted in the California Northern District Court in San Francisco, California to Bank Julius Baer, a Swiss Bank, which has caused the domain to be taken off line in the U.S.. Wikileaks previously published hundreds of documents obtained from a whistleblower of the Swiss Bank, "purportedly showing offshore tax evasion and money laundering by extremely wealthy and in some cases, politically sensitive, clients from the US, Europe, China and Peru."
The court order itself can be found here (2 page PDF file) and states:
ORDER GRANTING PERMANENT INJUNCTION
The Court, having considered the stipulation between Plaintiffs JULIUS BAER & CO. LTD and JULIUS BAER BANK AND TRUST CO. LTD. (collectively “Julius Baer” and/or “Plaintiff’s”) and Defendant DYNADOT LLC (“Dynadot”), the complaint, and other papers, evidence, and arguments presented by the parties, and finding that immediate harm will result to Plaintiffs in the absence of injunctive relief, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Dynadot shall immediately clear and remove all DNS hosting records for the wikileaks.org domain name and prevent the domain name from resolving to the wikileaks.org website or any other website or server other than a blank park page, until further order of this Court.
5. Dynadot shall immediately produce both current and any all prior or previous administrative and account records and data for the wikileaks.org domain name and account, including, but not limited to, all data for the registrant; billing, technical and administrative
contacts; all account and payment records and associated data; and IP addresses and associated data used by any person, other than Dynadot, who accessed the account for the domain name, to
the extent such information is maintained by Dynadot.
6. Plaintiffs shall immediately upon entry of this order file a dismissal with prejudice in favor of Dynadot. Notwithstanding the foregoing, plaintiffs and Dynadot stipulate and agree that the Court shall retain jurisdiction to enforce this order.
Then it is dated and signed by Judge White.
A gag order has also been issued in this case, found here, (3 page PDF file).
Even though this prevents the Wikileaks.org link from working, it doesn't actually take down the site, which is evidenced by everything still being up and running at http://18.104.22.168 (it takes a second to load) although the URL for Wikileaks itself, is down and cannot be connected to as you can see for yourself by clicking the main link here.
On the Internet, a mirror site is an exact copy of another Internet site
A number of mirror sites have sprung up to counter the judge's move -- sites mirroring not only Wikileaks, but also the documents at issue in the Julius Baer case.
One of those "mirror sites" has already been set up by Wikinews themselves.
The judge targeted Dynadot, showing that the court didn't quite understand how Wikileaks worked and the injunction was narrow in its scope against the Dynadot which hosted the domain name.
Since the whistleblower site has figured out a way around that, expect the courts to be issuing further injunctions to try to block Wikileaks completely.