California judge shuts down wikileaks

UPDATE: Pukebazooka points out that the court order is to remove the DNS hosting records, so that "even though this prevents the link from working, it doesn't actually take down the site: everything is up and running at"

From stephen soldz of Daily Kos:

Created by several brave journalists committed to transparency, Wikieaks has published important leaked documents, such as the Rules of Engagement for Iraq [see my The Secret Rules of Engagement in Iraq], the 2003 and 2004 Guantanamo Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures, and evidence of major bank fraud in Kenya [see also here] that apparently affected the Kenyan elections.

As of Friday, February 15, those going to have gotten Server not found messages. Today I received a message explaining that a California court has granted an injunction written and requested by lawyers for the Cayman Island's Bank Julius Baer. It seems that the bank is trying to keep the public from accessing documents that may reveal shady dealings. Wikileaks was only given a couple of hours notice "by email" and was not even represented at the hearing where a U.S. judge took such a drastic step attempting to totally shut down an important information outlet. The result was this totally unprecedented attempt to totally wipe out the existence of Wikileaks.



  1. sounds someone with an awful lot of pull working in the background. Given the kind of folks who use Cayman Island accounts I’m sure there was one govt. official or another who got threatened to get the site taken down.

  2. According to the court order:

    “Dynadot shall immediately clear and remove all DNS hosting records for the domain name and prevent the domain name from resolving to the website or any other website or server other than a blank park page, until further order of this Court.”

    Even though this prevents the link from working, it doesn’t actually take down the site: everything is up and running at

    Thank you dude on Slashdot for pointing this out!

  3. a full mirror of the site as of this morning is also available for download on

    create your own wikileaks mirror!

  4. Read about this elsewhere this morning. Hard to understand how a US judge has authority to shut down a site over posts concerning someone else’s criminal wrong doing in a foreign country.

    Hopefully, the Swiss bank gets counter sued and scrutinized for their actions. Not just here in the US and not just for their funny banking; but in their hounding of the bank official and his family in the Cayman Islands and back home in Switzerland. Of course, anyone with enough clout to launder trust fund money in the Cayman Islands as a business probably owns judges and elected officials in several countries.

  5. What was the rationale given in the court order? Or is there none.

    Let’s bring back freenet. Write plugins for Firefox and IE rather than their confusing proxy server, so every link in a site like Wikileaks can just be “freenet://“.

  6. It seems an extreme response to yank the site, instead of forcing it to remove specific documents. Or am I a clueless ingenue without a nose for modern life here?

  7. #10

    The reason the site wasn’t ordered to remove the documents is that the entire design of the site is meant to be uncensorable – it’s hosted in a number of countries, so that no court can have jurisdiction over all the servers.

    What the court did find it had jurisdiction over was the domain registrar in California through which the name was registered; the order to remove the name was directed at the registrar, not at wikileaks.

    Incidentally (name under Belgian authority) -> (IP address in Sweden) (name under German authority) -> (IP address in Germany) (name under Christmas Island authority) ->, the same IP as the .be site

    and, until recently, (name under American authority) ->, the same IP again

  8. Granted, transparentecy is at times good, but to classify this is “brave”, plz. These journalists are as self serving as the people they are reporting about. What is sad is how many are suckered into this line of reasoning. Don’t confuse bravery with media whoring.

  9. …and in so doing, alerted the entire “blogosphere” to the very existence of the wiki, which, of course, is running mirrors in several other countries.

    So now I know about the creepy pedophile signet rings from the FBI (creeepy!) And a bunch of other interesting stuff.

    Also, does media whoring work if you are anonymous? Surely the point of whoring to the media is drawing attention to yourself

  10. An excellent form of protest here would be for anyone who owns a domain to set up a wikileaks subdomain pointing to that IP address. It’s a quick and painless operation if you have access to your own DNS records.

  11. everything is up and running at”

    <NelsonMuntz>”HA-ha! We routed around your damage!</NelsonMuntz>

  12. seems like lots of blog posts pointing at the ip address would end up google bombing the ip address into a top google return result.

  13. Anyone curious about how many strange info attacks have been going on in the past month? Cables cut, DoS attacks, court action..
    Could be DataWar1?

  14. According to Kim Zetter at Threat Level, some bravery may be in order:

    ‘Despite the ruling, Wikileaks continues to host… Coincidentally, or not, the organization’s hosting center in Sweden was also struck by a denial-of-service attack, after which a fire erupted in the center as well. Attempts to reach Wikileaks to obtain more information were unsuccessful.’

  15. @20:

    I say this is such a cowardly, unlawful act by the Julius Baer group that we googlebomb them.

    I linked the Wikileaks main page, the page about the court order, and the page of the original allegations using “Julius Baer Bank” as the link text.

    Feel free to follow suit if you want to stick it to these numbnuts.

  16. 24:
    I like that idea. Links in place. I’ve also set up a subdomain pointing to the appropriate IP address:

  17. The interesting thing is that this injunction was entered into by stipulation. The registrar (Dynadot) apparently decided that it was easier to agree to permanently disable the domain (and prevent it from being transferred to another registrar) than to defend the suit. In fact, Dynadot rolled over before anyone at Wikileaks had been identified or served with notice.

    This result is unsurprising, given that Dynadot currently charges $8.99 per year for .org domains. The cost of defending a suit would far exceed what it could ever make off this one contract. The problem, however, is that if registrars cave so easily it encourages plaintiffs to bring frivolous suits against them. Why bother suing the operator of a site directly, when the registrar will disable the domain just to avoid trouble?

    In case anyone is interested, a copy of the order granting the injunction was posted here:

  18. What’s going on here? What’s the point of having a constitution if it is not being enforced/abide by???

  19. I hate to say this, but it looks like the bank really know what they are doing. The attack they mounted was highly effective.

    I’m wondering how much fault Dynadot bears in this. It may have been expedient for them to not fight the injunction, but this is an extremely short term view. Do we really want a registrar who rolls over so easily? Would it be appropriate to make a call for everyone to move their domains away from Dynadot?

    Removing the DNS entry does not take out just the website. You also lose email, and every other service/server that is accessed using that domain name. After all, how many organizations are willing to risk this happening to them. The first threat of a lawsuit from some disgruntled supplier / customer / competitor / etc, and Dynadot will shutdown all your Internet services.

    As for blocking the transfer of the domain name to another registrar, I wonder if there is any recourse for the domain name owner. If the registrar refuses to allow transfer, what can we do. This is unrelated to the Wikileaks case, but how many of us shop around for cheap registrars? Your, up-to-now customer-friendly registrar, may one day be taken-over, and the new management may decide to raise prices, and at the same time refuse to allow transfers. Do we have any recourse then? Are registrars allowed to block transfers as-they-like, or is there a list of “approved” reasons supplied by ICANN?

  20. I think the key point is that a foreign company in a foreign (neutral) country, has made and succeeded with indecent haste, to get a banning order on a simple (possible) theft case that may be libellous or untruthful, or may incriminate a Swiss person in a Swiss legal case, from a senior judge across international boundaries.

    I don’t know, but do the US and Switzerland have extradition and other similar treaties in place?

    Look at the incident the other way:
    If a US person steals something from a US bank and puts it in Switzerland, is a little US bank capable of getting a Swiss government judge to get them to hand it back?

    Anyway, like others I’ve quickly set up a sub domain (I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier!) at wikileaks redirect, and it works!

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