A U.S. judge ordered that the U.S. domain for Wikileaks — a site for whistleblowers to release of sensitive and potentially incriminating documents with anonymity and protection from retribution — be taken down without its owner’s consent. Having sprung up just last summer, it’s already posted a trove of documents including the 2004 Gitmo Operations Manual and others that they don’t want you to see.
Though the site remains available at other mirror domains, its removal has the potential to be a First Amendment case that could be tested before the Supreme Court.
The court order — obtained after someone leaked documents alleging potential money-laundering and tax evasion associated with Julius Baer, a Swiss bank with operations in the Cayman Islands — took an extraordinary step in ordering the shutdown of the entire site, rather than removing only the specific documents connected to the bank.
The decision was reached without legal representation from Wikileaks, and even went so far as to demand that IP addresses for people posting documents be made available, raising the threat of exposure for anonymous whistleblowers.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 19, 2008