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California judge deletes Wikileaks indie journalism site
by Dailykos repost
Monday Feb 18th, 2008 7:45 AM
stephen soldz
Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:20:15 AM PST

One of the most important web sites in recent months has been Wikileaks.org.  Wikileaks has upset the Chinese government enough that they are attempting to censor it, as is the Thai military junta. Wikileaks is now under attack from a censorship effort by a California court.
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 2003and 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 Wikileaks.org 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:

"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."

There have, of course, been previous attempts by the U.S. Government and others to block publication of particular documents, most famously in 1971 when the Nixon administration attempted to stop publication by the New York Times of excerpts from the Pentagon Papers, leaked by Daniel Ellsberg. But trying to close down an entire site in this way is truly unprecedented. Not even the Nixon administration, when they sought to block publication of the Pentagon Papers, considered closing down the New York Times in response.

If this injunction stands, it will set an incredible precedent for all of us who use the web to unveil misbehavior by the rich and powerful. Fortunately, Wikileaks is fighting this unconstitutional attack on press freedom, aided by six pro bono attorneys in San Francisco. While Wikileaks has so far not issued any particular call for support, all who value freedom should stand ready to offer whatever support they need.

Meanwhile, Wikileaks still exists. Its founders, knowing that governments and institutions will go to extreme lengths to censor the truth, have created an extensive network of cover names from which one can access their materials or continue leaking the secrets of  governments and the corrupt  rich and powerful.   Thus, everything is available at Wikileaks.be, among other names. Let the leaks continue!


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by karl roenfanz ( rosey )
( k_rosey48 [at] hotmail.com ) Tuesday Feb 19th, 2008 4:39 AM
and people claim we have freedoms? how about - not being able to meet our oppressors in court , no freedomn of the press , and the government-corporation conspiracy to rob the common folk. send me back to the united states, i'm tired of this imatation country.
by TooT TooT!!
Tuesday Feb 19th, 2008 10:09 AM
We have been notified of the following interesting information on Justice Jeffery White who ordered ex-parte 'wikileaks.org' to be censored. Please confirm and extend this information:

Here's some interesting background on Judge Jeffrey White:

* He was appointed to his current position by George W. Bush in 2002
* He sentenced the reporters who blew open the drugs in baseball scandal to 18 months in prison for failing to reveal their sources
* He also fined the San Francisco Chronicle $1000/day until the names were turned over to the court
* He ordered struck down a San Francisco ruling that would have provided universal health care for the employed in San Francisco

#######################################

Full record of censorship demands between Wikileaks and Cayman Islands Bank Julius Baer

The following documents form the entirety of written correspondence
between Wikileaks and lawyers acting for the Swiss/Cayman Islands Bank
Julius Baer over its censorship demands. The material is presented
in reverse-chronological order.

After the final (top most) letter, a telephone call was made between
between Wikileaks' Californian pre-litigation attorney Julie Turner
and BJB's Evan Spiegel, which is detailed here;

http://wikileaks.be/wiki/Bank_Julius_Baer_vs._Wikileaks

and in today's Wired magazine:

http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/02/cayman-island-b.html

Lavely and Singer, BJB's Hollywood lawyers, refused to reveal the name of their
client or place their allegations in writing, other than to give a
one paragraph reference to unspecified "copyright", "trade secrets"
and "tortuous conduct" claims (see the end of this file). L&S also
refused to identify the documents they claimed were at issue.

Wikileaks takes its sources seriously. Wikileaks takes their efforts
to get material out to the public very seriously. That means
we are obligated not only to protect their identity, should they
desire, but also to give full voice to the risks they have taken.
This is our moral bedrock.

As the following correspondence demonstrates, BJB refused to put
their allegations in writing as repeatedly requested. Consequently
continued publication was a foregone conclusion.

Wikileaks received no further demands from BJB until the surprise
ex-parte hearing.

Full correspondence over the demands follow:

----- Forwarded message from Wikileaks Legal -----

X-Original-To: legal [at] wikileaks.org
Delivered-To: legal [at] wikileaks.org
Privacy: yes
Privacy: yes
From: Wikileaks Legal
To: Evan Spiegel
Cc: Wikileaks Legal ,


Wikileaks , usa [at] wikileaks.org
Subject: Re: Legal Notice & Demands
Privacy: yes
In-Reply-To: <20080116202710.29B2C393F34 [at] mail.wikileaks.org>
Privacy: yes
Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 07:39:08 +0000 (GMT)

Dear Mr. Spiegal,

Your opinions are baseless and entirely rejected. Please confine
yourself to the facts in any future correspondence and keep your
tone civil.

Wikileaks is an international in scope. You have made vague references
to several different national jurisdictions, but extremely oddly,
refuse to name your client or any matter relevant to us, including
the names of any documents you object to. Under the circumstances
we feel you may not be acting in good faith.

Your odd refusal to provide even the most basic information makes
it appear that you are trying to set up some obscure provision in
DCMA law and have little interest in resolving what you claim to
be the issue at hand when given an opportunity to do so.

Infact you have provided us with no information for us to ascertain
that we have any involvement whatsoever with your concealed client.

As a organization for justice and the upholding of first amendment
rights we are somewhat of a cause celibre amongst lawyers and are
able to maintain a pool of high first rate councel to respond to
requests, each of which specializes in some juristiction or area of
law. Refusal to identify your client and the documents concerned
makes this assignment difficult.

Are you now claiming something in relation to the DCMA? In
California? Is this your primary claim? Please be clear.

Best wishes,
K. Kim.

On Wed, Jan 16, 2008 at 08:27:09PM +0000, Evan Spiegel wrote:
Dear Wikileaks:

Your continued failure and refusal to provide designated DMCA agent
contact information, despite request from counsel and our statement of
location/jurisdiction, is now documented and will be included in our
evidence exhibits in our complaint and application with the court for an
injunction against wikileaks.

As a result of your failure and continued refusal to comply with the
requirements of the copyright act, you have thus waived the safe-harbor
provisions therein and will be held liable for copyright infringement.
You have no legal right to demand advance knowledge of the name of our
client and the documents at issue -- that is the information that is to
be and will be included in a DMCA notice and demand letter. The
copyright act DMCA requirements are quite clear.

Your site promotes, encourages and facilitates the publication and
distribution of stolen, illegally and/or tortiously obtained corporate
records and private records of third-party consumers, including that of
my client and its consumers. In furtherance thereof, you hide your
identity and refuse to provide legal contact information. Accordingly,
we have been instructed to proceed with an action against you in federal
court in California.

This is your final warning -- if you desire to resolve this matter
without the necessity of litigation, your counsel may contact the
undersigned within twenty-four hours.

You act at your own peril.

Govern yourselves accordingly.

Nothing contained herein is intended as, nor should it be deemed to
constitute, a waiver or relinquishment of any of our client's rights or
remedies, whether legal or equitable, all of which are hereby expressly
reserved.

Sincerely,
Evan N. Spiegel

------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------
EVAN N. SPIEGEL, ESQ.
LAVELY & SINGER PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
ATTORNEYS AT LAW
2049 CENTURY PARK EAST, SUITE 2400
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90067-2906
TELEPHONE: (310) 556-3501
FACSIMILE: (310) 556-3615
http://www.LavelySinger.com
E-MAIL: espiegel [at] lavelysinger.com
------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------
THIS MESSAGE IS INTENDED ONLY FOR THE USE OF THE INDIVIDUAL OR ENTITY TO
WHICH IT IS ADDRESSED, AND MAY CONTAIN INFORMATION THAT IS PRIVILEGED,
CONFIDENTIAL AND EXEMPT FROM DISCLOSURE UNDER APPLICABLE LAW AND MAY NOT
BE PUBLISHED OR DISSEMINATED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. IF THE READER OF THIS
MESSAGE IS NOT THE INTENDED RECIPIENT, OR THE EMPLOYEE OR AGENT
RESPONSIBLE FOR DELIVERING THE MESSAGE TO THE INTENDED RECIPIENT, YOU
ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED THAT ANY DISCLOSURE, COPYING, DISTRIBUTION OR THE
TAKING OF ANY ACTION IN RELIANCE ON THE CONTENTS OF THIS COMMUNICATION
IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED THIS COMMUNICATION IN
ERROR, PLEASE NOTIFY THE LAW OFFICES OF LAVELY & SINGER PROFESSIONAL
CORPORATION IMMEDIATELY BY TELEPHONE (310-556-3501) OR E-MAIL (REPLY TO
SENDER'S ADDRESS), AND THEN DESTROY ALL COPIES OF THIS COMMUNICATION AND
ANY ATTACHED FILES. THANK YOU.

-----Original Message-----
From: Wikileaks Legal [mailto:legal [at] wikileaks.org]
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 12:01 PM
To: Evan Spiegel
Cc: Wikileaks; legal [at] wikileaks.org
Subject: Re: Legal Notice & Demands

Dear Mr Spiegel,

Thank you for your part answer.

We receive many notices from different jurisdictions. We ask that
you as a matter of efficiency and politeness read carefully our
responses. We asked that you provide a list of the documents concerned
and the client or clients represented. We will then provide you
with the legal contact details of the most appropriate counsel from
our pool.

Failure to provide the information requested in a timely manner may
introduce additional delays and processing costs. Our counsel may
claim these costs from your client should the matter proceed.

I have asked one of our DCMA counsel to follow up on the DCMA
the specific DMCA technicalities you mention which may have been
introduced when we went from a single counsel to a pool.

In the mean time, we note that your client(s) have and have always
had an automatic public right of reply to any material made available
through any Wikileaks website.

Best wishes,
K Lim.

On Tue, Jan 15, 2008 at 09:33:36PM +0000, Evan Spiegel wrote:

Dear K Lim:
The jurisdictions at issue include California, the UK and Switzerland.
Legal proceedings will be commenced separately in each location should
the stolen documents at issue not be removed. Please provide contact
information for your legal representatives in each of the three
locations in order that we may transmit formal legal demands and
notices with detailed information with regard to the claims and identifying
the documents at issue. As you should be aware, under US federal
copyright law, it is your legal obligation to provide contact information for a
designated DMCA agent - this is our second request.
Sincerely,
Evan N. Spiegel

------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------
EVAN N. SPIEGEL, ESQ.
LAVELY & SINGER PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
ATTORNEYS AT LAW
2049 CENTURY PARK EAST, SUITE 2400
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90067-2906
TELEPHONE: (310) 556-3501
FACSIMILE: (310) 556-3615
http://www.LavelySinger.com
E-MAIL: espiegel [at] lavelysinger.com

------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------

-----Original Message-----
From: Wikileaks [mailto:wikileaks [at] wikileaks.org]
Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 12:57 PM
To: Evan Spiegel
Cc: legal [at] wikileaks.org
Subject: Re: Legal Notice & Demands

Dear Mr. Spiegel,

Wikileaks is run over multiple national jurisdictions. So we can
assign your request to the appropriate group for processing, please
inform us which document(s) you are referring to, the name and
jurisdiction of your client and the jurisdiction under which L&S
is making legal claims or demands.

Best wishes,
K Lim.

On Tue, Jan 15, 2008 at 08:28:11PM +0000, Evan Spiegel wrote:
Dear Sir or Madam:

Please immediately send the undersigned your full contact details
for transmission of legal notices with regard to content posted on
wikileaks that constitute violation of tradesecrets, conversion and stolen
documents by former employee in violation of a written
confidentiality agreement and copyright infringement, among other wrongful and
tortuous conduct.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Evan N. Spiegel


------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------
EVAN N. SPIEGEL, ESQ.
LAVELY & SINGER PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
ATTORNEYS AT LAW
2049 CENTURY PARK EAST, SUITE 2400
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90067-2906
TELEPHONE: (310) 556-3501
FACSIMILE: (310) 556-3615
http://www.LavelySinger.com
E-MAIL: espiegel [at] lavelysinger.com


------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------
THIS MESSAGE IS INTENDED ONLY FOR THE USE OF THE INDIVIDUAL OR
ENTITY TO WHICH IT IS ADDRESSED, AND MAY CONTAIN INFORMATION THAT IS
PRIVILEGED, CONFIDENTIAL AND EXEMPT FROM DISCLOSURE UNDER APPLICABLE LAW AND MAY
NOT BE PUBLISHED OR DISSEMINATED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. IF THE READER OF
THIS MESSAGE IS NOT THE INTENDED RECIPIENT, OR THE EMPLOYEE OR AGENT
RESPONSIBLE FOR DELIVERING THE MESSAGE TO THE INTENDED RECIPIENT,
YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED THAT ANY DISCLOSURE, COPYING, DISTRIBUTION OR
THE TAKING OF ANY ACTION IN RELIANCE ON THE CONTENTS OF THIS
COMMUNICATION IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED THIS COMMUNICATION IN
ERROR, PLEASE NOTIFY THE LAW OFFICES OF LAVELY & SINGER PROFESSIONAL
CORPORATION IMMEDIATELY BY TELEPHONE (310-556-3501) OR E-MAIL (REPLY
TO SENDER'S ADDRESS), AND THEN DESTROY ALL COPIES OF THIS COMMUNICATION
AND ANY ATTACHED FILES. THANK YOU.
by woo-ha!
Tuesday Feb 19th, 2008 4:24 PM
They've bravely gone back online already!