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Censorship Your Rights Online

WikiLeaks Under Fire 282

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-possibly-on-fire dept.
kan0r writes "The transparency group WikiLeaks.org currently seems to be under heavy fire. The main WikiLeaks.org DNS entry is unavailable, reportedly due to a restraining order relating to a series of articles and documents released by WikiLeaks about off-shore trust structures in the Cayman Islands. The WikiLeaks whistle blower, allegedly former vice president of the Cayman Islands branch of swiss bank Julius Baer, states in the WikiLeaks documents that the bank supported tax evasion and money laundering by its clients from around the world. WikiLeaks alternate names remained available until Saturday, when there seems to have been a heavy DDoS attack and a fire at the ISP. The documents in question are still available on other WikiLeaks sites, such as wikileaks.be, and are also mirrored on Cryptome. Details of the court documents have also been made available."
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WikiLeaks Under Fire

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  • But why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jrothwell97 (968062) <`jonathan' `at' `notroswell.com'> on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:20AM (#22462028) Homepage Journal

    Wikileaks is an interesting website, and I can see no reason why anyone would want to take a site hosting confidential leaked documents from governments and big business offline...

    Speaking seriously here, I wouldn't doubt it being a corporate or political DDoS attack, considering the confidentiality of the documents, and how damaging they could be to said companies/governments' reputations. Not a bad thing in my opinion, but they would think otherwise.

    • Re:But why? (Score:5, Informative)

      by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:25AM (#22462080) Homepage Journal
      This is not a bad rendition of the answer:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGmA1Cpmldg [youtube.com]
      • Re:But why? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by D-Fly (7665) on Monday February 18, 2008 @02:27PM (#22465630) Homepage Journal
        Hard to believe, but they were taken offline by court order in the United States. A corrupt Swiss Bank, Julius Baer [juliusbaer.com], objected to wikileaks posting documents showing malfeasance on the part of the bank, so this crazy judge [uscourts.gov], Jeffrey White, [fjc.gov] who really doesn't understand the First Amendment (and was nominated to the Federal bench by Bush of course), ordered the site to be taken offline. Here's a BBC link describing what happened. And another one from Counterpunch [counterpunch.org].
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Hard to believe, but they were taken offline by court order in the United States.

          What's so hard to believe about this?
          Europeans want to vote in US elections: http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/2825 [brusselsjournal.com]
          People in the US want to extend US rights to non-US citizens, variously in Guantanamo Bay and for those present on US soil in less than legal circumstances.
          Treaties like the UN Law of the Sea Convention want to set up international bodies that can fine countries.
          Are we not oozing towards a single world gov

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ironsides (739422)
          How kind of you not to mention any reasoning behind the order.
          The selected document evidence exhibits "A" through "O", comprised of selected portions of Plaintiffs' confidential and protected bank files, records, data and consumer account information
          Even if they are committing a crime, banking privacy laws still apply.

          Now, having said that, I hope the IRS go after these folks.
    • Re:But why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by utnapistim (931738) <dan.barbus@gmail.cSTRAWom minus berry> on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:26AM (#22462082) Homepage
      I think it was a bad move on the part of whoever did the attack, if their intention was censorship: it only created more publicity for the documents.
      • Going fully Machiavellian, an attacker might a) call attention via DIOS, or b) buy time to negotiate.
        The latter seems unlikely, because if the information was available for any length of time
        then it has likely escaped.
      • Maybe they have something more to hide. Or maybe it's just petty vengeance.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Jurily (900488)
        what if they did it themselves? :)
        • Re:But why? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:51AM (#22462284) Homepage Journal
          Interesting, but not likely. WikiLeakS is already well-known and they have plenty of traffic on their site. The publisher of the leaks themselves is known and WikiLeakS is just a neutral party to this really -- they just serve up what people post.

          Besides, what about the mysterious UPS fire? I find that interesting because UPSes, especially commercial grade ones installed in server rooms, typically have safety mechanisms (read: big breaker switches) in them that prevent them from overloading and catching fire. In 15 years of working in server rooms, I've never actually seen one catch fire, though I've heard of a few freak accidents.

      • by jasen666 (88727)
        I think most organizations or groups with the means and know-how to perform a large-scale DDOS, would likely know this by now.
        Maybe they're doing it for publicity purposes
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18, 2008 @10:02AM (#22462402)
      "DDoS attack"

      This is why WikiLeaks, although good in theory, won't be able to survive in practice. It is centralized, and being as such it can be subject to attack, threat and intimidation.

      Those running WikiLeaks should also post their material to Freenet. This is advantageous for two main reasons: First, insurance against the site going down due to attack, lack of funds, etc. Second, it will prevent attacks in the first place since the attackers know nothing can be gained, there material is already out there and won't be able to be taken down. So even if Freenet isn't to be the main site, it is still useful to have the content on Freenet too.
      • Yeah, but there are problems with FreeNet :

        1/ It's slow
        2/ No one uses it
        3/ No one uses it because it's so slow
        4/ It's so slow because no one uses it
        5/ It's not preinstalled on all computers
        6/ Its installation is as much jumping through hoops as a first use of Windows Vista

        So yeah, backups on FreeNet is a good idea, but hosting the main site? Not if they want to be acessed sometimes.

        I'd rather d/l the full archive off The Pirate Bay or Mininova, though. A lifetime of reading about "why all the systems should all be completely transparent to any one in the general public".
        • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Monday February 18, 2008 @11:26AM (#22463310)
          7/ Still carries a stigma of being associated with child porn.

          I would like to see an update to the bittorrent protocol which allows 'dynamic' torrents. The hashes and files of a directory could be changed as a file is added or changed. Build in some mechanisms so that only the original seeder can make changes and set it up and point it to /wwwroot/.

          First download might take a little long, but everytime someone added/changed a file it would be almost instantly replicated across the torrent network. I know that I'd donate some HD space and an open 'dynamic torrent' in rtorrent for something like this.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            I've thought about exactly that type of design myself, in a reasonable amount of detail. Some bullet points;
            • swap from a list of hashes in a torrent file to a hash tree [wikipedia.org] for block verification, don't hash nodes together that have no sibling, instead maintain a list of hashes for the current right edge of the hash tree
            • the tracker returns the current right edge hash list for the torrent with every response
            • when the torrent is updated, the tracker adds the new block hashes and returns the new list of hashe
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by evanbd (210358)

          Freenet has improved remarkably. It's certainly not what you'd call fast, but for popular content or anything small (text documents, for example) it isn't bad at all. You'd probably end up waiting several minutes for a 1MiB chunk of text that wasn't overly popular, but that's hardly problematic for something like this.

          My usual browsing experience is that Freesites load their text in somewhere between 10s and 60s, with the pictures loading over the course of the next 2-3 minutes. Some load instantly if

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by FreenetFan (1182901)
          Have you tried Freenet recently?

          1. It's slower than the regular internet, sure, but that is to be expected. Anonymity and encryption isn't totally free. But it is perfectly usable for things like this.

          2. An rapidly increasing number of people are using it. About a year ago, numbers were estimated at about 500. Today it is more like 5000. Due to the anonymity, numbers aren't definite, by design, but there are mechanisms to guess the network size.

          3. I don't think Freenet's slowness is the main reason for peop
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by antifoidulus (807088)
      Because everyone loves Krusty the clown and getting him in trouble with the IRS over his secret, illegal account in the Cayman Islands is going to make everyone mad!
    • Re:But why? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18, 2008 @10:20AM (#22462598)
      It generates more free publicity and advertising for the bank's tax-sheltering and money-laundering services, with the reassuring message that the U.S. courts are standing behind you should you patronize aforesaid bank.

      Meanwhile Wikileaks gets to have it's operating premises reinforced, play victim, garner more support, funds, etc.

      So you see, it's a win-win strategy all around. What, me cynical?

  • by somersault (912633) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:21AM (#22462042) Homepage Journal
    I hereby judge that WikiLeak's DNS entry is not allowed to pass within 100 feet of any US DNS server, on penalty of having to memorise himself in IPv6 form
  • by cthulu_mt (1124113) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:22AM (#22462052)
    Great idea. On top of a DDoS attack lets add the Slashdot effect. I can smell the smoke pouring off their servers.
  • by Loibisch (964797) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:22AM (#22462058)
    To those behind the attacks: It's too late!
    Remember: What's once on the internet stays on the internet...one way or another.

    Just deal with it.
    • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:34AM (#22462150) Homepage Journal
      You know, maybe I am a few links shy on my paperclip necklace, but don't you think it kind of conspicuous that while said DoS attack is going on, this submitter not only informed Slashdot about it, but actually pointed us all to the still-left-standing mirrors... as if to try and trigger the Slashdot effect.
      • by petermgreen (876956) <plugwashNO@SPAMp10link.net> on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:42AM (#22462206) Homepage
        the /. effect is WAY overrated, if you are suffering from it you either have big file downloads, really shitty hosting (think home DSL/cable or similar) or a badly designed dynamic site (this last one is probablly the most common).
        • by TheThiefMaster (992038) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:59AM (#22462376)
          After all, "The Slashdot Effect" can't be more than what Slashdot itself feels, and it survives fine. It's even dynamic.

          Still, Slashdot has been designed to handle this much load. Those poor webservers that feel "The Effect" have probably been running perfectly fine at a lower use for years until someone uses them to announce a breakthrough of some sort with images and video and, shortly afterwards they burn out.

          Though you missed the 4th possibility: The webserver is a Commodore 64. We only linked to that one once :(
          • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday February 18, 2008 @11:50AM (#22463582) Journal

            Though you missed the 4th possibility: The webserver is a Commodore 64. We only linked to that one once :(
            I think we actually hit it twice, but it stood up very well. Admittedly it was only hosting a 100-byte text file, but it was responsive when I tried it. Perhaps everyone assumed it would be down and skipped the link?

            The page about the C-64 web server, hosted elsewhere and full of pictures, only lasted a few minutes, as I recall.

            • by bhtooefr (649901)
              Actually [slashdot.org], it wasn't just a web server [slashdot.org]. And, I think it was slashdotted three times [slashdot.org] (there's a link to the C64 in there.)

              And that's not counting other devices running the same TCP/IP stack or OS getting slashdotted.
          • Though you missed the 4th possibility: The webserver is a Commodore 64. We only linked to that one once :(
            Wasn't one of them also a George Foreman grill?
      • by krelian (525362)
        I also find your post unusual as it made go back and check the links in the original /. post.

        You've just become the main suspect.

  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:23AM (#22462066)
    When you're slapped with a restraining order, you get hit with a dDOS, and one of your UPS units "accidentally" ignites , you know you must be doing something right.
  • by Silver Sloth (770927) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:27AM (#22462096)
    when they start shooting at you.
  • Yawn (Score:5, Funny)

    by 4D6963 (933028) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:28AM (#22462102)

    Wake me up when the anchor of a ship accidentally cuts every cable around the WikiLeaks server buildings..

  • by MosesJones (55544) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:33AM (#22462142) Homepage

    Could the people leaked about on WikiLeaks really be this dumb? Is there anything that will guarantee that this information will be more broadly distributed and read and more likely to come to the attention of the main stream media?

    Why don't they just go the whole hog and DDoS the BBC and CNN at the same time to close the loop.
    • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:54AM (#22462308)
      Could the people leaked about on WikiLeaks really be this dumb?

      Fortunately, yes, they can, and it seems they are. Not 'dumb' per se, mind you, but operating without any idea of how things work in this day and age, when any information that finds its way onto the Internet is effectively immortal, and any attempts to suppress that information only succeed in calling even more attention to it.

      There's no way to silence the truth directly anymore in this new medium. Indirect methods, however, like repeating a lie loudly and often enough, can still be effective.
      • by MrMr (219533)
        I'm curious about the judge though. Is that a simpleton as well; or perhaps a shrewd official, well aware that allowing the case is going to splatter a new meme "tax avoidance cayman islands bank julius baer" across the web for years to come?
      • by Alsee (515537) on Monday February 18, 2008 @10:28AM (#22462682) Homepage
        Joe Garelli on NewsRadio said it best:
        "You can't take something off the Internet! That's like trying to take pee out of a swimming pool."

        -
      • by mOdQuArK! (87332) on Monday February 18, 2008 @01:09PM (#22464686)

        There's no way to silence the truth directly anymore in this new medium. Indirect methods, however, like repeating a lie loudly and often enough, can still be effective.

        Actually, the simplest way to "silence: the truth is to drown it in misinformation (one of the applications of the indirect methods you referred to). Once nobody can tell what the truth is, and what the lies are, then someone trying to hide the truth can breath a little easier.

        Modern-day PR hacks are really good at this kind of thing, Third World repressive regimes are still learning how to do it effectively.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by SharpFang (651121)
        Actually, the way to get things off the net is NOT TO TOUCH THEM.

        There were quite a few entries linking my nick to my real name in the past - accidential leaks. Nowadays Google provides only false positives. All the old data has expired, died forgotten. If it still exists, it's not being indexed.
  • Streisand effect (Score:5, Informative)

    by apodyopsis (1048476) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:48AM (#22462256)
    the Streisand effect should be kicking in about now...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect [wikipedia.org]
  • by usul294 (1163169) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:53AM (#22462302)
    You know it could always be some 14 year old prankster who figured out how to DDOS a server, and correctly thought "Hey, if I can effectively shut off WikiLeaks, everyone will assume that groups which suffer from WikiLeaks were responsible." I mean it takes alot of brains to maintain a big business, I doubt the CTO or CIO of a giant firm suggested DDOSing a fairly well-known website in order to prevent access to content.
    • by CHESTER COPPERPOT (864371) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:59AM (#22462378)
      There are also a number of "citizen groups" out there that want to shut down wikileaks because they think it is anti-democratic. It seems a lot of them are affiliated with the guys who "hunt" terrorists online. One such blog of note is the "Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group". See this blog post here [209.85.173.104]. Though they seem to be from a psychological operations bent rather than hackers.
      • by Lehk228 (705449) on Monday February 18, 2008 @10:40AM (#22462808) Journal
        By "psychological operations" you mean "operations by lunatics" amiright?
      • You can't mount a decent psychological or intelligence-based warfare against an enemy if you publish what you're going to do every step of the way. I'm not trying to advocate censorship here but I'd love to hear a *serious* answer as to how you expect any country to mount this sort of effort under the limitations of full disclosure.

        Some specific points I'd like to discuss:

        - What is the point of publishing Coalition "soft spots" to the public? Aren't you just begging for terrorists to attack them? It makes p
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by alx5000 (896642)

      I mean it takes alot of brains to maintain a big business
      Sure it does [youtube.com]...
      • Sure it does...

        Oh my. The disappointing part of that collection of videos is that Balmer didn't give himself a heart attack. --In any case, it was nice to note that even though the apocalypse arrived and nobody thought to wake me up, I was still able to catch it on Youtube.


        -FL

  • Is it possible to overload a power supply to the point of fire from a remote location? I've heard of black hats getting into the climate control systems of certain areas and loading up the heat and frying certain parts of computers, but a power supply?

    Secondly, Does wikileaks hold a record of the DDoS? As in the technical parameters, IPs etc.?

    Thirdly, is their a translation to English of the bank records in question yet?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Is it possible to overload a power supply to the point of fire from a remote location? I've heard of black hats getting into the climate control systems of certain areas and loading up the heat and frying certain parts of computers, but a power supply?

      There are UPSes with intelligent controllers [upsforless.ca], of course. I don't really know how easy or difficult it would be to make these cause a UPS to overload, maybe someone else here has knowledge I don't. I would hope anyone using such a controller would take proper safety precautions, such as making them inaccessible from outside the internal network, but you know how smart some people are ... :)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by BadHaggis (1179673)
      Yes, it is possible to hack modern UPS's. That's one of the reasons it is important to keep the firmware up to date, mostly to prevent some type of SNMP snooping/monitoring software from being used. However, I'm not sure if once hacked if the UPS could be made to self destruct, it might be possible if you could turn off the charge monitoring and force an overcharge on the batteries. Just a theory, and I'm sure there are people who know better than I if this is possible.
      • An UPS that can receive packets ... No. No, no, no. It's dead easy to construct a circuit with an absolutely reliable breaker, one that shuts it off as soon as the temp goes above some threshold. If there wasn't one in the UPS, then the engineer who designed it should be shot on sight!
    • CHESTER COPPERPOT:

      Question:

      "Is it possible to overload a power supply to the point of fire from a remote location? I've heard of black hats getting into the climate control systems of certain areas and loading up the heat and frying certain parts of computers, but a power supply?"

      Answer:

      "The trojan has controllers on the universal power supply."

      http://www.securityfocus.com/comments/articles/11372/33500/threaded#33500 [securityfocus.com]

      http://www.securityfocus.com/comments/articles/11372/34207/threaded#34207 [securityfocus.com]
  • If it can help... (Score:5, Informative)

    by this great guy (922511) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:58AM (#22462360)

    Personally I can resolve the wikileaks.org hostname from time to time only. Their website is still accessible from my network location (SoCal): http://88.80.13.160/wiki/Wikileaks [88.80.13.160]

    $ dig wikileaks.org
    ;; ANSWER SECTION:
    wikileaks.org. 864 IN A 88.80.13.160
    wikileaks.org. 864 IN A 87.106.162.82
    ;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
    wikileaks.org. 198841 IN NS ns3.everydns.net.
    wikileaks.org. 198841 IN NS ns2.everydns.net.
    wikileaks.org. 198841 IN NS ns4.everydns.net.
    ;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:
    ns2.everydns.net. 101251 IN A 204.152.184.150
    ns3.everydns.net. 12596 IN A 208.96.6.134
    ns4.everydns.net. 601 IN A 64.158.219.3


    (special message dedicated to whoever wrote the slashdot lameness filter: foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar)

    • by Anonymous Coward
      http://88.80.13.160/wiki/Clouds_on_the_Cayman_tax_heaven [88.80.13.160]

      Clouds on the Cayman tax heaven
      From Wikileaks
      Jump to: navigation, search

      Is David helvetic and Goliath a bear?

      DANIEL SCHMITT
      2008-02-15

      This is the story of Rudolf Elmer of Switzerland, former Chief Operating Officer of Bank Julius Baer on the Cayman Islands. The story of a man suspected of leaking to the press information about the activities of a Swiss bank specialized in hiding and laundering the money of the ultra rich through anonymizing offshore tru
  • This is why.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by brunes69 (86786)

    ..WikiLeaks is a flawed idea.

    What they should have is a very simple page at WikiLeaks.com instructing people on how to easily download, install and use FreeNet [freenetproject.org], with FreeNet links to a FreeNet-hosted WikiLeaks website.

    Then the site would not easily be able to be brought off line, because no one would know where it was hosted (since it is not actually hosted *anywhere*)

    • That's great, except hardly anyone actually uses Freenet.
    • by vadim_t (324782)
      I tried Freenet back when it was new. It was an incredible pain to use.

      I still say that their biggest mistake was to use Java to write it.

      It uses really incredible amounts of resources. Back when it appeared, a computer with 128-256MB RAM was decent. Problem is that Freenet brought this hardware to its knees. My server had load averages of 20, it was unbearable. Even if I could have dedicated this box to Freenet exclusively, a loadavg of 20 means it's not getting nearly all the time it wants, which adds to
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18, 2008 @10:08AM (#22462464)
    Clouds on the Cayman tax heaven From Wikileaks

    Is David helvetic and Goliath a bear?

    DANIEL SCHMITT
    2008-02-15

    This is the story of Rudolf Elmer of Switzerland, former Chief Operating Officer of Bank Julius Baer on the Cayman Islands. The story of a man suspected of leaking to the press information about the activities of a Swiss bank specialized in hiding and laundering the money of the ultra rich through anonymizing offshore trust structures. It also is the story of a man and his family living with the consequences of being suspected of fouling the nest of a traditional Swiss bank engaging in dubious activities. This story might differ from previous ones related to this issue, mainly because while researching the story, Rudolf Elmer has also been asked for his account of things.

    Over the last few months Wikileaks has obtained and published various documents related to allegedly illegal activities in the Cayman Islands performed by Bank Julius Baer and started initial research into these. Regarding the same bank Wikileaks had obtained legal documentation on the case of a Rudolf Elmer, former debuty head of BJB cayman, in a Dec 2007 Zurich court case against Bank Julius Baer. The law suit relates to various irregularities of health-care/social-security payments by the bank, as well as the matter of stalking (including at least one acknowledged car chase) Elmer and his family by BJB-hired Private Investigators Zurich-based Ryffel AG,

    Initial research easily turned up that 2002/2003 some sensitive documents had slipped out of the Swiss banks office in the Cayman Islands, apparently reaching US tax investigation units and eventually sent to the Swiss financial magazine CASH, which reported on the disclosure, but possibly due to an injunction or Swiss banking law, not the details. This event also triggered an article in the Wall Street Journal an article in Swiss Weltwoche [weltwoche.ch], titled "The leak in paradise", giving background information on what happened back in 2003 on the Caymans.

    When the leak of trust structures was discovered in 2003, Bank Julius Baer initiated legal investigations on the Caymans, involving the search of the home of each employee and when not gaining any insights from that, undertaking a polygraph test on the employees. It still remained unclear where the data went.

    The group of people having legitimate access to these documents was small, Rudolf Elmer, who was BJB Caymans deputy head and Chief Operating Officer at that point in time also fulfilled the position of Hurricane Officer, whos duties included keeping backups. Elmer, facing a spinal surgery coming up in a few days time, was on sick leave and had some trouble scheduling the test. He thus became a suspect.

    The Polygraph Test

    The transcript of the polygraph test conducted by a Lou Criscella and passed on to Wikileaks is very abstract to read with names of clients being substituted with single letters. While not all the context thus is properly understandable, the transcript does not show any wrongdoing.

    Reading the transcript one gets the impression that data has slipped out of the Cayman Islands as early as 1997, and timelining the transcript with a couple of later documents will also reveal that Elmer is accused of having leaked data that was produced after the date that he left from the Caymans.

    Elmer complained to the American Polygraph Association, the institution his interrogator works for, the Cayman Prime Minister and other entities about the conduct of the test.

    Normally sick people would not be interviewed, but the APAs Ethics Commission, stated in a letter that the ethical rules for polygraphing do not apply to the Cayman Islands, and as the test had not been fully carried out, most of the APA rules would not apply anyway. He was informed there are no regulations on the Caymans for polygraph tests as in the United States.

  • is to add a couple of links to some of their sites (in different top level domains) from your site. This will increase their search engine rating and also introduce more people to them - as they browse your site.

    This is a real way of hitting back - respond to this attempt at burying WikiLeaks by giving them extra publicity!

  • "The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is The People vs. The Banks." - Lord Acton, Historian, 1834 - 1902
  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@nosPAm.gmail.com> on Monday February 18, 2008 @10:36AM (#22462760) Homepage Journal
    The problem with Wikileaks and other "expose" sites like it is that they rationalize what they do by choosing selective enforcement of privacy rights. They say that it is ok for them to trump an interest in privacy because doing so benefits the public good. While this might be laudable at the service, a more studied approach to this would show that one could also use the selective revealing of private documents to advance a political agenda. Everyone's private documents "look bad", and so, cherry picking which documents should be revealed, really just undermines the people being cherry picked.

    For this reason, if you want truth, and are that interested in the truth, then you should advocate the full public disclosure of all corporate, charitable and government documents. Since this covers just about everyone, it follows that there should be no privacy at all and we ought to live in a world where everything is online. The alternative is to accept that there is a right to privacy, and if so, then institutions such as wikileaks ought to be viewed with a well deserved deep distrust, as the outcome can only be ultimately political.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765)
      The exact same argument goes for piracy as well. You can have one of 2 things : privacy or piracy. Privacy OR thepiratebay.org.

      Just killing the privacy of "the rich" (like e.g. the riaa currently is) will unfortunately cause the elimination of everyone's privacy (and this is not "Bush's fault", not even China's, and not anyone's, it's a somewhat-less-obvious truth of the world we live in, like gravity is). Enforcing everyone's privacy rights, including the right of "the rich" to keep their ideas limited to
    • by Grym (725290) * on Monday February 18, 2008 @11:33AM (#22463382)

      For this reason, if you want truth, and are that interested in the truth, then you should advocate the full public disclosure of all corporate, charitable and government documents. Since this covers just about everyone, it follows that there should be no privacy at all and we ought to live in a world where everything is online.

      I think this is a false choice. Why should we be forced to choose between a complete lack of transparency within government-chartered and/or publicly-traded organizations and no privacy--for anyone--at all?

      There can be a reasonable balance between transparency and privacy. Trade secrets, proprietary processes, and national secrets, I agree, should be undisclosed, but should things like financial records, safety/environmental studies, and so on should be publicly available. If businesses don't like that, then they could easily remain private, un-incorporated entities.

      The alternative is to accept that there is a right to privacy, and if so, then institutions such as wikileaks ought to be viewed with a well deserved deep distrust, as the outcome can only be ultimately political.

      Well, of course wikileaks can be used as a political tool. But if that leads to the exposure of corruption and fraud--who cares?!? I would expect that, over time, organizations like wikileaks, even if they are biased, would come to compete in exposing dirt from opposing sides. In fact, I see no reason why anyone should be against such a situation, because all true capitalists love competition (right?) and everyone wants to end corruption and fraud (right?). So what's the problem?

      -Grym

      • by tjstork (137384)
        There can be a reasonable balance between transparency and privacy. Trade secrets, proprietary processes, and national secrets, I agree, should be undisclosed, but should things like financial records, safety/environmental studies, and so on should be publicly available. If businesses don't like that, then they could easily remain private, un-incorporated entities.

        The thing is, all of the deliberations behind what you suggest have dark sides as well. There's always going to be someone who writes a few emai
    • Pragmatically, there is no right to privacy. Get used to it. Not only that, there is no moral reason to uphold a right to privacy. Finally, there is no longer any practical reason to uphold privacy rights.

      Let me explain.

      Privacy is a stopgap measure. It existed to ensure that those who had better access to information and more power to act on that information could not use that to dominate the rest of us. If everyone has equal access to information, then we can know when someone is trying to use their power
    • by Chyeld (713439) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dleyhc.> on Monday February 18, 2008 @12:52PM (#22464504)
      I have, for a long time, advocated the idea that if the concept of privacy was done away with, a good deal of the angst in the world could be done away with. It's a permutation of the 80/20 rule. 80% of what everyone fears anyone else could ever learn about them is dreck they share with the majority. And the remaining 20% would be far less shameful when it comes to light that everyone has their own personal 20% to deal with.

      All of the power of shame is based in the belief that somehow, you are the only one. And most of the power of secrets is based in the idea that you have more power derived from them the fewer in the loop.

      However, you present a false dichotomy. You make a fair representation for legal entities to have no right to privacy, but then make the spurious leap that it would then follow that no one should have privacy. Regardless of my agreement of that view, there are numerous shades of grey between a corporation/government group and an individual.
  • Missing something (Score:4, Insightful)

    by griffjon (14945) <{GriffJon} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday February 18, 2008 @10:36AM (#22462762) Homepage Journal
    Offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands are used for tax fraud???? I thought they were there for decoration. Seriously; I was under the opinion that their reputation along these lines was well-established?
  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Monday February 18, 2008 @10:45AM (#22462864)
    If you're silly enough to think that money is god, then you're silly enough to try to attack information on the internet.

    Psychopaths live in utterly false realities where their idea of how things work totally overshadows how things actually work. --But it does make them dangerous and tiresome, because they just keep trying to kill and destroy things and they never stop. It's like having somebody constantly trying to break down your Leggo structure while you're trying to build it. --And they'll also go running to the teacher to try to get you in trouble for the shit they're pulling.

    --And information does vanish if you don't work to keep tabs on it. --The prime minister of Canada was caught trying to hide his millions worth of personal wealth from taxation in such an off-shore scheme, but it's very hard to find that info now.

    One of the most effective ways for information to get lost is when the key word for the issue happens to be the same as for some other totally unrelated item which happens to be many times more current and popular. That one is frustrating.


    -FL

  • It is not UNDER fire, it is ON fire!
    • by rvw (755107)

      It is not UNDER fire, it is ON fire!
      No of course not. That's why it's leaking man! (Otherwise they would call it wikiheating wouldn't they?)
  • by giminy (94188) on Monday February 18, 2008 @10:58AM (#22462998) Homepage Journal
    WikiLeaks on The Onion [torproject.org] appears to be unaffected. Gotta love that that server is anonymously located. If you want to read the document, follow the link above and install TOR, then punch in the URL in the subject...

    Guess I should have posted this as an anonymous coward ;-).
  • The site is blocked by stopping its DNS. So what's its IP#? If the site is still up, people can link to it by IP#, and pass around the story that way. Sure, if its IP# changes later, the links will be lost, but if it doesn't get its DNS back eventually it will be lost anyway. Linking to its IP# will help it survive to fight to get its DNS back.

    The court has targeted WikiLeaks' DNS registrar, not WikiLeaks itself with this order. So WikiLeaks shouldn't have to depend on DNS while it defends itself.

    What's the
  • WikiLeak.org [wikileak.org], WikiLeaks' discussion web log, has a lot of information on this matter!
  • For those who are not TCP/IP aware here is the entry you need to add to your hosts file, (that is on Unix like systems (like linux) (/etc/hosts)) to bypass the missing DNS entry.

    88.80.13.160 wikileaks.org

    In this way, you will bypass the absurd DNS injunction, and undermine the courts. (But wait, SCO has already done that.)

    "The net interprets censorship as damage and routes around."

    Depending on your OS you may need to log on to root to edit this file. If wikileaks.org ever changes its IP address y

  • The court order doesn't seem to say why exactly the order was given. It's not even clear whether the order is because the statements are libelous, or because they are in breach of trade secrecy. Maybe the statements are simply false?
  • by sasha328 (203458) on Monday February 18, 2008 @04:57PM (#22467524) Homepage
    According to the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7250916.stm/ [bbc.co.uk] wikileaks was shut down at the source by the hosting company as a result of a court order:

    Whistle-blower site taken offline

    The case was brought by lawyers working for a Swiss bank
    A controversial website that allows whistle-blowers to anonymously post government and corporate documents has been taken offline in the US.
    Wikileaks.org, as it is known, was cut off from the internet following a California court ruling, the site says.

    The case was brought by a Swiss bank after "several hundred" documents were posted about its offshore activities.
    Apparently offshore mirrors are still available.
  • Is Dynadot to blame? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by russotto (537200) on Monday February 18, 2008 @06:37PM (#22468486) Journal
    It looks to me like Dynadot may have simply rolled over on their customer to get themselves out of the line of fire:

    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"),


    A stipulation is an agreement between two parties in a lawsuit that a certain fact or issue is not contested. What exactly did Dynadot stipulate to? Was it just that they were indeed the registrar for wikileaks.org, or was there more?

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