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WikiLeaks In New Legal Battle 86

Posted by Soulskill
from the sounds-like-something-needs-to-be-leaked dept.
geegel writes "The US Justice Department is now fighting in court demands from three WikiLeaks associates to disclose the names of several electronic service platforms that received requests to hand over user information. This comes after Twitter obtained a court order to unseal the demands in order to notify the three persons. The current legal row has seen both the ACLU and the EFF provide legal assistance to the WikiLeaks associates."
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WikiLeaks In New Legal Battle

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  • If you want to post, you might get through using the https page:

    https://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/06/04/1650250/WikiLeaks-In-New-Legal-Battle [slashdot.org]

  • The 503s are winning.
  • Hey Slashdot! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 04, 2011 @02:03PM (#36337218)

    Have you turned over any records to the Feds concerning Wikileaks members (or any records, period)? If you can't comment on that, then perhaps you could outline what Slashdot's policy is for turning over records to law enforcement when not accompanied by a Federal warrant or National Security letter.

    • by ArchieBunker (132337) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @02:08PM (#36337242) Homepage

      Years ago someone posted the "top secret" scientology documents into the comments and they were deleted. I can't recall if it was court ordered or merely a scare letter from an attorney.

      • It was a scare letter from a lawyer. The same thing happened with the leaked Windows source code. (I think roblimo posted a story about that one)
      • by Anonymous Coward

        I can recall. It was court ordered. Gun-on-the-head-like. The whole site would have gone down, and the guys gone to coercive contention. Something like that.

        Yes, that's a crime, and the criminal is the child-raping terrorist mass-murdering jacking-off-into-the-wounds-of-the-tortured financially conspiring social engineering warlocks called "Scientology"*. With the assistance of a Cheney-like court, lacking spines, balls, a heart, or any kind of emotion, pissing on the constitution and shitting on the faces

      • by geekmux (1040042)

        Years ago someone posted the "top secret" scientology documents into the comments and they were deleted. I can't recall if it was court ordered or merely a scare letter from an attorney.

        I know this is rather unrelated here, but the real difference between a religion and a cult is the amount of secrecy leaders want/need. I don't subscribe to organized religion, but I don't recall other religions being so damned secretive of their "documents", which is rather laughable with scientology, since most of their "documents" can be found in the science fiction section if any bookstore, filed under "Hubbard".

    • Re:Hey Slashdot! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Soulskill (1459) Works for Slashdot on Saturday June 04, 2011 @02:39PM (#36337400) Homepage

      We haven't received any such requests since I've been working here, so no, nothing's been turned over to the Feds or anybody else. I'm not aware of any requests happening before that either, but I couldn't say for sure.

      The closest we've come, to my knowledge, was a DMCA takedown request [slashdot.org] after copyrighted Scientology material was posted in a comment. The comment ended up being deleted, but I think the post pretty clearly illustrates how we felt about that. There was also a time Microsoft asked us to remove some comments [slashdot.org] back in 2000. Those comments stayed in place [slashdot.org].

      I actually have no idea if we have a "policy" for such requests, since it hasn't come up. If it were up to me, I'd tell them to get stuffed. I suspect CmdrTaco would as well. Honestly, I don't know what records we'd have that would be worth requesting.

      • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortexNO@S ... t-retrograde.com> on Saturday June 04, 2011 @03:34PM (#36337680) Homepage

        We haven't received any such requests since I've been working here, so no, nothing's been turned over to the Feds or anybody else.

        Look. I know how this stuff goes. You can't exactly say that you did, but if you have, just give us a signal -- Maybe just cough twice (er, no -- something electronic...) OK just cause a few server errors -- that'll be the signal.

        • We haven't received any such requests since I've been working here, so no, nothing's been turned over to the Feds or anybody else.

          OK just cause a few server errors -- that'll be the signal.

          So, every one of those damned 503 errors was a subpoena or NSL-based request? Wait, you probably can't answer that and stay out of PMITA accommodations, so I'll rephrase it.
          So, every one of those damned 503 errors caused your nose to grow longer?

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          I've always wondered whether libraries/etc who would like to protest these kinds of gag orders could easily get around them in this manner:

          Every week post a list of library card numbers with the statement "we declare that we've never gotten a request for records for any of these numbers."

          Then one week the list change slightly - three numbers are missing from the list, and a new list is started "we can neither confirm nor deny that we've gotten a request for records of any of these numbers."

          Or every time you

          • by Kalriath (849904)

            From what I recall, one library actually did that. They got smacked down, if I recall correctly.

          • i would say the vast majority do not understand or care about what you are talking about. if the police come asking for stuff, their first instinct is to be helpful and get rid of the 'bad people'.

            libraries are top down bureaucracies that make corporate life seem like a montessori school. independent thought is not allowed, especially regarding "the computers", control of which many library administrators cling to as some kind of ailment for middle age.

  • by SuperCharlie (1068072) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @02:55PM (#36337496)
    Why would the justice dept want to hide who it is asking records from.

    If they are in the right.. well.. why hide it.
    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      Why would the justice dept want to hide who it is asking records from.

      If they are in the right.. well.. why hide it.

      Because
      A) the public might get uppity and demand that private corporations not give up information without a fight.
      B) the public might stop patronising the services of private corporations that the government requests information from.

      Those are both very real arguments that have been made by government lawyers in court cases.
      The government can't afford to have corporations stonewall them because the public doesn't like being snooped on.

    • Why would the justice dept want to hide who it is asking records from.

      If they are in the right.. well.. why hide it.

      Because surveillance operations and investigations are usually most effective when they're secret so the subjects of the investigation / surveillance don't change their incriminating behavior, or try to destroy evidence?

      Really, is this not obvious? Why don't football players call the play in the open when they line up so the other team can hear? "Left end run on three -- hut - hut - hut - Oh! That had to hurt!"

      Revealing investigations and surveillance operations means effectively no more sting operations.

      • by sjames (1099)

        If they hadn't spent so much time destroying their own credibility with the people and if they didn't act so much like paranoid lunatics most of the time, people would voluntarily keep it quiet, just for the asking.

    • by sjames (1099)

      They can't have the subjects getting all uppity and thinking the government is supposed to serve them and shit.

  • I have no sympathy for Wikileaks when it comes to National Defense secrets. There is a whole magnitude of difference from corporate malfeasance in these leaks.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 04, 2011 @04:01PM (#36337810)

      Once upon a time [cbsnews.com], Haiti was going to increase their minimum wage from $0.24/hour to $0.61/hour. Levi Strauss and Hanes (among others) didn't like that, so the US State Department pressuredHaiti to create an exemption for textile workers.

      The only reason anyone knows that happened is because of wikileaks.

      • by cold fjord (826450) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @05:51PM (#36338312)

        Once upon a time, ...

        "Once upon a time"? What a splendidly evasive way to say, under the Obama Administration.

        WIKILEAKS: U.S. Fought To Lower Minimum Wage In Haiti So Hanes And Levis Would Stay Cheap [businessinsider.com]

        A Wikileaks post published on The Nation shows that the Obama Administration fought to keep Haitian wages at 31 cents an hour

        Once again we see Wikileaks essentially in the role of, "If you don't know it, it's news to you". Geeks that wouldn't give a damn about anything in Haiti are finally reading about it in Wikileaks, take whatever information is there with no context, and assume the worst.

        Haiti minimum wage protests escalate [smh.com.au]

        The debate has fuelled unrest across the impoverished Caribbean nation. Some critics argue that an increase would hurt plans to fight widespread unemployment by creating jobs in factories that produce clothing for export to the United States. . . .

        Many in the international community who view garment factories as the way to boost Haiti's economic development oppose the wage increase.

        With new trade advantages that allow for duty-free exports of clothing to the US, such factories could provide "several hundred thousand jobs to Haitians ... over a period of just a few years," according to a report submitted to the UN in January.

        But it said that plan requires that costs be kept down.

        The report had been requested by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and prepared by Oxford University professor Paul Collier. It is now being promoted by former US President Bill Clinton, the new UN envoy for Haiti.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Don't be an effing tool.

          Republican or Democrat, it makes no bloody difference - are you naive enough to still think the US is a democracy? Both serve corporate interests instead of the people - voting is so fraud infected it's ludicrous.

          What Wikileaks has done is allowed EVERYONE to see what's going on, even when people with their heads up their arses say 'nothing new here, move along, Wikileaks isn't important'.

          Wake Up.

    • That is not what is at issue here. What is at issue is that the justice dept is handing out requests for user information like candy and not allowing anyone to know who they are asking. It reeks of gestapo and should not be confused with whether or not Wikileaks is a national security risk.
    • by rvw (755107)

      I have no sympathy for Wikileaks when it comes to National Defense secrets. There is a whole magnitude of difference from corporate malfeasance in these leaks.

      My impression of the US diplomats has had a huge boost after reading summaries about how they reported about other countries and people. It was sharp and a lot better than I expected (looking back at eight years of Bush). I haven't seen anything yet that would seriously harm the US interest. For everything that I have read in newspapers, it only has made the world better.

      So can you tell me (at least) one national defense secret that has been published and that harms the US?

    • have you been reading about it?

      doesn't that make you a criminal too, technically, since you are 'retaining national defense information', which is covered by 18 USC 793 subparagraph (e) ?

      • You're only breaking US law if you have lawful access to US secrets and leak it. Reading about stuff in Wikileaks doesn't count.
        • 18 USC 793 (Espionage Act)

          subparagraph (e) Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or
          control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch,
          photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model,
          instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or
          information relating to the national defense which information the
          possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the
          United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully
          communicates, deli

    • by Ironchew (1069966)

      I know I'm paraphrasing this analogy badly, but here goes:
      Leaking secrets is like breaking somebody's basement window. Nobody's life is directly threatened by the act, but it may expose the fact that there is a slave in the basement; the owner deserves every bit of embarrassment and punishment that is to follow.

      There is nothing in the public sphere that should be kept secret. If officials are running shady international operations, it's only their fault when it blows up in their face.

  • WikiLeaks has proven the old school saying about 'being cleared for Ridiculous'.

  • Which one is the verb, “is fighting” or “demands”?

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