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Censorship Your Rights Online

Bank Julius Baer Issues Statement On WikiLeaks 187

dtwood writes "The bank that got erased from DNS finally hired a PR agency and issued a press release filled with half truths and non-statements. Tynan on Tech has it, along with some brief commentary. Worth a look."
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Bank Julius Baer Issues Statement On WikiLeaks

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  • by Sepiraph ( 1162995 ) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @03:35PM (#22591756)
    According to wikipedia,

    On February 18, 2008, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a permanent injunction against Dynadot forcing it to "lock the domain name

    Whereas what wikileak did was to release the illegal activities of asset hiding, money laundering and tax evasion.

    So U.S. District Court, where is the justice?
  • Actually (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wsanders ( 114993 ) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @03:45PM (#22591930) Homepage
    I once worked at a place where a lot of people had security clearances. A coworker enjoyed scuba diving, and bought a condo in Grand Cayman. That security clearance whooshed away faster than a bottle of vodka in Britney Spear's glove compartment.

    Eventually the coworker was reinstated, so there are bind fide reasons for transacting business in the Caymans. Scuba diving, nig game fishing, genocide, drug dealing, weapons smuggling, corporate espionage come to mind, in addition to plain old tax fraud.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2008 @03:51PM (#22592030)
    Isn't being engaged in tax fraud a prerequisite for having a bank account in the Cayman Islands?

    No, there are plenty of legitimate reasons. Say you live in Venezuela and run a business, like a grocery store, that you have worked a lifetime to build. El Presidente Hugo Chavez has threatened to seize your property because you refuse to sell groceries for less than what you pay your suppliers.

    Should you keep your money in a Venezuelan bank so that the dictator of Venezuela can seize it on a whim? Or should you take a short flight to the Cayman Islands and open an account there?
  • by bberens ( 965711 ) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @04:32PM (#22592522)
    If they're like every other investment group it'll be corporate/municipal bonds and mutual funds. You're probably out of luck.
  • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @04:33PM (#22592524)
    Transfer all your money to them, then take it out as cash. Actual physical paper and metal.

    Because of the fractional reserve multiplier it has a currently 10 fold (in the USA, 30 fold in the UK and 50 fold in the EU) effect on their ability to generate further loans.

  • Re:Go BJ Baer! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hengist ( 71116 ) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @05:19PM (#22593064)
    WikiLeaks emails made it very clear that they have several legal representatives, and they needed to know

    1) what documents were at issue, and
    2) who the other party actually was,

    so that the appropriate counsel could be selected. Despite repeated requests from WikiLeaks, that information was not provided by BJB's lawyer. It is quite clear that BJB's lawyers were not acting in good faith. I hope there are sanctions against them at the end of this, as they clearly abused process.

  • by sugar and acid ( 88555 ) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @05:29PM (#22593156)
    Ahh the irony. The way wikileaks facilitates the distribution of stolen,illegal and/or highly sensitive information in broadly very similar mechanisms that banks like BRB facilitates the hiding and laundering of stolen,illegal and/or highly taxable amounts of money.

    Keep the information about where it came from tightly secured. Distribute and flow it through a number of international sites, ideally with favourable political/legal/tax climates. Fight tooth and nail against any attempts to force divulging or removal of information when requested by various national legal jurisdictions.
  • by StillNeedMoreCoffee ( 123989 ) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @05:30PM (#22593190)
    There seem to be several possible senarios here.

        1. All the documents are authentic and expose illegal activity.

                      In which case, claiming forged documents would solve to PR problem.

        2. All the documents are forged.

                      In which case, claiming forged documents would solve the Pr problem.

        3. Some of the documents or document information is real some if forged.

                      In which case, claiming forged documents would solve the PR problem.

          What of the other problems. Like the rich, connected, possibly made clients
          exposed through the documents real or forged. Or the prospect of any future

              Senarios 1,2,3.

                    Flee to Switzerland, oh, already there.
                    Get the documents taken down, impeach the information (claim forged).

          If the documents were real or forged, the only way to get any legal action
          against Wikileaks other than civil defamation would be to claim that some
          of the documents were real and stolen, then it becomes a criminal act (I

          So what we may be seeing is just legal lying to try and make the law serve
          the Bank, not actual facts about the documents.

          The courts action seems like it violates rights in that not all the
          information posted had to do with the bank. That would be like sealing
          up a store full of people because someone went in and was claimed to
          have made a speeding violation and the store did not cooperate with the
          security guard in handing over the suspect. Remember we do not have any
          convictions or violations here, at least not that I saw.

  • Nearly all whistle-blowing is illegal, since someone is violating a confidentiality agreement, breaking a contract, publishing private information, etc.

    Which makes me question the legality of such confidentiality agreements.

    If I remain silent because of a confidentiality agreement, then am I an accomplice in the crime I have discovered? Under these circumstances, can I be legally be bound to remain silent? If I am forced to testify in court, does this still violate the agreement and make me liable? If police question me, outside of a court, must I remain silent? Is this legal?

    I suspect confidentiality agreements are of dubious legal standing. I also suspect that if ever they are challenged, the courts will side with big companies.
  • Re:Non-truths? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dubbreak ( 623656 ) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @06:44PM (#22594132)

    Any of the three could be true, but it is impossible for all three to be true simultaneously.

    Very true, but you are thinking like a programmer. Each argument is exclusive to itself and is not to have any bearing on other arguments.

    In the contract example (trying to show contract between X and Z possibly using y as a contracting agent) it should make sense why this is allowed. The point to prove (or disprove) the existence of a contract. Depending on the facts it may be easier to prove the contract existed via one method (which should be your first argument), though if it is possible to prove it by another method then they should be reserved as a backup. You don't want to put all your eggs in one basket

    This allows for seemingly ridiculous examples such as my first one. However, if you consider that example, the first argument may be the easiest. If you present that the person was not present and there is no proof to the contrary, then you have taken the easiest route (regardless of whether they were there). Of course if the person was there and they are put on the stand, then they will disprove that argument or commit perjury. For that argument to work (with the person having been there) the other legal party would have to be incompetent.. but it was formed as a ridiculous example of what is possible.

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