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Censorship The Internet

German Wikileaks Domain Suspended Without Warning 215

mb writes to mention that Germany has gone one step further in impeding access to Wikileaks. Germany's registration authority, DENIC, recently suspended without notice. "The action comes two weeks after the house of the German WikiLeaks domain sponsor, Theodor Reppe, was searched by German authorities. Police documentation shows that the March 24, 2009 raid was triggered by WikiLeaks' publication of Australia's proposed secret internet censorship list. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) told Australian journalists that they did not request the intervention of the German government."
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German Wikileaks Domain Suspended Without Warning

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  • by unlametheweak ( 1102159 ) on Friday April 10, 2009 @06:28PM (#27537109)

    A lot of what he said is illogical and untrue. Wikileaks does fact check, and in fact if what they posted wasn't true then it wouldn't be so controversial, and governments around the world wouldn't be attempting to shut them down. And no they don't post juvenile and second rate stories; a lot of what they publish is of important political and human interest.

    Well it seems I've unintentionally replied to the GP in a round-about way.

  • Re:Yeah, right (Score:3, Informative)

    by Chyeld ( 713439 ) <> on Friday April 10, 2009 @06:56PM (#27537325)

    The Wikinews article, originally published on April 19, described material in the Church Handbook of Instructions. The work is a two-volume book of policies and is a guide for leaders of the Mormon Church. Wikinews obtained the Church Handbook of Instructions from Wikileaks, a whistleblower website which publishes anonymous submissions of sensitive documents while preserving the anonymity of its contributors. Wikileaks describes the material as significant because "...the book is strictly confidential among the Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka LDS in short form) bishops and stake presidents and it reveals the procedure of handling confidential matters related to tithing payment, excommunication, baptism and doctrine teaching (indoctrination)."

    I think that last line pretty much give a good reason, you don't?

  • by Yetiszaf ( 726202 ) <> on Friday April 10, 2009 @07:11PM (#27537435) Homepage

    This is not about "improperly" suspending a domain name.

    wikileaks posted the australian block-lists which contain links to child-pornography.

    Linking or forwarding to such links is illegal in germany.

    I think it may have been better to strip links which contained pedophilia or similar things from those lists before publishing them.

  • Re:work around (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 10, 2009 @07:27PM (#27537557)
    The hours at which school starts around here are fucking ridiculous, but IME the real problem is that we have plenty of teachers who hardly speak the language themselves and practically no means by which to remove these incompetent fucktards from our school system. I'm not claiming that my English is perfect, far from it, but shit like teachers not knowing words like "deride" (bitch marked it as a mistake and asked if I meant "derive") should just not happen.
    Oh, and just FYI: French is usually the third language taught in school (well, either that or Spanish) with English being the second one. There are exceptions, but they are fairly rare.
  • WAIT A MINUTE! (Score:5, Informative)

    by AlgorithMan ( 937244 ) on Friday April 10, 2009 @07:58PM (#27537851) Homepage
    The law which would allow them to suspend a domain for anything is not yet through our assembly - IF they did this, it's illegal - also the message from the Domain name registrar (DENIC) translates out to

    The requested domain is currently not reachable

    The domain-owner or the administrative contact should be informed about these problems by now. We expect them to be solved soon.

    If you as domain-owner or administrative contact are not yet informed about the hassle, we might not have reached you. In this case, please contact: ...

    so this MIGHT be a technical problem, though this still highly alarms me, since I am a political activist in germany, myself...

  • by init100 ( 915886 ) on Friday April 10, 2009 @08:00PM (#27537883)

    Just ask yourself what do you expect from a wikipedia spin-off?

    That a site uses MediaWiki, and includes Wiki in its name, does not make it a Wikipedia spinoff. MediaWiki is free software, and can be used by anyone, for any purpose, and the word Wiki is not trademarked by the WikiMedia Foundation, and thus, anyone can use that too.

  • by rm999 ( 775449 ) on Friday April 10, 2009 @08:23PM (#27538015) is the main domain name and has not been shut down. No access to information has been lost, except to the tiny minority of people who were only using and don't know how to use a search engine.

    It's a very minor form of censorship, but I think this story is a red herring to more important censorship stories like this one []

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Friday April 10, 2009 @08:52PM (#27538191) Journal

    Compare them to a respectable site like the smoking gun which actually fact checks their material

    Because it's much more important that we get to see Gary Busey's drunk-driving mug shot than to find out that a major Western democracy has secret prisons where rendition and torture are practiced.

  • Re:Yeah, right (Score:3, Informative)

    by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Friday April 10, 2009 @10:42PM (#27538819) Homepage

    Most countries don't restrict news about ongoing criminal trials. England and a handful of other countries do declare some cases to be sub judice [] but most don't and get along fine. Indeed, if I were being tried for a crime I'd rather it be made public. More eyes make it less likely that the government can get away with crap. The problem in these cases is that the British have a ridiculous attitude about child porn where once someone is even remotely accused of having anything to do with it the individual is treated as guilty.

    The leak of the BNP list is different. Many countries have party memberships kept completely in the open anyways. So making a big deal about Wikileaks hosting that leak isn't valid.

  • by no1home ( 1271260 ) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @04:11AM (#27540345)

    While there is no real loss of access to the information or loss of information itself, the loss of the domain is bad for those who prefer to use it. As has been argued elsewhere in these comments, this is censorship and it is wrong (even if it was accidental or some misunderstanding).

    How do we prevent this or restore this? The wikileak system should be more distrubuted. OK, it probably already is pretty distributed, especially when you account for the language- or country-specific domains. However, maybe we can do more? WikiTaxi ( is something I just learned about today and it looks quite interesting. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to bring down a P2P version of a wikileak website? I don't know the technical details of how to set it up, but there are a lot of incredibly smart programmers out there who can make it happen.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas