Bad day for good government

A federal judge in California has ordered that WikiLeaks be taken offline at the behest of a Swiss bank whose practices in support of white collar crime were leaked. Because WikiLeaks’ servers are located all of the world, the injunction was imposed on their DNS provider. The site is still up but it is now only reachable via its IP address — 88.80.13.160. It seems to me that there are lots of first amendment issues in play here.

In other news, President Bush has been complaining for weeks about the administration’s inability to protect America if the wiretapping bill currently being held up by House Democrats does not pass. The Director of National Intelligence has come out and admitted that the problem is not that the White House is losing powers it requires (not that I believe it requires those powers in the first place), but rather that private telecommunications firms will not be guaranteed immunity from legal liability if they break the law in assisting the government in spying. Everybody knew that was the case, but it’s nice for the government to admit it.

Update: Michael Froomkin has more on the rulings in the WikiLeaks case.

2 thoughts on “Bad day for good government

  1. I just took a quick glance, but I think this WikiLinks thing is a judicial “order” in name only. It looks like a typical settlement agreement, probably offered by DynaDot, who likely went to the Plaintiff and said “if we take down the DNS records can you leave us out of this?” DynaDot likely had a strong case, if not rock solid, but that doesn’t prevent them from bargaining their way out of the suit however they see fit.

    I’m not a lawyer (at least not yet), but the jargon might be making this look like something it’s not.

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