X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Two civil liberties organizations have stepped into a mushrooming first amendment fight over a federal judge’s order shutting down Wikileaks.org, a Web site known for anonymous posting of confidential government and corporate documents. The American Civil Liberties Union in Northern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which defends free speech and privacy on the Internet, have asked to intervene in the suit by Swiss bank, Julius Baer, seeking to permanently shut down the site. The case became an instant cause among Internet loggers and drew wider media attention when U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White ordered the domain name shut down last week. This lead to wide posting of the site’s Internet Protocol, or IP address at 88.80.13.160, allowing anyone to continue to access Wikileaks documents through a digital back door. The ACLU and EFF filed motions Feb. 26 to intervene in the lawsuit on behalf of organizations and individuals who have accessed and used its documents and want to continue. The Wikileaks website was created a year ago to allow participants to anonymously disclose documents that purport to expose misconduct by companies and governments around the world. Among other things it posted materials discussing U.S. Army operations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and alleged human rights abuses in China. A Swiss bank, Julius Baer, asked the court to order removal of several hundred documents posted on Wikileaks.org that purport to be about alleged money laundering and tax evasion. The bank’s attorney, Evan Spiegel of Lavely & Singer in Los Angeles, said the postings invaded the privacy of the banks’ records and risked exposure of client information. White initially ordered the site permanently shuttered, prior to a hearing that included a Wikileaks lawyer. That was later pulled back and a temporary restraining order imposed, with a hearing set for Feb. 29. “The Supreme Court has warned against ‘burning down the house to roast the pig,’” said Steve Mayer, with San Francisco’s Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, who is working for the interveners. “Blocking access to the entire site in response to a few documents posted there completely disregards the public’s right to know,” said Ann Brick, ACLU staff attorney in San Francisco. The case is reminiscent of the 2001 suit by Yahoo Inc. challenging a French government order to block online auctioning of Nazi memorabilia by Yahoo in France, where such sales are illegal. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2006 that American courts did not have jurisdiction to interfere with the French law, despite Yahoo’s claim of First Amendment violations, Yahoo Inc. v. La Ligue Contre Le Racisme, 433 F.3d 1199 (2006).

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.