Wikileaks spokesperson discusses recent court case with Wikinews
Monday, March 3, 2008
The website wikileaks.org has recently been brought back online following the lifting of a court injunction forcing the site to be taken down. According to a Wikileaks press release from when the site was taken offline, the injunction stated that "Dynadot [Wikileaks host] shall immediately clear and remove all DNS hosting records for the wikileaks.org domain name and prevent the domain name from resolving to the wikileaks.org website or any other website or server other than a blank park page, until further order of this Court."
As Wikleaks is a wiki and is therefore not run by anyone, Jonathon Winterview interviewed a spokesperson of Wikileaks, who answered all the below questions.
((Wikinews (Jonathon Winterview) )) What do you believe Judge Whites reasoning was for lifting the injunction?
- Wikileaks: Judge White stated that he lifted the order based on first amendment grounds. He also mentioned the counter-productive effect of the previous order, which only served to draw attention to and spread the documents concerned. While no doubt these reasons play a part in the decision, we should not forget that by having 12 lawyers physically in the court room arguing against the censorship order -- and many newspapers outside it -- Wikileaks displayed more "power" at this hearing than the Swiss Caymans bank was able to muster. The anti-censorship side also spent considerably more money. While the outcome is certainly just, let us not forget that what it took to achieve it. What it took to overturn the order was raw power -- Wikileaks in solidarity with 18 large media organizations and constitutional rights groups. While we hope we have set an example to other judges who would make similiar [sic] orders, every day less well-connected individuals and groups are censored because they lack the resources to engage in a Wikileaks-style technical, political and legal fight. Let us not forget them.
((WN )) Bank Julius Baer have claimed in a recent press release that they did not wish for wikileaks.org to be taken off line. Do you believe the claims in this statement? If not, why not?
- WL: This is a lie. See "Wikileaks blasts Cayman Islands bank" for our full response. [In Wikileaks blasts Cayman Islands bank they say "Baer's requests to the court to do just that are a matter of public record. The only change made by Judge Jeffery White to Baer's proposed "Wikileaks.org' takedown order was to cross out the word 'proposed'! Baer also wrote-for-the-judge a separate order in relation to the documents alone, which was similarly granted. Further, at any time subsequent Baer could have asked the court that its earlier request on the shutdown order be rescinded. It has not done so. While one might be tempted to blame the bank's Hollywood lawyers Lavely & Singer for running amuck, Baer continues to employ the same law firm. This can only be seen as an endorsement of its conduct."]
((WN )) Do you believe Bank Julius Baer will suffer as a result taking Wikileaks to court?
- WL: Baer will lose millions of dollars, possibly hundreds of millions dollars as a result of its attack. Baer has a prospective US IPO listed at close to $1 billion. Apart from the world-wide ill will and increased scrutinty from regulators Baers actions must have produced, it is not unreasonable to suggest a fall of 10% to 30% of the IPO price — $100M to $300M.
((WN )) Bank Julius Baer have said that they were not able to negotiate with Wikileaks. Is this true?
- WL: This is a lie. See "Wikileaks blasts Cayman Islands bank" for our full response.
- [ed. In this message, Wikileaks blasts the Cayman Island bank saying that "Wikileaks responded with grace and speed to every one of Baer's highly irregular... demands and left communication open."]