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Nye Lavalle
Court Shuts Down Whistleblower Site
Posted Feb 20th 2008 10:11AM by Tim Stevens
Filed under: Computers
Nobody likes a snitch, but the whistleblower, someone who exposes corruption, is often held in quite high regard. There's a fine line between the two types of tattletales, but most everyone is almost always happy to see shady and illegal back room dealings exposed.

Everyone, it seems, except the American courts. The U.S. Supreme Court made exposing misdeeds a little more dangerous last year when it ruled that whistleblowing employees had no protection against retaliation from employers. Now, a California District Court judge has ordered the online anonymous whistleblowing site, Wikileaks.org, to shut down.

Wikileaks, which is currently available at the address Wikileaks.be, launched in December of 2006 as a place for the anonymous posting of information by whistleblowers. It was responsible for the revealing of the controversial "Standard Operating Procedures for Camp Delta" at Guantanamo Bay, which exposed some potential civil rights violations. The site hosts thousands of other posted documents, which range from supposed e-mails from U.S. Ambassadors to videos showing a nuclear accident in Japan.

Last week's ruling from the California judge is in response to a lawsuit by the Julius Baer Group, a Swiss bank that was alleged to be involved in money laundering. The allegations were backed up by documents posted -- illegally, according to the bank -- to Wikileaks. The judge ruled that the Wikileaks.org domain name could no longer be renewed or resolved.

Given that the site is mirrored in many countries around the world with suffixes besides ".org," however, it's likely that Wikileaks won't be affected too much by this immediate ruling. All that said, we expect a more concerted effort against this site in the not too distant future, given that the site's main purpose of exposing secrets more less always creates enemies.
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