February 2008 Archives

Evan Spiegel, of Hollywood media celebrity vanity lawyers Lavely & SInger has filed a couple of extraordinarily inept Exhibits which were somehow supposed to counter the amicus curiae brief and the Motion to Intervene briefs in the Bank Julius Baer versus Wikileaks case..

See the Electronic Frontier Foundation's copy of Decl. of Evan Spiegel in Support of Plaintiff's Supplement Brief in Support of Application for Preliminary Injunction (.pdf )

Attached hereto as Exhibit "B" is a true and correct copy of printouts from the Wikileaks Websites, an example, from many, evidencing content and extensive edits provided by Wikileaks.

Although this is a legal document submission in a court case, under a system which uses electronic filing of documents and submissions, which are then available to the public and the media for a small fee, and is therefore not a "leaked whistleblower document", the mistakes in redaction and censorship are relevant to such leaked documents.

Exhibit "B" is a supposedly a "true and correct
copy" of the WikiLeakS.org web page from which the alleged .zip file archive relating to Heinri Steinberger, and Bowsprit Investments Ltd can be downloaded (page 9) and also a highlighted printout of the associated wiki page revision history (page 10)

Current WikiLeakS.org versions of these pages:

These Wikileaks user labelled edits are only to the explanatory page,which includes a link to the actual This page (page 9) describes the nature of the leaked document, and also any caveats or warnings about its authenticity. Some of this information will have come via the document submission form which the anonymous whistleblower filled in, and some will be commentary and/or language translation, provided by one or more WikiLeakS.org volunteers with privileged access to the system.

This wiki edit history page is not evidence of any editing or amendment of the actual leak documents in the compressed .zip file archive. It is not even evidence that anybody has actually opened the archive and ever read any of the alleged documents.

As it happens, some of the documents within this particular .zip archive, the Microsoft Word .doc files, rather than the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet files, have the Hidden bit set, so there is no guarantee that casual readers of this page will have seen and read all of the allegedly private information, which, according to Lavely & Singer may or may not be authentic or forged, in any case.

This Exhibit "B" appears to be an image scan of a printout out of an online web page, which has been incompetently redacted, with black marker pen, and then image scanned back into electronic .pdf file format, How can this be be sworn and attested to be a "true copy" ?

Extraordinarily, someone has attempted to hide the name Heinri Steinberger from the explanatory notes text about the leaked document, both in English and in the longer version in German.

They have also tried to do the same where the name is part of the computer file name and / or URL web page link.

Incredibly on page 9 of the Exhibit "B" they have not censored or redacted the actual postal address ("Freiherr von Stein 16, 60000, Frankfurt 70") of this supposedly highly confidential Bank Julius Baer client.

badly_censored.jpg

By not actually censoring the tail of the lower case "g" in Steinberger and by not properly blacking out either the text, or all of the surrounding white space, this could easily let people guess the words or names which are being censored or redacted.

However, even such guesswork is unnecessary, as on th next page, page 10 of the Exhibit "B", the printout from the WikiLeakS.org wiki page history revisions audit trail, the name appears in extra large text in the title of this page !

"BJB - Heinri Steinberger, Frankfurt Steurbetrug EUR 15 mil"

"Steuerbetrug" means "tax fraud or tax evasion", i.e. an illegal activity, rather than legal tax avoidance or tax management.

"EUR 15 mil" mean 15 million Euros (currently about 22.5 million US dollar))

Is this how Lavely & Singer are protecting the clients of Bank Julius Baer, by repeating the allegations of illegal activity in Court documents which are submitted electronically, and which are available to the public and the media for a small fee ?

Will Lavely & Singer now try to censor all the legal document databases and websites which will have copies of these Court documents ?

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has some copies of even more of the legal documents in the Bank Julius Baer versus Wikileaks case (.pdf 3 pages)

The good news is that Judge Jeffrey S. White has rejected the weaselly submissions of the Hollywood media celebrity vanity lawyers Lavely & Singer, acting for Bank Julius Baer, and is allowing the amicus curiae brief and Motions to Participate filed by various media and civil rights groups, and by some individuals who are having their access to WikiLeakS.org censored, to be heard by the Court.

See Court's Questions for Hearing (.pdf

He has allocated 25 minutes for each of the sets of lawyers to give oral answers to the Questions he has posed,

The fact that he is asking about the major First Amendment prior restraint prohibition, and whether Dynadot domain name registrar is exempt from legal action by virtue of the Communications Decency Act, and how the plaintiffs intend to enforce the Permanent Injunction, if it is still allowed to stand, all seem to be positive Questions for the defendants.

The Question of whether or not an accredited legal Counsel for Wikileaks turns up at the hearing later today (Friday 29th February 2008, 9:00am Pacific Standard Time = GMT +8 hours) is probably negative for Wikileaks, but only if nobody actually appears.

The Questions :

The following 12 media organisations have filed a joint Amici Curiae ("friends of the Court") brief in support of WikiLeakS.org against the claims of Bank Julius Baer and their lawyers Lavely & Singer.

  1. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
  2. The American Society of Newspaper Editors
  3. The Associated Press - (AP) world wide news agency, based in New York
  4. Citizen Media Law Project
  5. The E.W. Scripps Company - newspapers, TV, cable TV etc.
  6. Gannet Co. Inc - the largest publisher of newspapers in the USA, including USA Today
  7. The Hearst Corporation - media conglomerate which publishes the San Francisco Chronicle
  8. The Los Angeles Times
  9. National Newspaper Association
  10. Newspaper Association of America
  11. The Radio-Television News Directors Association
  12. The Society of Professional Journalists

See Brief of Amici Curiae (Media Coalition) (02-26-2008) (.pdf 17 pages)

These two groups have also filed a brief: Public Citizen - founded by Ralph Nader, together with the California First Amendment Coalition

See Public Citizen / CFAC brief (.pdf 13 pages)

These organisations have also filed their own Motion to Intervene as well: The Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), and an individual US based WikiLeakS.org user.

See Motion to Intervene and Supporting Memorandum (.pdf 15 pages)

Did the Hollywood media celebrity lawyers Lavely & Singer warn their clients Bank Julius Baer that their meddling with US First Amendment rights would result in so much expert legal opposition ?


The Los Angeles Times, seems to be first with the news that at last, there now seems to be some legal opposition , to the California Northern District Federal Court orders against WikiLeakS.org, on behalf of Bank Julius Baer:

Judge is asked to rescind shutdown of Web site

Media and public interest organizations tell the jurist that his order violates constitutional provisions against prior restraint of free speech.

By Henry Weinstein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
4:41 PM PST, February 26, 2008

A coalition of media and public interest organizations went to federal court in San Francisco today to urge a judge to reconsider shutting down a muckraking Web site that publishes business and government documents leaked from around the world.

Lawyers for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union and several news organizations told U.S. District Jeffrey White that two orders he issued last week to take wikileaks.org off the Internet were a prior restraint on free speech that violated the First Amendment.

"The First Amendment prohibits prior restraints in nearly every circumstance, even where national security may be at risk and even when the source unlawfully obtained the documents," the documents, filed on behalf of 12 media organizations, including The Times, Associated Press , Gannett, Hearst, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the Society of Professional Journalists, said.

This must surely be rather more heavyweight legal opposition than Bank Julius Baer and their lawyers Lavely & Singer, were expecting.

[...]

Wikileaks.org urges people to post leaked documents in an effort to discourage "unethical behavior" by corporations and government agencies. Matt Zimmerman, of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed separate papers asking White to reverse his ruling, said the case posed a key test of free speech on the Internet.

henry.weinstein@latimes.com

Hopefully the Judge will be able to rule in favour of WikiLeakS.org and to uphold the well established legal prohibitions against "prior restraint" under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

You can read one of the brief, by the Public Citizen and the California First Amendment Coalition:

Press release: Federal Court Should Not Have Shut Down Wikileaks.org, a Web Site for Whistleblowers

Public Citizen and California First Amendment Coalition brief (.pdf 13 pages)

This argues strongly that

  • the Federal Court does not even have jurisdiction in a case involving Swiss individual and corporate citizens, involving only Switzerland and the Cayman Islands

  • . that both the Domain Name Registrar Dynadot and WikiLeakS.org are "interactive computer services"and are therefore immune from responsibility for the publications of their customers, or users, under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

  • WikiLeakS.org is not a business trying to gain commercial advantage, but a non-commercial organisation., so the claims about "business names"do not apply

  • Powerful legal precedents forbidding Prior Restraint of publications.


  • It is worrying that the WikiLeakS.org project did not manage to file, even electronically, any counter arguments to the exaggerated and misleading claims by their opponents in the California Northern District Federal Court.

    See the (.pdf) copies of the Court Orders and Submissions at the
    Citizen Media Law Project's Julius Baer Bank and Trust v. Wikileaks archive.

    The TRO and OSC set Wednesday, February 20, 2008 at 12:00 p.m. as the deadline for Defendants and anyone else to file and serve any opposition to the issuance of the Preliminary Injunction

    However, the Bank Julius Baer and ther lawyers Lavely & Singer have gleefully filed another document, trying to make out that because WikiLeakS.org have not filed anything in writing, that this somehow justifies the Plaintiffs' claims.

    See Banks' Notice of Non-Opposition (02-22-2008) (.pdf)

    There has been a fair amount of publicity in the blogosphere promoting the actual IP address 88.80.13.160 of the WikiLeakS.org servers at IPQ Internet in Stockholm, Sweden.

    There have been some inaccurate reports in the the mainstream media about lots of "mirror sites". There do seem to be some sites which are mirroring actual copies of the disputed documents in the Bank Julius Baer legal action against Wikileaks in California e.g. Cryptome.org, and the documents are available via the BitTorrent distributed peer to peer file sharing network.

    However most of these alleged mirrors hold no actual copies of the documents at all, and just point some of their Domain Name Service sub-domains at the 88.80.13.160 IP address in Stockholm. This is important, as many of these Cover Names are not legally under the jurisdiction of the United States of America or the People's Republic of China etc. which are trying to censor WikiLeakS.org.

    There are other alternative ways of getting your web browser software to connect to this website, some of which may be useful for getting around some crude methods of PC client or local router based censorware, if some organisations may choose to add this IP address to their banned lists.e.g.

    There are all sorts of other possibilities including padding with leading zeros, hex encoded ascii characters, double byte Unicode representations etc., and mixing some or all of these formats within a single URL. Modern web browser will usually translate all of these variants into the real IP address.

    Unless any Court Orders catch all of these possible variants, it may be that you can legally evade any censorship.

    Remember that some other "wikileaks" domain names
    are specifically mentioned in the second Temporary Restraining Order, and they all use the services of the California based EasyDNS.net, which will , no doubt, comply with the Order, if and when it is actually served on them specifically.

    including on the websites operated at wikileaks.org, wikileaks.org.au, wikileaks.org.uk, wikileaks.la, wikileaks.cn, wikileaks.in, wikileaks.org.nz (collectively the “Wikileaks Websites”), and any other websites under their ownership, control and/or which they can post or edit any content;

    wikileaks.cn was already out of action due to the Chinese Government censors.

    wikileaks.org.au and wikileaks.org.nz frame forward to point to wikileaks.cx instead of the now US censored wikileaks.org

    wikileaks.org.uk, wikileaks.la, and wikileaks.in point directly to 88.80.13.160

    The published Wikileaks Connection Anonymity page has an out of date list of Cover Names:

    Below is a List of Wikileaks Cover Names, which worked on 24th February 2008:

    Why are lawyers so greedy in their legal claims ? Words like "all" or "every" should not be allowed in legal language, without explicit caveats and qualifications, limiting their scope.

    Judge Jeffery S.White's approval of the first Restraining Order against WikiLeakS and the Domain Name Registrar Dynadot LLC was bad enough.

    His second one, a Proposed Amended Temporary Restraining Order, is even wider in scope and is remarkable for several features, which seem to betray an unfamiliarity and incompetence with the Internet, which is astonishing for someone who works in the internet savvy city of San Francisco.

    Hat tip to the Law Librarian Blog Permanent Injunction issued against Wikileaks:

    The Citizen Media Law Project has a 10 page .pdf copy of the Second Order made by the judge Hon. Jeffrey S. White against Wikileaks:

    Proposed Amended Temporary Restraining Order and Order To Show Cause re. Preliminary Injunction 4405-2\PLE\PROP-ORD-TRO 021408 CV08-0824 JSW (.pdf 10 pages)

    N.B. if you are within US Federal Court legal jurisdiction, and if you are actually hosting copies of the alleged documents, rather than simply publishing links to, or pointing sub-domains at, the home page of WikiLeakS.org servers in Sweden, then you may wish to remain legally ignorant and able to deny that you have actually read the text of this Court order. Try using Tor or other means of obscuring your computer's real IP address, before you open the .pdf file link above, or before you continue to read the rest of this blog article.

    A minor point first: The Order was signed on Thursday 14th February has immediate effect, and it orders that a copy must be emailed to the Defendants by the following day Friday

    However the previous Order forcing Dynadot to suspend the Domain Name Registration of WikilLeaks.org , also had immediate effect, thereby stopping all emails to legal@wikileaks.org.etc. - how do the lawyers expect an email to be delivered to a no longer active internet domain name ?

    The number of innocent people, and the "collateral damage" implied by this list of people and organisations, many of whom are outside of the USA, is huge:

    all of the Wikileaks Defendants’ DNS host service providers, ISP’s, domain registrars, website site developers, website operators, website host service providers, and administrative and technical domain contacts, and anyone else responsible or with access to modify the website

    [...]

    Defendants are to immediately provide Plaintiffs’ counsel with the name, address, telephone number, and facsimile transmission number for all of their DNS hosting services, ISP’s, domain registrars, website site developers, website operators and website host service providers,

    Thirdly, and almost comically, the greedy lawyers, instead of being content with just the list of alleged documents relating to the tax evasion, money laundering and, perhaps, some perfectly legal financial activities in the Cayman Islands subsidiary of Bank Julius Baer, they had to, stupidly, include

    "whether or not such documents and information are authentic, semi-altered, semi-fraudulent or forged,"

    How can you possibly claim copyright infringement damage on forged documents ?

    This looks like an unintended, but logical consequence:

    "internal non-public company documents and/or which contains private client or customer bank records and/or identifies client or customer names, data, account records and/or bank account numbers,"

    This could mean the crippling all of Bank Julius Baer's own use of the internet to provide private electronic banking and financial investment advice to their customers over the internet.

    The Order does not just cover Wikileaks but also the insiders and whistleblowers inside Bank Julius Baer, who might be tempted to blow the whistle on their internet media inept employers.

    Like any modern international financial institution, Bank Julius Baer promotes itself on the world wide web at

    http://www.juliusbaer.com

    Which at first glance should be exempt from the Order, as public internet web server pages, files and images are not usually

    internal non-public company documents

    However even the English language version of their home page contains this bit of HTML source code comments, probably related to the press release news items. However this contains some Javascript source code warnings:

    var __wpmExportWarning='This Web Part Page has been personalized. As a result, one or more Web Part properties may contain confidential information. Make sure the properties contain information that is safe for others to read.

    How is an Internet Service Provider meant to comply with the Order, except by blocking the Bank Julius Baer public website, which may contain confidential data

    Even worse, like most large financial institutions, Bank Julius Baer operates services via the internet, through which their customers can access their bank accounts, investment portfolios, investment research advice etc. - all of which is not public, but private data or documents, and therefore covered by this Restraining Order.

    • http://www.gam.com Global Asset Management, based in London
    • http://www.infidar.ch nfidar Investment Advisory Ltd in Zurich
    • https://ebaer.juliusbaer.com eBaer ebanking in Switzerland
    • https://e-jbs.juliusbaer.com.sg e-JBS ebanking in SIngapore
    • https://e-JBN.juliusbaer.com/ e-JBN
    • http://www.jbfundnet.com Fund offer
    • http://research.juliusbaer.com JBresearch

    This Order also seems to cover the use or abuse of any Bank Julius Baer internet systems e.g. Email or File Transfer or Virtual Private Networks etc. connecting to their Class B IP address allocation from the IP Plus, a subsidiary of Swisscom, the main telecomms company in Switzerland.

    inetnum: 159.103.0.0 - 159.103.255.255
    netname: BAERNET
    descr: Bank Juliusbaer & Co Ltd
    country: CH

    Any prudent, law abiding Internet Service Provider, or any other Company or Financial Institution, especially those within the legal jurisdiction of the Federal Court in Northern California, i.e. in the entire United States of America, should also block access to and from the internet for these

    Since Bank Julius Baer has offices in Los Angeles and New York, these offices at least, should have their internet access blocked, by virtue of this far too widely draughted Order.

    The list of files in the Exhibit "A" appendix, which have been culled from the WikilLeakS pages, include the SHA 256 cryptographic secure hash algorithm checksums. These are not mentioned or explained by whoever wrote this Order. If any of the other copies of these alleged documents differ by so much as one single keystroke or space from these particular copies, they will provably have a different SHA 256 checksum, and will be provably not the actual documents specifically mentioned in the Exhibit "A" appendix.

    Here is the text of the Permanent Restraining Order, for the benefit of search engine queries:

    Here is the text of the Injunction against the WikiLeakS.org Domain Name Registrar Dynadot LLC.

    Below, via a Wikileaks Cover Name URL, is the text of the Injunction - see the WikiLeakS Dynadot-injunction.pdf page for the original:

    UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA SAN FRANCISCO DIVISION

    BANK JULIUS BAER & CO. LTD, a
    Swiss entity; and JULIUS BAER BANK
    AND TRUST CO. LTD, a Cayman Island
    entity,

    Plaintiffs,

    vs.

    WIKILEAKS, an entity of unknown form;
    WIKILEAKS.ORG, an entity of unknown
    form; DYNADOT, LLC, a California
    limited liability company; and DOES 1
    through 10, inclusive,

    "DOES" means "John Doe(s) " i.e. a person or persons unknown

    Defendants.


    Case No. CV08-0824 JSW
    ORDER GRANTING
    PERMANENT INJUNCTION

    The word "PROPOSED]" is crossed through in the .pdf image

    The Court, having considered the stipulation between Plaintiffs JULIUS BAER & CO. LTD and JULIUS BAER BANK AND TRUST CO. LTD. (collectively “Julius Baer” and/or “Plaintiff’s”) and Defendant DYNADOT LLC (“Dynadot”), the complaint, and other papers, evidence, and arguments presented by the parties, and finding that immediate harm will result to Plaintiffs in the absence of injunctive relief,

    What "immediate harm" can a Domain Name Registration do to anyone ?

    If the name itself was, obscene, defamatory or infringed on the plaintiff's registered trade mark, or the control or ownership of the name was in dispute i.e. the usual legal worries about domain name registrations, then perhaps, but these are plainly not in question with WikiLeaks.org

    IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

    1. Dynadot shall immediately lock the wikileaks.org domain name to prevent transfer of the domain name to a different domain registrar, and shall immediately disable the wikileaks.org domain name and account to prevent access to and any changes from being made to the domain name and account information, until further order of this Court.

    2. Dynadot shall immediately disable the wikileaks.org domain name and account such that the optional privacy who-is service for the domain name and account remains turned off, until further order of this Court.

    3. Dynadot shall preserve a true and correct copy of both current and any and all prior or previous administrative and account records and data for the wikileaks.org domain name and account.

    4. Dynadot 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.

    5. Dynadot shall immediately produce both current and any all prior or previous administrative and account records and data for the wikileaks.org domain name and account, including, but not limited to, all data for the registrant; billing, technical and administrative contacts; all account and payment records and associated data; and IP addresses and associated data used by any person, other than Dynadot, who accessed the account for the domain name, to the extent such information is maintained by Dynadot.

    6. Plaintiffs shall immediately upon entry of this order file a dismissal with prejudice in favor of Dynadot. Notwithstanding the foregoing, plaintiffs and Dynadot stipulate and agree that the Court shall retain jurisdiction to enforce this order.

    Why did the Judge order the Plaintiffs to "file a dismissal with prejudice in favor of Dynadot", but not Wikileaks or Wikileaks.org or the "John Does(s)" ?

    A "dismissal with prejudice" apparently means that the claim that is dismissed may not be brought again in any court.

    Dated: February 15 , 2008

    Jeffrey S. White
    United States District Judge

    Why is a Californian Court meddling with matters which are outside of its jurisdiction i.e. a Swiss Bank, its Cayman Islands tax avoidance / money laundering subsidiaries and alleged documents on web servers physically and legally located in Sweden ?

    There is no mention of the actual alleged documents being under an injunction.

    Bank Julius Baer and its shyster lawyers Lavely & Singer are only going to get bad publicity and widespread ridicule from this vexatious llitigation harassment, which has done nothing to suppress the alleged documents they are pretending to be worried about.

    Surely there is a case for suing Bank Julius Baer and Lavely & Singer for malicious prosecution under California's anti-SLAPP legilation ?

    See Wikipedia article on California Anti-SLAPP Project

    Currently http://WikiLeakS.org is either having technical Domain Name System problems, or, there has indeed been a Temporary Restraining Order granted by the California Northern District Court in San Francisco, against Wikileaks et al, on behalf of Bank Julius Baer.

    See the previous blog article:- "WikiLeakS.org and their Domain Name Registrar are being sued in California by Bank Julius Baer"for more details

    This lack of a working WikiLeakS.org domain name also affects the URL

    http://www.wikileaks.org

    and the the SSL encrypted version at

    https://secure.wikileaks.org

    However the WikiLeaks front end servers, currently hosted in Sweden, are still working, and can still be accessed via some, but not all of the published list of Public Cover Names:

    Why are Bank Julius Baer and their Hollywood celebrity media spin lawyers Lavely & Singer, trying to abuse the US legal system, to censor WikiiLeakS.org, over some alleged documents which have nothing to do with the USA ? The alleged documents which WikilLeakS.org have published, involve dubious financial transactions in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland, whilst the WikiLeakS,org copies of these alleged documents appear to be located in Sweden

    Here is a list of Wikileaks Cover Name URL links which worked ok for us in the last few hours:

    WikiLeakS.org have been silent about any recent developments in the Legal Threats against the project

    See the previous blog article Has WikiLeakS.org seen off the recent threats by law firms ?

    However, we have stumbled across this:

    Justia - Federal District Court Filings & Dockets has some details showing that Hollywood minor media celebrity spin lawyers have at least filed a writ with a Court in California and do seem to be trying to sue WikiLeakS.org

    Astonishingly, the Domain Name Registrar Dynadot LLC,who originally registered the WikiLeakS.org domain name back in October 2006, is also being sued, even though they are not even providing the use of DNS servers for the WikiLeakS.org domain name !

    Currently the WikiLeakS.org front end website seems to be hosted in Sweden.

    Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd. et al v. Wikileaks et al

    Plaintiffs: Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd. and Julius Baer Bank and Trust Co. LTD.

    Defendants: Wikileaks, Wikileaks.Org and Dynadot LLC

    Case Number: 3:2008cv00824
    Filed: February 6, 2008

    Court: California Northern District Court
    Office: San Francisco Office
    County: Outside US
    Presiding Judge: Hon. Jeffrey S. White

    Nature of Suit: Torts - Injury - Other Personal Injury
    Cause: 28:1332 Diversity-Other Contract
    Jurisdiction: Diversity
    Jury Demanded By: Plaintiff
    Amount Demanded: $75,000.00

    It seems that the case was scheduled to be heard on Thursday 14th February 2008

    10:00 AM (r)C-08-824 JSW
    Bank Julius Baer, et al., v. Wikileaks, et al.,
    Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order

    Has this been granted or not ?

    There also seems to be a scheduled hearing on Friday 29th February 2008:

    09:00 AM (r)C-08-824 JSW
    Bank Julius Baer, et al., v. Wikileaks, et al.,
    Order to Show Cause re: Preliminary Injunction

    Are WikiLeakS.org lawyers defending this, or is it all going through automatically "on the nod"?

    Surely this United States Court will uphold the Defendants' fundamental right of Free Speech, under the First Amendment to the US Constitution ?

    We await details of the outcome with interest.

    Is this an attempt at a Denial of Service attack via the threat of a legal court case ?

    If the Plaintiffs cause, either directly or indirectly, any "collateral damage" to an innocent Domain Name Registrar or to innocent Internet Service Providers, then they will face their own legal counter action, and the intense wrath and hatred of many internet users and customers.

    If Bank Julius Baer and their lawyers Lavely & Singer" really are stupid enough to bring legal action against an ICANN accredited Domain Name Registrar, then they might find that they have rather more to lose than the $75,000 they are demanding i.e. their own corporate brand name internet domain names !

    WikiLeakS.org Domain Name Registration details - note the new contact postal address in Nairobi, Kenya :

    Somewhat naively, WikiLeakS.org claim that

    Most documents come in from journalists. Frauds are extremely rare, but possible.

    How can they possibly make that assumption ?

    It appears that the WikiLeakS.org editors have had second thoughts and now doubt the authenticity of some allegations of tax evasion by a German Architect Juergen Grossman, amongst the documents uploaded and published in the Bank Julius Baer section

    This document, its description below as well as comments posted to it are false or falsified according to different sources and investigation into them. Wikileaks is investigating as to why false documents in context to Bank Julius Baer have been put up

    The reason why "false documents... have been put up" should be obvious - it is because WikiLeakS.org have created a channel which allows this to be done.

    It is also a bit simplistic to think that even reliable sources always provide truthful, accurate and complete information.

    Similarly, untested or previously unreliable sources can provide good information, sometimes.

    Perhaps WikiLeakS.org need to tag the leaked / published documents like, for example, UK Police Forces do under under the National Intelligence Model, and their 5x5x5 Intelligence Grading form system:

    For example:

    Intel Source or Intel Source Ref. No:

    Police Intelligence databases usually try to keep this secret

    See also the previous blog article:

    Does linking "Peryton" to several leaks partially betray the WikiLeakS.org promise of anonymity ?

    They give an A to F rating for the reliability of the source

    Source Evaluation:

    • A = Always Reliable
    • B = Mostly Reliable
    • C = Sometimes Reliable
    • D = Unreliable
    • E = Untested Source

    Then there is a 1 to 5 rating for the accuracy of the information

    Intelligence Evaluation:

    • 1 = Known to be true without reservation (usually technical forensic information or database records, which is not, of course, always strictly the case))
    • 2 = Known personally to the source but not to the officer
    • 3 = Not known personally to the source but corroborated
    • 4 = Cannot be judged
    • 5 = Suspected to be false

    The third "x 5" in the UK Police Intelligence Grading scheme is the level Protective Marking and handling restrictions applied to the intelligence data, something which might, perhaps, be of use internally within WikiLeakS.org, but which is redundant for published material.

    Handling Code - To be completed at time of entry into an intelligence system and reviewed on dissemination.

    • 1 = May be disseminated to other law enforcement and prosecuting agencies, including law enforcement with the EEA and EU compatible (no Code or Conditions)
    • 2 = May be disseminated to UK non-prosecuting parties (Code 3.7 conditions apply)
    • 3 = May be disseminated to non-EEA law enforcement agencies (Code 4.7 and/or conditions apply, specify below)
    • 4 = Only disseminate within originating agency / force. Specify internal recipient(s)
    • 5 = Disseminate: Intelligence Receiving agency to observe conditions as specified below.

    The European Economic Area (EEA) and the European Union (EU), are covered by similar Data Protection laws, other countries, generally have weaker protections in law, like the USA.

    Other Intelligence Agencies and mainstream media organisations presumably do something similar, although they never seem to bother to publish these reliability assessments, and tend to just quote "Government" or "Police" or "Security" sources anonymously.

    Another similar model is used by the website GlobalSecurity.org, as caveats and disclaimers on its Terrorist suspect profiles:


    Key to bullets

    greenbullet.gif - High confidence

    yellowbullet.gif - Some confidence

    redbullet.gif - Low confidence

    blackbullet.gif - No confidence

    More explanation of the GlobalSecurity.org classifications:

    The latest selective leak of US Military classified documents by the WikiLeakS.org publishers raises another couple of important questions, to add to the list of unanswered questions about the ethics and the security of the whole project:

    Classified SECRET consolidated US Forces Rules of Engagement (ROE) for Iraq.

    [...]

    The ROE comes from 'Peryton' a national security whistleblower who has supplied a number of other classified or For Official Use Only documents, two of which have been publicly verified by the US military:

    • Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedure (2003)
    • Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedure (2004)

    and one of which attracted a "no comment", but was subsequently privately verified by UPI's national security correspondent Shaun Waterman:

    • U.S lost Fallujah's info war (and associated links)

    [...]

    On motivation, Peryton has shown that they are primarily motivated by ethical concerns...

    [...]

    The mere fact of leaking such documents gives no clue as to what the real motivations or agenda of the whistleblower or document leaker actually is.

    A couple of obvious questions:

    1. Was the public linking by the WikiLeakS.org publishers, of several separate leaked documents, to a single supposedly anonymous source "Peryton", done with that source's prior permission ?

    2. Since this could make it easier for any investigation to track down a particular whistleblower, then is this a partial betrayal of the WikiLeakS.org promise of anonymity ?

    Have WikileakS.org successfully faced down the notorious legal firm of London based minor celebrity media spin lawyers Schillings, whose attempts to censor UK political blogs backfired so spectacularly over their rich client Alisher Usmanov''s criminal past ?

    They were threatening WikiLeakS.org on behalf of the discredited Northern Rock plc, who managed to have the first run on a bank in the UK in over 140 years, and who, together with the inept handling of the crisis by the Labour government, are costing the UK taxpayer billions of pounds.

    See the WikiLeakS.org category Northern Rock vs. Wikileaks

    Judging from our log files, there is also some interest out there in the other legal threat against the WikilLeakS.org project, from the whistleblower persecuting Swiss bank of Julius Bär (or Julius Baer), who have hired Hollywood minor celebrity media spin lawyers Lavely & Singer .

    Have they carried out their threat to sue WikiLeakS.org in the USA ?

    See the WikiLeakS.org category Bank Julius Baer vs. Wikileaks

    Has WikiLeakS.org seen off these threatening legal letters, or is there actually a real risk of expensive legal court cases ?

    It is interesting that the first threats to WikiLeaksS.org do not come initially from the sovereign Governments which might have been annoyed by the the various politically selected leaks chosen by the WikiLeakS activists.

    On another note, the WikiLeakS.org PGP Encryption Key has still not been updated - it expired on the 2nd November 2007.


    About this blog

    This blog here at WikiLeak.org (no "S") discusses the ethical and technical issues raised by the WikiLeakS.org project, which is trying to be a resource for whistleblower leaks, by providing "untraceable mass document leaking and analysis".

    These are bold and controversial aims and claims, with both pros and cons, especially for something which crosses international boundaries and legal jurisdictions.

    This blog is not part of the WikiLeakS.org project, and there really are no copies of leaked documents or files being mirrored here.

    Email Contact

    Please feel free to email us your views about this website or news about the issues it tries to comment on:

    email: blog@WikiLeak[dot]org

    Before you send an email to this address, remember that this blog is independent of the WikiLeakS.org project.

    If you have confidential information that you want to share with us, please make use of our PGP public encryption key or an email account based overseas e.g. Hushmail

    LeakDirectory.org

    Now that the WikiLeakS.org project is defunct, so far as new whistleblower are concerned, what are the alternatives ?

    The LeakDirectory.org wiki page lists links and anonymity analyses of some of the many post-wikileaks projects.

    There are also links to better funded "official" whistlblowing crime or national security reporting tip off websites or mainstream media websites. These should, in theory, be even better at protecting the anonymity and security of their informants, than wikileaks, but that is not always so.

    New whistleblower website operators or new potential whistleblowers should carefully evaluate the best techniques (or common mistakes) from around the world and make their personal risk assessments accordingly.

    Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers and Political Dissidents

    The WikiLeakS.org Submissions web page provides some methods for sending them leaked documents, with varying degrees of anonymity and security. Anybody planning to do this for real, should also read some of the other guides and advice to political activists and dissidents:

    Please take the appropriate precautions if you are planning to blow the whistle on shadowy and powerful people in Government or commerce, and their dubious policies. The mainstream media and bloggers also need to take simple precautions to help preserve the anonymity of their sources e.g. see Spy Blog's Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers - or use this easier to remember link: http://ht4w.co.uk

    BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

    Digital Security & Privacy for Human Rights Defenders manual, by Irish NGO Frontline Defenders.

    Everyone’s Guide to By-Passing Internet Censorship for Citizens Worldwide (.pdf - 31 pages), by the Citizenlab at the University of Toronto.

    Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents - March 2008 version - (2.2 Mb - 80 pages .pdf) by Reporters Without Borders

    Reporters Guide to Covering the Beijing Olympics by Human Rights Watch.

    A Practical Security Handbook for Activists and Campaigns (v 2.6) (.doc - 62 pages), by experienced UK direct action political activists

    Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress & Tor - useful step by step guide with software configuration screenshots by Ethan Zuckerman at Global Voices Advocacy. (updated March 10th 2009 with the latest Tor / Vidalia bundle details)

    WikiLeakS Links

    The WikiLeakS.org Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

    WikiLeakS Twitter feeds

    The WikiLeakS.org website does not stay online all of the time, especially when there is a surge of traffic caused by mainstream media coverage of a particularly newsworthy leak.

    Recently, they have been using their new Twitter feeds, to selectively publicise leaked documents to the media, and also to report on the status of routing or traffic congestion problems affecting the main website in Stockholm, Sweden.

    N.B.the words "security" or "anonymity" and "Twitter" are mutually exclusive:

    WikiLeakS.org Twitter feed via SSL encrypted session: https://twitter.com/wikileaks

    WikiLeakS.org unencrypted Twitter feed http://twitter.com/wikileaks

    Internet Censorship

    OpenNet Initiative - researches and measures the extent of actual state level censorship of the internet. Features a blocked web URL checker and censorship map.

    Temporary Autonomous Zone

    Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ) by Hakim Bey (Peter Lambourn Wilson)

    Cyberpunk author William Gibson

    Campaign Button Links

    Watching Them, Watching Us, UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
    UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

    NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
    NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

    Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
    Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

    FreeFarid_150.jpg
    FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

    Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond

    Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

    Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
    Data Retention is No Solution Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

    Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
    Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

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    Open Rights Group

    The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

    Tor - the onion routing network
    Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

    Tor - the onion routing network
    Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

    irrepressible_banner_03.gif
    Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

    anoniblog_150.png
    BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

    ngoiab_150.png
    NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

    homeofficewatch_150.jpg
    Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

    rsf_logo_150.gif
    Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

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    Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

    wikileaks_logo_low.jpg
    Wikileaks.org - the controversial "uncensorable, anonymous whistleblowing" website based currently in Sweden.

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