March 2008 Archives

The WikiLeakS.org servers seem to have come back online after the maintenance upgrade at their hosting provider in Sweden.

It is worth re-stating from the previous blog comment

Hopefully none of the SSL or Tor private cryptographic keys on the server hardware will be copied, and no sneaky software patches will be secretly installed, during the possible window of vulnerability presented by this physical re-location of the server hardware.

Some people seem to panic whenever WikiLeakS.org is offline or unreachable, for even a few minutes or hours.

We have experienced the occasional "overloaded by readers" message today. Over the months since WikiLeakS.org started generating media interest, there have been several times when similar messages have been displayed.

Perhaps this time it was as as a result of extra web traffic, due to the current media hype about the Geert Wilders video "Fitna" about Islamic extremism which has now been now pulled from LiveLeak.com (YouTube etc. never wanted it either). Videos are much , much, larger files than .doc or .pdf documents, and so they impose much more strain on the infrastructure.

Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.

This illustrates one of the the risks which WikiLeakS.org staff and volunteers also face, and why, perhaps, they try to remain anonymous.

Or perhaps this is all due to some more Scientology web traffic malarkey,

N.B. we keep telling people not to bother searching for any "leaked" content here on this WikiLeak.org blog, but that does not seem to deter some Google search engine users, who are perhaps non-native English speakers, and others, from repeatedly trying our simple blog search form over and over again .

Remember that every time you do this, you leave some electronic clues in our web server log files - it is surprising how many people from rival Swiss Banks and other international financial institutions were hunting for clues about Bank Julius Baer, for example.

Whatever the reason for extra traffic peaks, or perhaps for temporary reduced capacity of the WikiLeakS.org servers, there is a small clue to the sort of infrastructure which WikiLeakS.org is running on i.e. there seems to some very common reverse proxy cache load management going on, resulting, sometimes in a message page :

wikileaks_overloaded_cache_message_300.jpg
Wikileaks is overloaded by readers

Wikileaks servers are currently overloaded by extreme popularity. Why not consider supporting Wikileaks so we can deploy more servers and keep fighting the good fight! See HERE for more information.

[... PayPal donations form]

Try again in a minute by pressing "return" on the website address in your browser address bar (do not press reload -- this will take longer).

[... email contact details]

N.B. the original "HERE" link to PledgeBank.org is currently missing a crucial "e"

Interestingly, at the bottom of the page is what looks like a Squid reverse proxy message says that it was generated "by cache.freedomhouse.org (squid)"

Interestingly "cache.freedomhouse.org" does not seem to resolve to have an external internet DNS entry.

"freedomhouse.org" is Freedom House which is a long established US based human rights lobbying group, who publish an annual report on the state of the world's tyrannies. The fact that they are large enough to have attracted US and other Government grants over the years, also attracts praise or criticism, depending on your own politics.

Whether or not Freedom House is officially actively supporting WikiLeakS.org is not at all clear. Whether or not such support would be a good thing, is also unclear.

Freedom House's web infrastructure seems to be confined to the USA, and it seems unlikely that they would be sharing internet infrastructure in Sweden, so perhaps this squid cache page is simply due to the some content or technical expertise being shared by the activists working for the core WikiLeakS.org group..

There is certainly some WikiLeakS.org style rhetoric text commented out in this web page source code reproduced below:

WikiLeakS.org seems to be down for maintenance and upgrades at the PRQ Internet hosting facility in Stockholm, Sweden:

Important update!

During the night of Friday 28th - Saturday 29th (of March), STH0 will be moved to Port80's new facilities. We expect this to take about 3h, during which all or much equipment hosted there will be unreachable. We apologize for the extremely short notice of this quite intrusive scheduled downtime, but we got very short notice ourselves. Power will be cut at 31th, so re-scheduling simply isn't an option. As usual, contact us if you have any questions regarding the move, or if there's any problems during or after the move. Call the cell phones - +46 (0)73 9691011 or the customer-only emergency number - as for obvious reasons the office will be unmanned.

Remember that currently, there are no proper "ready to go in an instant" disaster recovery or load balancing mirror websites, all the various Doman Name aliases of WikiLeakS.org point to the same Web / Wiki / Tor server in Stockholm, which also appears to host their email servers as well - a Single Point of Failure.

http://WikiLeakS.org - http://88.80.13.160

Do not expect to find any copies of their "leaked" content here on this WikiLeak.org blog e.g. the Fitna anti-islamic extremism video or Tibetan demonstrations videos, or the US Military documents etc.

Hopefully none of the SSL or Tor private cryptographic keys on the server hardware will be copied, and no sneaky software patches will be secretly installed, during the possible window of vulnerability presented by this physical re-location of the server hardware.

Following the Judge's ruling last week, the case in the California Northern District Federal Court against WikiLeakS.org has now been dropped.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation have a copy of the Plaintiff's Notice of Dismissal (.pdf 4 pages) whereby William J. Briggs II, a junior lawyer from Lavely & Singer files a Voluntary Motion of Dismissal without prejudice on behalf of the Swiss bank Bank Julius Baer and their Cayman Islands tax haven subsidiary Julius Baer Bank Trust Co. Ltd in their ill advised public relations disaster against Wikileaks.org, their domain name registrar Dynadot LLC, and the 10 unnamed John Does.

TO ALL PARTIES AND THEIR COUNSEL OF RECORD:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that Plaintiffs BANK JULIUS BAER & CO. LTD and JULIUS BAER BANK AND TRUST CO. LTD (“Plaintiffs”) hereby
voluntarily dismisses, without prejudice, the above captioned action in its entirety, whereby Plaintiffs may, at their option, later pursue their claims, including in an alternate court, jurisdiction or venue.

See the rest of the EFF's copies of the Court documents: Bank Julius Baer& co. v Wikileaks

By dropping the case, after the strong hints from the Judge to think again, now that the "cat is out of the bag" in regard to the alleged documents which have been published via WikiLeakS.org, the remaining Motions to Intervene by various media and civil liberties organisations and individuals will not now be heard, .

Lavely & Singer, based in Century City, near Hollywood, claim to be "one of the world's premiere talent-side entertainment litigation firms", which may well be true.
However, their legalistic bullying tactics and failure to understand, or deliberate misrepresentation of the internet's technical infrastructure, has rebounded on their clients Bank Julius Bär.

Rightly or wrongly now, for many people, and for search engine queries into the future, Bank Julius Baer is associated with with illegal tax evasion and money laundering.

"Bad publicity" might be better than "no publicity" for Hollywood media celebrity wannabes, but that should be an anathema for a Swiss Bank whose business model is supposedly to provide confidential, trust based private banking and investment "wealth management" services for the very rich.

Plaintiffs may, at their option, later pursue their claims, including in an alternate court, jurisdiction or venue.

Surely the Gnomes of Zürich cannot be so stupid as to commit commercial suicide, by continuing to employ "media celebrity attack dog" lawyers ?

This case also highlights some more Questions about the WikiLeakS.org project:

The WikiLeakS.org domain name has now been restored, and seems to be working ok.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a copy of the
Order Denying Preliminary Injunction; Dissolving Permanent Injunction; and Setting Briefing and Hearing Schedule (.pdf 7 pages)

Here are a few highlights:

1. Subject Matter Jurisdiction.

[...]

Although there is no firm evidence of the United States District Court
citizenship of the named defendants, except Dynadot, during the oral argument on the pending motion, counsel for Mr. Shipton appeared and represented that the owner of the domain name wikileaks.org is a citizen of Australia and a resident of Kenya.

[...]

The Court is concerned that it may well lack subject matter jurisdiction over this matter in its entirety.1

[...]

1 Although Plaintiffs pleaded jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1350 for a "civil action by an alien for a tort committed in violation of a treaty of the United States," the Complaint does not state a cause of action under any specific treaty, and counsel for Plaintiffs conceded that the Court does not maintain jurisdiction under this alternative ground. (See Compl., ¶ 2.)

Bank Julius Baer and their lawyers Lavely & Singer consistently failed to mention to the Court the fact that the disputed documents were being published from web server(s) based in Stockholm , Sweden,

They also tried to give the false impression that the a Swiss Bank , its Cayman Islands tax haven subsidiary, and WikiLeakS.org were somehow under US jurisdiction in California, and that the US federal Court had "diversity jurisdiction".

2. Public Interest.

[...]

Although the matter of the First Amendment implications of the permanent injunction against Dynadot or the more limited preliminary injunction Plaintiffs seek against WikiLeaks has not been fully briefed, it is clear that in all but the most exceptional circumstances, an injunction restricting speech pending final resolution of the constitutional concerns is impermissible. See Proctor & Gamble Co. v. Bankers Trust Co., 78 F.3d 219, 226-27 (6th Cir. 1996).

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing freedom of speech and freedom of the press, has been upheld.

3. Efficacy of an Injunction.

The record currently before the Court indicates that even the broad injunction issued as to Dynadot had exactly the opposite effect as was intended. The private, stolen material was transmitted over the internet via mirror websites which are maintained in different countries all over the world. Further, the press generated by this Court's action increased public attention to the fact that such information was readily accessible online. The Court is not convinced that Plaintiffs have made an adequate showing that any restraining injunction in this case would serve its intended purpose. See Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart, 427 U.S. 539, 569 (1976). In addition, there is evidence in the record that "the cat is out of the bag" and the issuance of an injunction would therefore be ineffective to protect the professed privacy rights of the bank's clients.

[...]

Hopefully rich individual or corporate or Government clients will now think twice about employing the services of media vanity lawyers,
like Lavely & Singer in the USA, or Schillings in the UK, who specialise in trying to intimidate the media and individuals, when trying to cover up the scandals of minor celebrities. These lawyers now try to sell themselves as being "internet experts", but they are plainly out of their depth, and actually do more harm than good for their clients.

4. Narrowly Tailored Remedy.

[...]

Because the Court is not convinced that the existing permanent injunction is the least restrictive means to achieve Plaintiffs' goals, this additional reason counsels against maintaining the permanent injunction or issuing a preliminary injunction at this time.

The exaggerated claims made by Lavely & Singer, which the Judge initially allowed in the Temporary Restraining Order, were so over broad and catch all. that they could actually have resulted in the client Bank Julius Baer having its own private customer services internet traffic being blocked.

CONCLUSION

For the above reasons, the Court DISSOLVES the stipulated permanent injunction between Plaintiffs and Dynadot. In addition, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction and DECLINES to extend the TRO.

[...]

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Dated: February 29, 2008

JEFFREY S. WHITE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

The Judge has seen sense, when presented with the fuller picture, courtesy of the "friends of the Court" briefs by various media and civil liberties groups.

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)

Open_Rights_Group.png
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.

committee_to_protect_bloggers_150.gif
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.

Syndicate this site (XML):

Recent Comments

  • James Hyams: I'm writing a thesis on Public Trust in WikiLeaks, the read more
  • rich kaplan: Hello Wikeleaks vrew. In Turkey , the islamist goverment just read more
  • wikileak: Cryptome have a few more extracts from this book http://cryptome.org/0003/ddb-book/ddb-book.htm read more
  • wikileak: OpenLeaks.org have now launched their website with some details of read more
  • wikileak: Bahnhof Internet seem to be hosting two Wikileaks servers in read more
  • teresa: I THANK THEY JUST TO SHUT HIM UP. THEY THINK read more
  • wikileak: Clay Shirky has posted a rough transcript of Daniel Domscheit-Berg's read more
  • wikileak: @ N - you can still see the "1.2 million read more
  • N: @wikileak - Exactly, these cables are _from_ the United States, read more
  • wikileak: Openleaks.org is now displaying this meassage: Coming soon! While we read more

December 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31