'Wikileaks.org' taken offline in many areas after fire, court injunction
Monday, February 18, 2008
The website WikiLeaks.org has been taken off line in many parts of the world. Wikileaks is a website dedicated to leaking documents that are "anonymous, untraceable, uncensorable."
Several factors have taken the site off line including DDoS attacks, which was followed by a fire which took out the main servers hosting the site in Sweden, and a restraining order on the domain name 'WikiLeaks.org' issued in the United States.
According to the website HongPong.com, Wikileaks experienced "a 500Mbps distributed denial of service attack" before the fire, but it is not known if the DDoS attack is connected to it.
After the attack, a fire was reported in the Uninterruptible Power Supply of the servers which host the site.
The third and final factor taking the site off line is a permanent injunction granted in the California Northern District Court in San Francisco, California to Bank Julius Baer, a Swiss Bank, which has caused the domain to be taken off line in the U.S.. Wikileaks previously published hundreds of documents obtained from a whistleblower of the Swiss Bank, "purportedly showing offshore tax evasion and money laundering by extremely wealthy and in some cases, politically sensitive, clients from the US, Europe, China and Peru."
According to a Wikileaks press release received by e-mail, the injunction issued by the court states, "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."
"The order was entirely written by Cayman Island's Bank Julius Baer lawyers and was accepted by judge White without amendment, or representations by Wikileaks or amicus. The case is over several Wikileaks articles, public commentary and documents dating prior to 2003. The documents allegedly reveal secret Julius Baer trust structures used for asset hiding, money laundering and tax evasion. The bank alleges the documents were disclosed to Wikileaks by offshore banking whistleblower and former Vice President of the Cayman Island's operation, Rudolf Elmer. Unable to lawfully attack Wikileaks servers which are based in several countries, the order was served on Wikileaks's California registrar Dynadot ("the power company"). The order also enjoins every person who has heard about the order from even linking to the documents," said Wikileaks in the release.
Despite the injunction, Wikileaks states that they will "keep on publishing, in-fact, given the level of suppression involved in this case, Wikileaks will step up publication of documents pertaining to illegal or unethical banking practices."
Despite the injunction, the site can still be accessed at http://184.108.40.206/wiki/Wikileaks.
- "Wikileaks survives a fire, but is under Temporary Restraining Order partial censorship" — Spy Blog, February 17, 2008
- "WikiLeaks battles suspicious front companies in the Caymans; Swedish server room fire" — HongPong.com, February 17, 2008
- "Bank Julius Baer vs. Wikileaks" — WikiLeaks, January 23, 2008