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Wikileaks fights on after court's shutdown attempt
Nick Juliano
Published: Tuesday February 19, 2008

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It may not be at anymore, but the whistle-blowing Web site that prides itself in exposing secrets is still publishing and vows to fight a court's attempt to shut it down.

While Wikileaks will return to court Feb. 29, the ruling sets a "disturbing precedent" that could make it easier for judges or lawmakers to censor online content, says Steve Aftergood, who researches government secrecy, told RAW STORY.

"It will make it easier for a court to do the same thing in the future and that's regrettable," said Aftergood, head of the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy. Aftergood runs a blog for the organization, where he frequently posts internal government documents.

A federal judge in California ordered Dynadot, which hosted the domain name, to shut down access to the Web address. But Aftergood notes Wikileaks content can still be accessed through its Internet Protocol address,

"The domain [] no longer points to where the files are still hosted on the Web, but they are still on the Web," Aftergood says. "Their strategy is redundancy. If one site is blocked another pops up to circumvent the barrier, and it's been a fairly successful strategy up to this point."

The court case involves a lawsuit from a Swiss banking group based in the Caymen Islands. Documents posted to Wikileaks implicated the bank, Julius Baer, in a money laundering scheme.

"Wiki leaks is not defying the government of China or Iran, they are allegedly violating banking secrecy laws, which is to my mind a more questionable kind of action," Aftergood said. He has more thoughts on his blog.

"It is too early to say who has won or lost more in this confrontation. Wikileaks has demonstrated the willingness and the ability to sustain a robust publication capability in defiance of legal authority, though it may have lost its domain name for the foreseeable future," he writes. "Bank Julius Baer, whom most people would have never heard of, will now be permanently linked in many minds with vague allegations of financial misconduct."