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EFF, ACLU Back WikiLeaks 116

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the scratching-eachother's-backs dept.
souls writes "Seems like the forces to protect freedom-of-speech in the groundsetting Wikileaks.org case have spoken: Henry Weinstein at LA Times reports that a coalition of media and public interest organizations today urged judge Jeffrey White to rescind the shutdown of Wikileaks.org, which presents 'restraint on free speech that violated the First Amendment,' and is generally considered to become a representative case for free online speech. The dirty dozen organizations fighting for your voice and mine include the EFF, the ACLU, The Times, AP, Gannett, Hearst, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the Society of Professional Journalists. Lets hope that is enough muscle to stop a judge running wild in favor of a bunch of offshore bankers! Meanwhile wikileaks is still going strong via all available other domains, and is currently organizing support and donations."
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EFF, ACLU Back WikiLeaks

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  • by NetDanzr (619387) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @10:24AM (#22572852)
    UCLA != ACLU
  • by kevgaxxana (1197617) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @10:25AM (#22572864) Homepage Journal
    during times of war or when a threat of national security is imminent. wikileaks poses a threat to national securtiy and should be shut-down
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Wikileaks IS national security. it secures against the threat of the corrupt and criminal within our own government. They are the anonymous that watch the watchmen.
      • Yup... thanks to Wikileaks, there's no corruption in our government anymore.
        • by rtb61 (674572)
          Well I assume you have heard of that rotten apple in the barrel, whilst you wont ever get rid of 'em all, you gotta keep lookin' for 'em an' chuckin' out the rotten ones lest the whole rest o' the barrel go bad.

          So wikileaks is part and parcel of the whole internet revised democracy thing, bear in mind in is still way in the early stages of political reformation but it is happening.

          The wholesale cleaning out of the rampantly greedy and corrupt from government and corporations, it's going to take some tim

    • Speaking as one who had her Hospital records "lost" due to a blunder, I (along with a massive amount of others) would be grateful for such things to be exposed instead of being buried and passed off as another statistic.

      We know most of these things anyway, it is just nice to read the "proof" although it does state frauds do happen.

      How exactly does it pose a threat to National security? It is things we all ready know, half the world has the data disks for and as for the war, the true heroes are the fig
    • by Ice Tiger (10883) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @10:43AM (#22573138)
      Which nation?
      • Which nation?

        Good question, I'm glad you asked.

        Certainly not Iran [slashdot.org].

        Maybe Pakistan [slashdot.org] found something blasphemous? Or maybe China [slashdot.org] found something against their national interest? Maybe Canada [slashdot.org] got disgruntled by the unauthorised distribution of copyright data on it?

        Or then again, maybe a corru^H^H^H^H targeted US company found all of the above?

      • Pick one. Freedom of information is dangerous to every single national government, even if not all of them are as ironically honest as the US, China, Pakistan, etc. in admitting this.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MWoody (222806)
      When was the last time the US government wasn't either at war with someone or claiming that a threat to national security was imminent?
      • by sumdumass (711423)
        That would be most likely right before we got sucked into WW2 because of a lack of attention by the European communities which allowed a country that had been sanctioned ignore those sanctions under the guise that they wouldn't be targeted. The outcome of that period of sticking the proverbial thumbs up people's own asses in an effort to sit on their hands was more death and destruction then anything the US has been part of since.

        Maybe there is a good reason for this.
    • during times of war or when a threat of national security is imminent. [citation needed] wikileaks poses a threat to national securtiy and should be shut-down [citation needed]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kelnos (564113)
      Actually, if you RTFA (I know, I know...), it references a landmark case during the Nixon administration that ruled that prior restraint cannot be applied in these matters, even in cases where so-called "national security" is at stake.
  • UCLA or ACLU? (Score:1, Redundant)

    by norminator (784674)
    The headline says UCLA, but the summary and the article seem to mention the ACLU...

    I realize they both have the same letters in them, but this seems pretty careless. Unless the Union for Civil Liberties in America is involved...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by sm62704 (957197)
      I realize they both have the same letters in them, but this seems pretty careless.

      Ewe muss bee knew hear!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Zephyn (415698)
      > I realize they both have the same letters in them, but this seems pretty careless. Unless
      > the Union for Civil Liberties in America is involved...

      "Surely we must be united against the common enemy!"

      "The Civil Liberty Union of America?"

      "No! The censors!"
  • Um, I don't think it's the University of California, Los Angeles backing WikiLeaks.
    • by joe_bruin (266648)

      Um, I don't think it's the University of California, Los Angeles backing WikiLeaks.
      Hi, I'm Joe Bruin,

      On behalf of the University of California, Los Angeles, the Board of Regents of the University of California, and governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, I would like to officially support WikiLeaks.

      Go Number One Bruins
  • by Anonymous Coward
    1)Create an anonymous leak web site.

    2)Get shut down by a court.

    3)Ask for donations to support your cause.

    4)Profit!!!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Thanshin (1188877)

      1)Create an anonymous leak web site.
      2) Be jailed for child pornography, drug trafficking and... terrorism!

      Next time, the government will react faster.

  • by garett_spencley (193892) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @10:31AM (#22572962) Journal
    who, upon reading the headline, imagined members of the EFF and UCLA (I'll let others decide if that was a typo) holding hands in a human barricade across a nuclear bunker in an effort to protect it from a physical attack ?
  • Let's hope not (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Trails (629752) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @10:32AM (#22572964)

    Lets hope that is enough muscle strength to stop a judge running wild in favor of a bunch of offshore bankers
    No, let's hope it isn't. I'm not saying I think wikileaks should be shut down. I'm saying that I loathe the notion that what it takes to get it back up is "muscle". I hope the wikileaks suppression order is rescinded because of sound legal arguments.
    • Re:Let's hope not (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sm62704 (957197) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @11:07AM (#22573472) Journal
      No, let's hope it isn't. I'm not saying I think wikileaks should be shut down. I'm saying that I loathe the notion that what it takes to get it back up is "muscle". I hope the wikileaks suppression order is rescinded because of sound legal arguments.

      You must be new here.

      Not to slashdot, but to THIS PLANET. Here, we follow the Golden Rule: he who has the gold, rules. The US Constitution, the Magna Carta, all those other lovely documents all over the world were written with one purpose in mind - to give you the illusion of freedom while your collar remains firmly around your neck and chained to the grindstone so you can generate more wealth for the people that actually matter. The Gatses and Ellisons and Hiltons and Trumps own and rule the world, and if you believe otherwise you've bought into the illusion they want you to keep.

      Make no mistake about it, the laws you must abide by can be safely ignored by them. They can change those laws if they want to; you never will. They own the media and the governments and they will convince you that the boot on your head is a good thing and you will clamor for another stomping from them.

      Who should you vote for next election? It doesn't matter, all the candidates are owned by the same people. None of "your" representatives actually represent you.

      The only thing I can't figure out is why they let the internet happen. Seems like a really bad move on their part; now I have a voice.
      • Re:Let's hope not (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @11:43AM (#22574064) Homepage Journal
        The only thing I can't figure out is why they let the internet happen. Seems like a really bad move on their part; now I have a voice.

        I can think of two possibilities with respect to your worldview. Either they don't have the kind of control you think they do, or it's really a grand distraction to make you think you have a voice when you really don't have one at all.
        • People who have a voice in their parents basement are not nearly as scary as people having a voice in the street. Let them have their internet, makes it easier to document their deeds and to nap those few they rather not have heard (like those that would take up the rocks).
        • Think about it though, really. Being able to talk and having a Voice are altogether different. The internet lets everybody talk. A lot. That doesn't mean it gives anybody a Voice.

          Not to say I agree with his world view--my own take is that we are where we are by virtue of an ingenious combination of arrogant shortsightedness and stupendous incompetence.
      • by suprcvic (684521)

        The US Constitution, the Magna Carta, all those other lovely documents all over the world were written with one purpose in mind - to give you the illusion of freedom

        So you were present during the creation of these documents then? Please share with us your method of time travel. Seriously, nobody can say what those documents were written for beyond the face value which is freedom. I'm sorry you're just too jaded to appreciate that those were the intentions and those intentions have been perverted.

        • by sm62704 (957197)
          I'm sorry you're just too jaded to appreciate that those were the intentions and those intentions have been perverted.

          Actually I can't argue with that at all. In fact I wrote a K5 article [kuro5hin.org] a few years ago that expoused exactly that sentiment.
          • Hey look on the bright side - pessimistic cynical people are hardly ever let down by anything. We already assumed the worst would happen. When it does, we aren't shocked. When it doesn't, we get to be pleasantly surprised (but then instantly suspicious).
            • by sm62704 (957197)
              I always say the optimist is almost always disappointed, while the pessimist is often happily surprised. My Grandma said "hope for the best but plan for the worst".
      • The only thing I can't figure out is why they let the internet happen. Seems like a really bad move on their part; now I have a voice.


        That's what they want you to think!

        (No, actually I think we might stand a chance now.)
      • You know, the main reason it's so difficult to debunk these rants isn't because they're wrong so much as because they're meaningless.
      • by Arccot (1115809)

        No, let's hope it isn't. I'm not saying I think wikileaks should be shut down. I'm saying that I loathe the notion that what it takes to get it back up is "muscle". I hope the wikileaks suppression order is rescinded because of sound legal arguments.

        You must be new here.

        Not to slashdot, but to THIS PLANET. Here, we follow the Golden Rule: he who has the gold, rules. The US Constitution, the Magna Carta, all those other lovely documents all over the world were written with one purpose in mind - to give you the illusion of freedom while your collar remains firmly around your neck and chained to the grindstone so you can generate more wealth for the people that actually matter. The Gatses and Ellisons and Hiltons and Trumps own and rule the world, and if you believe otherwise you've bought into the illusion they want you to keep.

        What freedom is it you are lacking?

        Look at what happens around the world, compared to the US. Our political dissidents are not assassinated, or disappeared. We can speak out, clearly and loudly against the government. We can purchase and train with weapons. We aren't forced to pray to God, Allah, or The Flying Spaghetti Monster. You can apply for any job you want, and not be worried the government will blackball you and prevent it. The government doesn't tell me who to marry, where to live, or how m

        • by sm62704 (957197)
          What freedom is it you are lacking?

          Freedom of choice for one. I can't legally grow a certain species of plant [wikipedia.org], or posess it, or smoke its dried buds. I don't have the right to bear arms; I must get permission to even own a firearm. If I walk down the street of any city carrying a shotgun, I will be jailed. The police can search my property without a warrant, and in fact did twice last year. [slashdot.org]

          "Hate crime" laws mean you don't have freedom of speech.

          I think I already linked this old K5 article Liberty? What libe [kuro5hin.org]
        • "compared to the US"
          That is true of many western countries.
          Though many nations do do that sort of things as well.

          "We can purchase and train with weapons."
          Ignoring that some people don't think that is good, though I like that.
          Many felons can't.
          If they only have "victimless" crimes or even things like graphita(sp)
          they may not be able to purchase guns.
          Plus this only applies to hand guns or rifles.
          No machine guns for you, well if it was made before 1980 I believe it is legal.

          "We aren't forced to pray to God, Al
      • by kelnos (564113)
        Wow, sounds like someone put on his tin-foil hat too tightly this morning.
  • Prior Restraint (Score:4, Insightful)

    by esocid (946821) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @10:47AM (#22573182) Journal

    On a broader level, attorney Thomas Burke and colleagues Handman and Kelli Sager, representing 12 media groups that filed a friend-of-the-court brief, cited the 1971 Supreme Court decision in the Pentagon Papers dispute as authority for their position.
    If that is indeed the case, this judge is going to get hammered to such a blatant disregard of the Bill of .... what's that called again? Oh yeah, Bill of Rights. It's been so long. They have quite a substantial backing of groups in that amicus curiae, especially the AP and the EFF, I'm hoping that this friday will turn the tables on censorship issues a-brewing.
    What did bother me was how Dynadot just rolled over and took this without batting an eye. They simply complied and let it happen without bother to contest it. Is it possible for wikileaks to get wikileaks.org changed to another domain registrar or should they just jump ship from this spineless drone?
  • by R2.0 (532027) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @10:51AM (#22573246)
    WTF is "ground setting? *&$^#% editors...oh, wait, this is /.

    Nevermind.
    • "Ground setting" must be an alternative term for the grit on sandpaper.
    • by erroneus (253617)
      A darned good question. I had over-looked that expression myself partly because I assumed some meaning along the lines of "laying a foundation" or "laying the ground work." But I'm not even sure that makes good sense.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      WTF is "ground setting?
      I find your lack of cromulence disturbing.
  • Not only is the cat out of the bag, it's having kittens on the kitchen table.
  • by mbone (558574) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @11:34AM (#22573934)
    Still there at

    http://88.80.13.160/wiki/Wikileaks [88.80.13.160]

    Their DNS is, of course, another question.
  • Wow, the EFF and ACLU are supporting a website that's being censored. That's phenomenal! Completely unexpected. No one could've foreseen it.

    Ooo, did you hear there's gambling at Ricks?
  • by Martin Spamer (244245) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @12:07PM (#22574426) Homepage Journal
    No doubt I'll get modded down for defying the slashmind groupthink but the problem I have with WikiLeaks is their cavalier disregard of accountability [wikipedia.org].

    They have ignored court orders [slashdot.org]. They publish whatever they like and people seem to automatically assume that everything they say is the absolute truth, despite they having no credible track record. WikiLeaks is not a wiki in the true sense, there is no collaboration, the only people allowed to post are their little Cabal [wikipedia.org]. Wikipedia, despite it's problems [wikipedia.org] allows people to challenge its decisions [wikipedia.org] in a publicly accountable way.

    I think WikiLeaks are manipulative and deliberately courting controversy [slashdot.org]. Dig beneath the surface and all I see is another self appointed authority with a poor regard for balance.
    • by esocid (946821) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @12:28PM (#22574716) Journal

      They have ignored court orders.
      I don't think that they have ignored, as much as waited for a serious usage of the law. "Their legal demand to Wikileaks, Northern Rock's well-known media lawyers, Schillings, invoke the DMCA & WIPO, claim it'll be 10 years in prison for Wikileaks operators for not following the UK injunction, but then, incredibly, refuse to hand over a copy of the order unless Wikileaks' London lawyers promise not to give it to Wikileaks. Finally they claim copyright and more -- on their demands!"
      That seems more like bullying than sound legal requests.

      They publish whatever they like and people seem to automatically assume that everything they say is the absolute truth, despite they having no credible track record.
      The purpose of their site is not to be an encyclopedia like wikipedia, rather a muckraking site that allows whistleblowers to expose illegal behavior without worrying about exposed. I realize that there are laws, which seem pretty ineffective to me, which protect whistleblowers and that they can go to press personnel but wikileaks has no obligation to owners that may want to prevent some material surfacing.

      I think WikiLeaks are manipulative and deliberately courting controversy. Dig beneath the surface and all I see is another self appointed authority with a poor regard for balance.
      While that may be true, that's what gives them the notoriety that they have right now. They offer a haven of yellow-journalism that serves to monitor illegal corporate behavior. If there weren't so much going on, wikileaks wouldn't have so much notoriety now would they?
      • If there weren't so much going on, wikileaks wouldn't have so much notoriety now would they?
        But that's just it! If the stories that made it notorious are a result of attention seeking more than they are the result of actual events, then you can't be sure that there is that much corporate funny-business going around. Without accountability, you can't safely believe anything you read.
    • by sim60 (967365) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @12:49PM (#22574970)

      They have ignored court orders. They publish whatever they like and people seem to automatically assume that everything they say is the absolute truth, despite they having no credible track record. WikiLeaks is not a wiki in the true sense, there is no collaboration, the only people allowed to post are their little Cabal. Wikipedia, despite it's problems allows people to challenge its decisions in a publicly accountable way.

      I think you've missed the whole point of WikiLeaks.

      It's designed to be immune to national court orders, because it's meant to report on abuses by governments and their legal processes.

      It's also designed to be unaccountable because it's meant to be immune to pressure on individuals by governments and corporations.

      The fact that wikileaks has to go to these lengths to ensure that reporting corruption and abuse is possible is a reflection on the societies we live in, not the organisation itself.

    • So, what should be done in response to their poor regard for balance? What would you do today if you were running the world?
    • by idiot900 (166952) *
      Who cares whether they are manipulative, dishonest, or unaccountable? Let it stay accessible and let the public decide for themselves.

      I really dislike Fox News, but even though they are a poor excuse for a news organization, they shouldn't be shut down. We all have the same right to free speech.
    • by immcintosh (1089551) <slashdotNO@SPAMianmcintosh.org> on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @02:17PM (#22576188) Homepage

      despite they having no credible track record.
      I could be wrong, but I believe they have actually broken a number of stories that have subsequently run in credible print news sources.

      They have ignored court orders.
      Yes. Now your argument as to how this hurts their credibility as an organization that takes as its mission the opposition of governmentally enforced censorship (court orders) among other things? It's called civil disobedience [wikipedia.org] and is often a Very Good Thing. Whether you agree it's a good thing in this case is a valid argument, but just stating "They have ignored court orders," does nothing to convince me of their malice.

      They publish whatever they like and people seem to automatically assume that everything they say is the absolute truth
      That is no fault of wikileaks. That is the fault of whatever gullible mind is willing to accept as gospel that which they have not independently investigated. If you go to their their site, you'll see they make a point of providing at least some analysis of stories for validity.

      I think WikiLeaks are manipulative and deliberately courting controversy.
      This is just a link right back to exactly what the article we're posting after is about. It was that bank in the article you link that started the proceedings that got their domain "confiscated," which in turn is now according to this article being fought by the groups mentioned above. In fact, I find it somewhat disingenuous of you to claim what you link here as being "deliberately courting controversy," unless you want to argue that the very act of releasing sensitive information is "manipulative and deliberately courting controversy," in which case I will simply have to disagree strongly with you.
    • by xkhaozx (978974)

      WikiLeaks is not a wiki in the true sense, there is no collaboration, the only people allowed to post are their little Cabal [wikipedia.org]
      There is no collaboration of the postings of the leaks. However, the collaboration takes place in examining and analyzing the leak itself and its authenticity.
    • by moeinvt (851793)
      I won't mod you down, but when you talk about "accountability", "track records" and "balance", you're making an implicit comparison to alternative information sources. I think that you could also make those same arguments with respect to any of the mainstream media outlets.

      Think of that media paragon "The New York Times". Their reporters have defied court orders. They seem to publish whatever they want. Their track record is one of misinformation, contradiction and bias, and they are never held accountab
  • What's scary is that any one of how many thousand other judges could have done exactly this same thing.
  • by Xest (935314) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @12:23PM (#22574636)
    Why don't universities and so forth point wikileaks.org to a live Wikileaks IP address rather than the one site the judge shut down effectively bypassing the judges wishes?

    Whilst many DNS providers may not follow suit, even if some did it would prove a point that a) he shouldn't have the power to shut down a site of international interest because America doesn't own the internet and b) that even if he does it's futile.
    • 1.) No site was shut down. The IP address that is quoted so often is the same server as the one wikileaks.org pointed to.

      2.) If any DNS provider wanted to point wikileaks.org at its actual IP address rather than behaving like a good DNS and pointing it where its registrar says it should point, they could (I'm a bit shaky on the technical aspects, but this is after all how pharming works, so it's possible).

      3.) I am principally opposed to hijacking domain names like this, and so should everyone who cares about a reliable internet. If we can't trust DNS servers to return the proper zone records, we are in very deep crap, technologically. This is just short of what Pakistan did with Youtube, and of cutting deep-sea cables - Don't Mess With The Internet. I know the centrally regulated names and numbers thing has its drawbacks at times, but it beats all-out anarchy.
      • Note regarding 2: Of course, such a hijacking would affect only the people using the DNS server in question for look-up. If some university dorm messed with the domain for its local users, that has relatively little impact. The problem results when a DNS server does this that is further upstream and is relied on by other servers.
      • by Xest (935314)
        Proper zone records as defined by who though?

        The problem is already deeper though that's the issue, being able to trust DNS servers is one thing, but we can't even trust the nation in control of those DNS servers right now. If we can't trust the underlying hosting providers to point a domain where the owner of the domain wishes to be pointed then we already have a bigger problem. Imagine if a judge decided Microsoft had infringed some lone businessman's patent for some reason and Microsoft wasn't given enou
        • If we can't trust the underlying hosting providers to point a domain where the owner of the domain wishes to be pointed then we already have a bigger problem
          ... point. Yeah.
          • Expansion of the above: I agree and am convinced by that point. Meddling with DNS records is dangerous business, but I forgot that the domain in question is international (org), and should therefore be treated with more respect by national jurisdictions.

            Now the problem I see is that Bank Julius Baer has the financial clout to do the same in whichever other country they want to sue in - even though not all legal systems are as screwed up as the one in the US, so they may have more difficulty shutting it down

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