Judge Reverses Ruling on Censored Web site

Posted March 5, 2008


A federal judge in San Francisco reversed a prior ruling to effectively shut down a California-based Web site that routinely posts documents alleging malfeasance by governments and other agencies. On February 29, Judge Jeffrey S. White vacated a permanent injunction that he had imposed only nine days earlier on the California-based domain name registry firm, Dynadot, ordering it to close the Wikileaks site over documents pertaining to a private bank in the Cayman Islands. White also declined to renew the temporary restraining order that he had previously imposed on the Web site, prohibiting Wikileaks from posting or publishing any documents pertaining to Julius Baer Bank and Trust Company based in the Cayman Islands.

During the nine days that Wikileaks remained inaccessible through its domain name registered in the United States, the same electronic pages of Wikileaks remained accessible on the Internet through “mirror sites” hosted by domain registrars in several other nations. The site also remained accessible within the United States via the numbers of its Internet protocol address (, which specifies a Web site’s physical location on the Internet.

Wikileaks defines itself as an “uncensorable” Web site “for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis.” The Web site has posted many leaked government from China and other nations. “We aim for maximum political impact,” the site says.