Wikileaks domain name yanked; freedom of speech at issue

The ordering of the deletion of a domain name by a United States federal judge in California is quite a significant development in recent days. The judge has ordered the domain name wikileaks.org to “be disabled at the behest of a group of Swiss bankers who filed a lawsuit alleging that confidential information appeared on Wikileaks.org,” according to CNet.The judge ordered Dynadot, the registrar, to “immediately lock the wikileaks.org domain name to prevent transfer of the domain name to a different domain registrar, and shall immediately disable the wikileaks.org domain name and account to prevent access to and any changes from being made to the domain name and account information, until further order of this Court.” Dynadot was also ordered to disable the domain name and account “such that the optional privacy who-is service for the domain name and account remains turned off, until further order of this Court.” They were also ordered to “preserve a true and correct copy of both current and any and all prior or previous administrative and account records and data for the wikileaks.org domain name and account.”The disabling of the domain name has raised a number of issues, including censorship, freedom of speech and first amendment issues and that the website is likely to be hosted on a number of sites around the world defying the judge’s order. The International Herald Tribune notes this could be “a major test of First Amendment rights in the Internet era” and that the site could still be accessed via its IP address. CNet also reports Wikileaks seems to have prepared for this order having registered the Wikileaks domain name in a number of ccTLDs around the world. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for February 29.Further coverage is available from:

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