Outcry Over Leak Site Closure Order

Privacy, 1st Amendment advocates fume over judge's decision
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2008 1:04 PM CST
Civil rights advocates expressed dismay over decisions made by a California District Court judge to shut down Wikileaks.org, an anonymous site that allows whistleblowers post corporate and government...   (Shutterstock.com)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Privacy and First Amendment advocates are fuming after a judge ordered an entire website shut down in response to a lawsuit. Wikileaks.org had allowed whistleblowers to anonymously post confidential documents, reports ComputerWorld. A critic calls closing down the whole website in response to a Swiss bank's complaint "like putting a padlock on the front door of the New York Times," over a single article.

The bank, accused of money laundering and tax evasion, claimed that confidential and copyright documents were illegally posted on the site. Aside from the First Amendment issue, many point out that the shutdown of the site was also nearly useless, since the information itself is replicated on mirrored sites all over the Internet. "It seems to me the judge may not have fully understood the way the Internet works," says one expert.