Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Wikileaks FAQ

I have tried to answer some important questions related to the Wikileaks shutdown order and what we can do if we are in a similar position or if we want to bring the truth out by publishing important documents.

1. What is Wikileaks?
A site that hosts leaked documents. Hosted on servers in Sweden so far.

2. Why did the court in California order it shut down?
While the conventional reasoning goes that Wikileaks hosted documents that were illegally sourced, people in the know say that the judge may have given his order because they could not find the person to whom they could serve a notice.

3. Can a US court order a web site hosted in Sweden shut?
No. But, the US government is supposed to have a great working relationship with the Swedish Authorities. In a previous case, the Pirate Bay was shut down (later, it relocated to Holland).

4. Can a site be shut down completely?
No. You can host your site anywhere in the world. You can also provide copies of your site (or, encourage people to do so) spread throughout the site.
In case of Wikileaks, only the DNS servers, which are in the United States, remove the site's name from their database. So, you can still access the site if you know their IP address.

5. What else can I do to make sure my site continues to have a life?
You can start with having regular backup files (e.g. .zip files) and distribute them, making them available as downloads via anyone who chooses to host the zip file.

6. What information did the leaked documents in question contain?
Reportedly leaked by a whistle blower at Julius Baer, the leaked documents allegedly reveal secret Julius Baer trust structures used for asset hiding, money laundering and tax evasion.

7. Can I register a site without giving proof of my address?
The domain name system (DNS) is a service that converts web names into the IP addresses that the web servers use requires a real person to be registered as the owner of a site, irrespective of the site's location.

In case of Wikileaks, they are supposed to have registered their site in the United States having convinced an architect in New York to do the needful.

If you do not have such reach, you may try the following combination:
Find a registrar or any web site registration intermediary who accepts cash and will look the other way while you enter false addresses and names, including a disposable email address, where you will be receiving the receipt from the registrar in the U.S.

Useful links related to the Wikileaks Case
- Wikileaks.org IP address:
- The Julius Baer documents in question: http://cryptome.org/wikileaks-bjb.zip (3 MB file)
- List of Wikileaks mirror sites: http://wikileaks.cx/wiki/Wikileaks:Cover_Names
- The complete Wikileaks site as a torrent: http://thepiratebay.org/tor/4034919/WikileakS.org_mirror_archive_(Feb_10th_2008)

Related MediaVidea Guide:
Bypassing Internet Censorship - A Roundup

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