A federal district court judge in San Francisco today rescinded a controversial order that disabled the "wikileaks.org" domain name which had -- until two weeks ago -- pointed to Wikileaks, a website designed to give whistleblowers a forum for posting materials of public concern.
This week, EFF moved to intervene in the case, along with the ACLU, and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California and the Project on Government Oversight (POGO). In this morning's hearing, EFF and its fellow intervenors and amici argued that the order infringed on the First Amendment rights of Internet users who have an interest in accessing material of public concern on the site. Ruling from the bench, Judge White cited concerns about the First Amendment, the effectiveness of disabling the wikileaks.org domain name, and the court's own jurisdiction over the case as reasons to dissolve his previous orders.
The lawsuit began earlier this month, when Swiss bank Julius Baer filed suit against Wikileaks for hosting allegedly leaked documents regarding personal banking transactions of Julius Baer customers. Also sued was Wikileaks' domain name registrar, Dynadot LLC. On February 15, following a stipulation between Julius Baer and Dynadot, the court issued a permanent injunction, disabling the wikileaks.org domain name and preventing that domain name from being transferred to any other registrar.
In addition to dissolving the permanent injunction, which permits the wikileaks.org domain name to be reactivated, the court also declined to extend a previous temporary restraining order requiring Wikileaks to disable access to 14 disputed Julius Baer documents.
This order addresses: civil procedure, civil remedies, the elements required to grant both a permanent injunction & a temporary injunction, jurisdiction, and first amendment restraints.
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