Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd, & Julius Baer Bank & Trust Co, LTD v Wikileaks; Wikileaks.org; Dynadot, LLC ; and Does 1-10

Tentative Ruling and Questions

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On 2-6-08, Swiss bank Julius Baer filed suit in federal district court against "Wikileaks," a website designed to give whistleblowers a forum for posting materials of public concern, for hosting 14 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.

On 2-26-08, the EFF, the ACLU, and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit in order to dissolve the permanent injunction. "Dynadot's private agreement to disable access to its customer's domain name, and the court's endorsement of that agreement, raise serious First Amendment concerns," EFF Senior Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman stated. "This unwarranted injunction should remind everyone who hosts critical information on the Web that such information may only remain accessible as long as your service provider or registrar is willing to stand up for you against obviously overreaching legal attacks."

On 2-29-08, a federal judge in San Francisco heard arguments regarding EFF's motion as well as a related issue: whether to extend a temporary restraining order aimed at preventing the further distribution of the 14 disputed Julius Baer documents. Following the hearing, Judge White dissolved his previous orders, citing First Amendment concerns and other arguments raised by the proposed intervenors and amici curiae, allowing the wikileaks.org to go back up.

This is the court's tenative ruling and questions granting the tro.

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Reference Info:Decision | Federal, 9th Circuit, California | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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