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German Wikileaks Suspension Not Related To Police Raid

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the well-that's-much-less-outrageous dept.

Censorship 70

An anonymous reader writes "Contrary to what we discussed four days ago, Germany's registration authority, DeNIC, did not suspend access to wikileaks.de. After some investigation, Heise found out that the ISP ended the contract (in German, Babelfish translation) with Theodor Reppe back in December 2008, with the mandatory three-month notice giving him enough time to move wikileaks.de elsewhere — which he did not do. At the end of March, the domain wikileaks.de was released back to DeNIC."

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Journalism (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566437)

This is it, at its finest.

No Doubt... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569021)

There are several mentions in various Wikipedia articles citing the "fact" that the German government shut this site down and decrying the censorship.

Re:Journalism (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27571093)

How many major newspapers do you think would post a story on the front page saying "Oops... we were wrong" about a previous front page story? If it appears, it'd be buried in the middle of the classifieds or something, so the outrage can continue. As grammatically incompetent as the Slashdot editors are, I can at least give them props for doing it right ;)

not so amusing (1)

nevbear666 (1530271) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566445)

how could... erm, would... someone not read an email from his isp?

Re:not so amusing (3, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566491)

I wouldn't read an e-mail that was in German either.

Ah, those German emails... (4, Funny)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566507)

I wouldn't read an e-mail that was in German either.

Warum nicht?

Tschüß,

Re:Ah, those German emails... (2, Funny)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27568261)

`Warum nicht?

Tschüß,`

No thanks, I dont smoke.

Re:Ah, those German emails... (3, Funny)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 5 years ago | (#27572367)

My hovercraft is full of eels.

Szervusz,

Re:not so amusing (1)

nevbear666 (1530271) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566515)

especially if you would be german, eh;)

Re:not so amusing (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566975)

Because my ISP spews more spam than the average botnet?

Hanlon's Razor .... (4, Informative)

shri (17709) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566475)

Re:Hanlon's Razor .... (4, Funny)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566585)

Hanlon's Razor sounds like it should be renamed to "The GWB Principle"

GWB Principle (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566865)

What does the Gene Ween Band have to do with this?

Re:Hanlon's Razor .... (5, Insightful)

twostix (1277166) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566933)

Hanlon's Razor sounds like it should be renamed to "The GWB Principle"

Heading up an administration that achieved every goal that the top level members of had publicly advocated for over and over for a decade is incompetence?

Reopened war and regime change in Iraq? Check.
Hobbling the US federal government by drowning it in debt? Check.
Funneling astronomical amounts of public cash into their personal associates Corporations and by extension their own bank accounts? Check.
And to top it off, in the last months of presidency, presiding over the greatest plundering of a treasury in the history of the world...Check.

Yes, what a bunch of incompetents, incompetently sitting on their mountains of cash, untouchable by any law after having changed the course of history as they saw fit. Exactly as they said in the 1990s that they were going to do once they got back into power.

I wish I was that incompetent.

Re:Hanlon's Razor .... (2, Informative)

ijakings (982830) | more than 5 years ago | (#27567411)

Accidentally moderated redundant as apposed to insightful, posting to clear.

Re:Hanlon's Razor .... (2, Informative)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27571141)

I think you were looking for "opposed", as in "going against". "Appose" is a word that's virtually a synonym for "juxtapose", as in things occupying the same space.

Re:Hanlon's Razor .... (1, Insightful)

KlausBreuer (105581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27567443)

Hmmm... I don't see your point.
Yes, GWB was the worst president you guys have ever had, but - was his rule incompetent?

Look at the whole thing from his side. Imagine that he couldn't care less about the blindly obedient, nicely patriotic public. What DID he want?
Help out his friends by making them stinking rich? Getting himself stinking rich? Worked great, really well, probably quite a bit better than could be expected.

So... while he appeared to be pretty low-IQ, his whole group made an exceptional amount of money. If you look at the $ per minute earned, it was spectacular.

No true sign of incompetence, just different work than expected by the gullible public.

Re:Hanlon's Razor .... (1)

soupforare (542403) | more than 5 years ago | (#27568249)

Hobbling the US federal government by drowning it in debt? Check. Funneling astronomical amounts of public cash into their personal associates Corporations and by extension their own bank accounts? Check.

Brobama's got those down, I'm sure he's on for bigger and better things now.

Exactly as they said in the 1990s that they were going to do once they got back into power.

"They" never left power.

Re:Hanlon's Razor .... (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27571237)

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss"

- Pete Townshend

Re:Hanlon's Razor .... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27568439)

Heading up an administration that achieved every goal that the top level members of had publicly advocated for over and over for a decade is incompetence?

GWB was only incompetent when seen against the view of what the people who voted for him expected. I'm sure military contractors, the stockholders of Haliburton and Al Qaeda recruiters see George W. Bush as a great success.

Re:Hanlon's Razor .... (4, Insightful)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 5 years ago | (#27567235)

Hanlon's Razor sounds like it should be renamed to "The GWB Principle"

Or is it more 'Any sufficiently advanced malice is indistinguishable from incompetence.'

Clarke's Fourth Law (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27567429)

Mod +5. 'Nice one'.

Re:Hanlon's Razor .... (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27568473)

Or is it more 'Any sufficiently advanced malice is indistinguishable from incompetence.'

How about: "You're either corrupt or incompetent, and neither is acceptable."

Re:Hanlon's Razor .... (3, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 5 years ago | (#27567321)

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity...

In this case: Don't attribute to someone else's malice that which can be adequately explained by your own stupidity.

Re:Hanlon's Razor .... (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 5 years ago | (#27568893)

Or, as for most replies to the original story, see my Sig.

Ich speak de German (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27566479)

Do naught trrrust de vikileaks!

Vikileaks are verboten!

Do naught looke behind kurtain!

So in other words.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27566487)

Slashdot spreads lies! lies I tell you!

Heil Hitler to all my German Friends! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27566537)

It looks like Hitler was right after all, comrades. Your country is full of commies and mud people, sub-human monkey muslim "people". Isn't it time for a Fourth Reich? Isn't it time to clean out Germany and Europe of all the sub-human muddy filth? This April 20th, let us all raise our glasses in a hearty "Heil Hitler" and vow to complete his dream, his dream of a purer, cleaner, happier world. Zieg Heil!

Re:Heil Hitler to all my German Friends! (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566611)

Holy hell, if Godwin were dead, he'd be spinning in his grave right now.

You lose. :P

Re:Heil Hitler to all my German Friends! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27566827)

This April 20th, let us all raise our glasses in a hearty "Heil Hitler" and vow to complete his dream, his dream of a purer, cleaner, happier world.

You might wanna rethink that date [wikipedia.org] , buddy.

Re:Heil Hitler to all my German Friends! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27567715)

You don't have to mention that day at every opportunity.

Re:Heil Hitler to all my German Friends! (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 5 years ago | (#27568979)

This April 20th, let us all raise our glasses in a hearty "Heil Hitler" and vow to complete his dream, his dream of a purer, cleaner, happier world.

You might wanna rethink that date [wikipedia.org] , buddy.

So is your point that pot smokers are Nazis for celebrating on Hitler's birthday [wikipedia.org] ?

Sorry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27570283)

Imagine what one would have to do to get baked* in Nazi Germany.

*Too soon?

Re:Heil Hitler to all my German Friends! (0, Flamebait)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566963)

"Sieg Heil", asshole.

Re:Heil Hitler to all my German Friends! (0, Offtopic)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 5 years ago | (#27571629)

LOL. +1 Funny

Or... (3, Funny)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566545)

.... that's exactly what *they* want us to think!

Re:Or... (1)

Compholio (770966) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566581)

.... that's exactly what *they* want us to think!

Really? Down with those guys!

YES IT WAS (3, Interesting)

James Hardine (1150665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566623)

The dispute with the registrar stems over a series of exposes last year by WikiLeaks on the BND--Germany's equiv of the CIA. Why the registrar picked this moment to "finalize" the dispute, no-one knows, but it's not hard to guess...

Re:YES IT WAS (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569043)

The dispute with the registrar stems over a series of exposes last year by WikiLeaks on the BND--Germany's equiv of the CIA. Why the registrar picked this moment to "finalize" the dispute, no-one knows, but it's not hard to guess...

This moment? Maybe because the contract had run out over a week ago? How much longer should they have given the guys to "finalize" their move?

The truth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27566667)

That's only what someone told Heise.

BND involved? (5, Interesting)

Krupuk (978265) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566751)

On November 5th and December 8th, Wikileaks leaked some BND information. On Devember 8th, the ISP ended the contract. Coincidence? I think not.

Re:BND involved? (4, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566917)

On Devember 8th

I pine for the balmy days of Devember. Instead we have to put up with this lousy Smarch weather...

Re:BND involved? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27566997)

Probably related.

What is odd is wikileaks.de losing their domain name in difference to having their ISP cancel a contract. I would suspect the entire set of facts has yet to be laid on the table and would tend to discount the possibility of this being a clerical error on the part of wikileaks.

Nevertheless, we see the homes of wikileaks domain owner being raided among allegations of suspicion over illegal pornography including child pornography, the surrender of the domain name and now an ISP contractual matter, all points indicating a 'full court press' upon wikileaks by the agencies and offices of the German government. Most notably, the BND and perhaps aided by outside influence.

Given documentation that wikileaks hosts pertaining to the BND, none of this should come as surprise nor anything that might happen subsequent.

Re:BND involved? (1)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 5 years ago | (#27567553)

BND? Is that not the organization, which was caught by the Bavarian police for suggling a plutonium sample?

Attention seeking (1)

AnonymityCowardily (890293) | more than 5 years ago | (#27566801)

[paranoia] Is this a ploy by wikileaks to seek attention to its cause? [/paranoia]

Re:Attention seeking (1)

Workaphobia (931620) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577881)

How would that be possible, unless one believes that there's no such thing as bad press? All this does is make me doubt the competence of wikileaks' administrators.

Dose guyz... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27566871)

Leesnen to these reminds me of my favorit soup opera 'the hourglass of all my sand children'

Update: Why the contract was terminated (5, Informative)

tmk (712144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27567063)

Wikileaks has published a new press release [wikileaks.org] about the alleged censorship. After I read the details I fully understand why the contract had been terminated.

In December Reppe tried to transfer bnd.de - the domain of the federal intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst - to his account. To do that he had to assure that he was the rightful owner of bnd.de. The provider stopped the transition and terminated the contract with Reppe with 3 months notice.

Re:Update: Why the contract was terminated (5, Informative)

arkhan_jg (618674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27567141)

He then arranged with the hosting company in January to keep the account open until the end of his existing pre-paid term - an agreement that was then broken with no warning when they killed his account and dumped all his domains back to deNIC as originally threatened, and prevented him from moving them to another registrar.

Re:Update: Why the contract was terminated (3, Interesting)

tmk (712144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27567227)

I guess he just misinterpreted the phone conversation. It wouldn't make much sense to put the termination in writing and say something else. It makes much sense that the hosting company assured him that he had three months time to transfer his domains.

Re:Update: Why the contract was terminated (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 5 years ago | (#27567579)

I guess he just misinterpreted the phone conversation. It wouldn't make much sense to put the termination in writing and say something else. It makes much sense that the hosting company assured him that he had three months time to transfer his domains.

Phone conversations have the advantage/disadvantage that they leave no paper trail.
There is also a claim that the ISP didn't send them the details necessary to transfer the domain. Maybe they never asked for these details?

Re:Update: Why the contract was terminated (2, Insightful)

kju (327) | more than 5 years ago | (#27567693)

You don't need details to transfer a .de-Domain. Earlier this year a system which uses a "Authinfo-Code" for Transfers was introduced, but it is still possible to transfer a .de-Domain without using a Authinfo-Code. The new provider will just request a transfer from the DeNIC member it is using (if the new provider isn't itself a DeNIC member) which will then send it to the DeNIC. The DeNIC in turn will send the request to the "old" DeNIC-Member, which in turn will send it to the Provider (if not the same as the DeNIC-Member) which shall send it to the customer. There is then a deadline of a few days in which the Transfer can be ACKed or NACKed. So the owner of wikileaks.de had plenty of time to start a transfer and was not dependent on any "details" from his prior provider.

I believe the story stinks. It looks a lot like some guy tried to fuck with the system by attempting to transfer bnd.de, got burned and then was too disorganized to get his stuff transfered to another ISP in time. All the press releases now read a lot like lame excuses, especially given the fact that we were told quite a different story by the owner of wikileaks.de in the first place. After DeNIC and his old ISP stood up, we now get new excuses why it wasn't his fault. I've dealt with webhosting and customers myself a lot and i know this kind of customer. I put quite a few domains into "transit" because of customers who simply did not transfered there domain out despite of numerous requests. Some customers won't get their ass up before the domain is in transit and stops to be working.

Re:Update: Why the contract was terminated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27567961)

According to wikileaks, he didn't attempt to transfer bnd.de "to fuck with the system" but to make a point about BND getting special treatment in that they were not required to register the domain with credentials (real address) like everybody else. But I agree that wikileaks don't seem to handle this in a way that fits their responsibility as a provider of uncensored information.

Re:Update: Why the contract was terminated (1)

tmk (712144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27568055)

How exactly is "fucking with the system" different from "making a point"?

Re:Update: Why the contract was terminated (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569643)

It wouldn't make much sense to put the termination in writing and say something else.

It would make a lot of sense if your plan was to trick him in to failing to renew his registration so that you could terminate his domain. The only thing we can be fairly sure that the guy is guilty of is trusting his registrar, which is a MASSIVE FAIL. It's entirely possible that they told him that they would make the transfer for him and then failed to do so, which would be illegal but essentially unprovable without a recording of the phone conversation.

Re:Update: Why the contract was terminated (1)

tmk (712144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569901)

It would make a lot of sense if your plan was to trick him in to failing to renew his registration so that you could terminate his domain.

This is not what happened. Reppe still owns the domain. He has only to find a new provider.

Re:Update: Why the contract was terminated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27572437)

Getting a domain trown back to Denic doesn't prevent you from moving it.

Btw. I already explained in the previous article what likely happened to the domain (which this article now confirmed): http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1195415&cid=27543377 which links to Denics explanation of "transit" http://www.denic.de/en/faqs/detail_37.html which has a link to the FAQ about "transit" http://www.denic.de/en/faqs/transit_faqs/index.html .

Re:Update: Why the contract was terminated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27567725)

According to the press release at least, that's WRONG. The salient points are:

1) The bnd.de domain registration doesn't meet the required standards set by the DENIC.
2) Reppe tried to transfer it. (Stupid, admittedly - what did he think would happen?)
3) His service provider claimed that since this was an "important" domain (a distinction apparently not made by the DENIC) asked for additional documents AND suspended his account.
4) Since Reppe had already paid for a year, he and his service provider agreed to just let the contract run out the regular way.
5) In spite of that, his service provider now terminated the contract and handed the domains back to the DENIC, without even so much as telling Reppe.

Keep in mind that this is what the press release says - it's not necessarily true. However, your description is not accurate based on the press release at least.

Re:Update: Why the contract was terminated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27572875)

What a stupid thing to do. A transfer (and owner change) of a de-domain needs the ACK of a current Admin of the domain or the Denic needs to get involved (keyword dispute). That still holds if the current owner/admin somehow violated the Denic rules. An attempted transfer wouldn't even work for any other regular domain (assuming it's registrar isn't ignorant), which means attempting to prove that the BND gets different treatment regarding transfers means ignoring how the technical process for transfers work (besides it's legal implications).

Someone had a fact-checking fail (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27567201)

Someone, somewhere had a fact-checking fail.

Now, should they be rolling a saving throw vs. Job Loss?

Of course, if the onus was on the /. editors, note that they were a Cape of Uncriticizability and have damage reduction 1/- against Job Loss. They have to lose their job twice---before DR---to actually get fired; flamed, on the other hand... ;-)

(mods with broken irony detectors: the invitation to flame the eds is what I like to call a joke :p)

Re:Someone had a fact-checking fail (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#27567375)

What do you think makes a better headline?

"Admin forgets to renew domain!"

Or

"Wikileaeks censored by German authorities!"

Re:Someone had a fact-checking fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27567621)

In US you terminate contract with your ISP.

In Nazi Germany ISP terminates you!

Still not clear cut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27567281)

Reading the wikileaks account, it seems that the registrar claims a few things that are less than entirely true. Yes, trying to register bnd.de wasn't nice, even if to test denic's rules (bnd.de was already registered but to a postbox, which is against denic rules and thus, technically, the registration is invalid). I don't know whether trying this constitutes breach of contract, though. Whether he was timely informed then becomes he said/she said. But in any case, it's nice to know you cannot deal with your registrar over the phone. Dropping a bunch of domains including wikileaks.de over the easter holiday sure was a nice touch. He should've put the deal in writing and (say) faxed it to the registrar expressly to create a paper trail.

What's with the Yahoo Love? Babelfish sucks! (1)

barrkel (806779) | more than 5 years ago | (#27567371)

Babelfish's translation sucks so badly compared to Google Translate's version [google.com] that I can only suspect some ulterior motive in providing it.

Re:What's with the Yahoo Love? Babelfish sucks! (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27567477)

Mein Luftkissenfahrzeug ist voller Aale.

Re:What's with the Yahoo Love? Babelfish sucks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27567873)

Aale auf dem scheiss Luftkissenfahrzeug!

Re:What's with the Yahoo Love? Babelfish sucks! (1)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 5 years ago | (#27572561)

Mein Luftkissenfahrzeug ist voller Aale.

No thanks, I don't smoke.

Just a typical dispute.... (3, Informative)

mseeger (40923) | more than 5 years ago | (#27567701)

Hi,

as far as i can see, even Wikileaks doesn't pretend any longer, that the goverment disabled the domain or made the registry do it.

The chain of events was (shortened) the following: Wikileaks published some documents about the BND (german version of the NSA [sort of]). Based on those documents was a discussion, wether the BND did register his domain (bnd.de) correctly. To make a show, the owner of wikileaks.de tried to transfer bnd.de to himself. His service provider got (IMHO not unreasonably) pissed and terminated all contracts. This all happened in december 2008.

End of march 2009 the provider transfered the domains back to the registry since no transfer was initiated from the customer. There is a dispute between the provider and his customer (owner of wikileaks.de) wether the transfer was too early. Most communication between the provider and the owner of wikileaks.de seems to be by phone, so there is little paper trail.

Sory guys, but no sinister conspiracy here :-).

CU, Martin

Government pressure was still a factor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27568407)

This is exactly why people who care about liberty should boycott use of domain names (which are the worst aspect of the Internet because of the government control) for a better technology that doesn't require centralization.

Thought Google would be pleased... (2, Insightful)

CyberPhart (954001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569279)

I'm a bit surprised at Google's response. I would have thought that they'd jump at the chance to rat out foreign citizens to their government. They were SO efficient at doing that when the Chinese thugs were hunting down those pesky dissidents.
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