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WikiLeaks Under Fire

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the also-possibly-on-fire dept.

Censorship 282

kan0r writes "The transparency group WikiLeaks.org currently seems to be under heavy fire. The main WikiLeaks.org DNS entry is unavailable, reportedly due to a restraining order relating to a series of articles and documents released by WikiLeaks about off-shore trust structures in the Cayman Islands. The WikiLeaks whistle blower, allegedly former vice president of the Cayman Islands branch of swiss bank Julius Baer, states in the WikiLeaks documents that the bank supported tax evasion and money laundering by its clients from around the world. WikiLeaks alternate names remained available until Saturday, when there seems to have been a heavy DDoS attack and a fire at the ISP. The documents in question are still available on other WikiLeaks sites, such as wikileaks.be, and are also mirrored on Cryptome. Details of the court documents have also been made available."

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But why? (5, Insightful)

jrothwell97 (968062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462028)

Wikileaks is an interesting website, and I can see no reason why anyone would want to take a site hosting confidential leaked documents from governments and big business offline...

Speaking seriously here, I wouldn't doubt it being a corporate or political DDoS attack, considering the confidentiality of the documents, and how damaging they could be to said companies/governments' reputations. Not a bad thing in my opinion, but they would think otherwise.

Re:But why? (4, Informative)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462080)

This is not a bad rendition of the answer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGmA1Cpmldg [youtube.com]

Re:But why? (-1, Offtopic)

bhima (46039) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462366)

Even if I have 'friended' you, there's no way I'm clicking on some link to a youtube video.

Re:But why? (-1, Offtopic)

Binestar (28861) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462526)

Do you fear the Rick Roll?

Re:But why? (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462814)

No I fear the near leathal combination of a My Mini City movie with Rick Astley singing in the background.

Re:But why? (5, Insightful)

utnapistim (931738) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462082)

I think it was a bad move on the part of whoever did the attack, if their intention was censorship: it only created more publicity for the documents.

Re:But why? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462112)

Going fully Machiavellian, an attacker might a) call attention via DIOS, or b) buy time to negotiate.
The latter seems unlikely, because if the information was available for any length of time
then it has likely escaped.

Re:But why? (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462896)

I think they are simply attacking something they don't understand.

"The internet is a bunch of TUBES!!!"

Re:But why? (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462140)

Maybe they have something more to hide. Or maybe it's just petty vengeance.

Re:But why? (2, Interesting)

Jurily (900488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462172)

what if they did it themselves? :)

Re:But why? (5, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462284)

Interesting, but not likely. WikiLeakS is already well-known and they have plenty of traffic on their site. The publisher of the leaks themselves is known and WikiLeakS is just a neutral party to this really -- they just serve up what people post.

Besides, what about the mysterious UPS fire? I find that interesting because UPSes, especially commercial grade ones installed in server rooms, typically have safety mechanisms (read: big breaker switches) in them that prevent them from overloading and catching fire. In 15 years of working in server rooms, I've never actually seen one catch fire, though I've heard of a few freak accidents.

Re:But why? (3, Informative)

josecanuc (91) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462520)

http://www-viz.tamu.edu/staff/kglueck/images.php3?list=vizfire [tamu.edu]

Wasn't a UPS, but a 3-phase power conditioner for a machine room. Yes, it was a freak accident.

Re:But why? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462610)

Of course, like I said, freak accidents are known to happen. But this seems just a wee bit too coincidental to be a freak accident. I mean, in the example you provide, I'm sure there wasn't a 500 Mbps DDoS atack, combined with a legal attack staged by infamous Hollywood shysters happening at about the same time, either.

I smell the work of international organized crime here.

Re:But why? (1)

BytePusher (209961) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463536)

IMNVHO(In My Not Very Honest Opinion) I agree, I love the smell of a good conspiracy.

Re:But why? (0)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462828)

In pictures 5 & 6, mr 3-phase power conditioner looks really pooped out. Kinda like "-.-"

Re:But why? (2)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462540)

Maybe it's related to the DDoS.. the routers just burst into flames :)

This is What Freenet Was Made For (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22462402)

"DDoS attack"

This is why WikiLeaks, although good in theory, won't be able to survive in practice. It is centralized, and being as such it can be subject to attack, threat and intimidation.

Those running WikiLeaks should also post their material to Freenet. This is advantageous for two main reasons: First, insurance against the site going down due to attack, lack of funds, etc. Second, it will prevent attacks in the first place since the attackers know nothing can be gained, there material is already out there and won't be able to be taken down. So even if Freenet isn't to be the main site, it is still useful to have the content on Freenet too.

Re:This is What Freenet Was Made For (5, Insightful)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462658)

Yeah, but there are problems with FreeNet :

1/ It's slow
2/ No one uses it
3/ No one uses it because it's so slow
4/ It's so slow because no one uses it
5/ It's not preinstalled on all computers
6/ Its installation is as much jumping through hoops as a first use of Windows Vista

So yeah, backups on FreeNet is a good idea, but hosting the main site? Not if they want to be acessed sometimes.

I'd rather d/l the full archive off The Pirate Bay or Mininova, though. A lifetime of reading about "why all the systems should all be completely transparent to any one in the general public".

Re:This is What Freenet Was Made For (4, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463310)

7/ Still carries a stigma of being associated with child porn.

I would like to see an update to the bittorrent protocol which allows 'dynamic' torrents. The hashes and files of a directory could be changed as a file is added or changed. Build in some mechanisms so that only the original seeder can make changes and set it up and point it to /wwwroot/.

First download might take a little long, but everytime someone added/changed a file it would be almost instantly replicated across the torrent network. I know that I'd donate some HD space and an open 'dynamic torrent' in rtorrent for something like this.

Re:This is What Freenet Was Made For (-1, Troll)

lubricated (49106) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463344)

and don't forget, running freenet slows down your computer by using up a bunch of resources.

Re:This is What Freenet Was Made For (1)

Damocles the Elder (1133333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462744)

If there's mirrors up and running, I don't know how "centralized" you can call it. Besides, after this, I imagine they'll the benefit in mirroring it elsewhere (read: multiple countries) too.

Re:But why? (2, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462418)

Because everyone loves Krusty the clown and getting him in trouble with the IRS over his secret, illegal account in the Cayman Islands is going to make everyone mad!

I wonder if Clinton's pal Mark Rich... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22462574)

ever hid his money at this Swiss bank in the Cayman Islands? You folks ready for 8 more years of that bullshit?

MOD +1 TRUTH (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22462902)

These skeletons just keep popping out of the Clintons' closet. There's just so many in there that it's hard to keep the door closed. Abusing your mod points won't ever change that.

Re:But why? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22462598)

It generates more free publicity and advertising for the bank's tax-sheltering and money-laundering services, with the reassuring message that the U.S. courts are standing behind you should you patronize aforesaid bank.

Meanwhile Wikileaks gets to have it's operating premises reinforced, play victim, garner more support, funds, etc.

So you see, it's a win-win strategy all around. What, me cynical?

Restraining order? (5, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462042)

I hereby judge that WikiLeak's DNS entry is not allowed to pass within 100 feet of any US DNS server, on penalty of having to memorise himself in IPv6 form

Re:Restraining order? (0, Offtopic)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462344)

How is that insightful? o_o

Insult + Injury (5, Funny)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462052)

Great idea. On top of a DDoS attack lets add the Slashdot effect. I can smell the smoke pouring off their servers.

Re:Insult + Injury (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462074)

Yay! Second wave attack gogogo! Burn their tubes to the ground! Oh well, at least they'll feel better about this one, right?

Re:Insult + Injury (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463022)

If their tubes fail, there's always the trucks...

Re:Insult + Injury (1)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463322)

IT'S NOT A TRUCK!!!

Re:Insult + Injury (1)

craagz (965952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462396)

maybe kan0r posted to slashdot hoping for the site to get slashdotted. He is one of THEM!!!

To those behind the attacks... (5, Insightful)

Loibisch (964797) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462058)

To those behind the attacks: It's too late!
Remember: What's once on the internet stays on the internet...one way or another.

Just deal with it.

Re:To those behind the attacks... (4, Interesting)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462150)

You know, maybe I am a few links shy on my paperclip necklace, but don't you think it kind of conspicuous that while said DoS attack is going on, this submitter not only informed Slashdot about it, but actually pointed us all to the still-left-standing mirrors... as if to try and trigger the Slashdot effect.

Re:To those behind the attacks... (5, Insightful)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462206)

the /. effect is WAY overrated, if you are suffering from it you either have big file downloads, really shitty hosting (think home DSL/cable or similar) or a badly designed dynamic site (this last one is probablly the most common).

Re:To those behind the attacks... (3, Insightful)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462376)

After all, "The Slashdot Effect" can't be more than what Slashdot itself feels, and it survives fine. It's even dynamic.

Still, Slashdot has been designed to handle this much load. Those poor webservers that feel "The Effect" have probably been running perfectly fine at a lower use for years until someone uses them to announce a breakthrough of some sort with images and video and, shortly afterwards they burn out.

Though you missed the 4th possibility: The webserver is a Commodore 64. We only linked to that one once :(

Re:To those behind the attacks... (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463582)

Though you missed the 4th possibility: The webserver is a Commodore 64. We only linked to that one once :(
I think we actually hit it twice, but it stood up very well. Admittedly it was only hosting a 100-byte text file, but it was responsive when I tried it. Perhaps everyone assumed it would be down and skipped the link?

The page about the C-64 web server, hosted elsewhere and full of pictures, only lasted a few minutes, as I recall.

Re:To those behind the attacks... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22462224)

You know, maybe I am a few links shy on my paperclip necklace, but don't you think it kind of conspicuous that while said DoS attack is going on, this submitter not only informed Slashdot about it, but actually pointed us all to the still-left-standing mirrors... as if to try and trigger the Slashdot effect.

Posting AC so you can't catch me...when I submitted it I even provided links via Amazon Mechanical Turk [mturk.com] ...I was going to pay you people to help DoS/slashdot-effect the mirrors! *evil laughing*

Re:To those behind the attacks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22462384)

I zipped a copy and will spread it around.

Re:To those behind the attacks... (1)

krelian (525362) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462926)

I also find your post unusual as it made go back and check the links in the original /. post.

You've just become the main suspect.

Must be doing someting right... (5, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462066)

When you're slapped with a restraining order, you get hit with a dDOS, and one of your UPS units "accidentally" ignites , you know you must be doing something right.

Re:Must be doing someting right... (0, Offtopic)

lekikui (1000144) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462436)

Sorry, accidentally modded this redundant. Posting to clear it

Re:Must be doing someting right... (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462536)

When you're slapped with a restraining order, you get hit with a dDOS, and one of your UPS units "accidentally" ignites , you know you must be doing something right.
If this were an episode of 24, they'd kidnap WikiLeaks' daughter, too.

Re:Must be doing someting right... (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462792)

Maybe it "accidentally" ignited so that they could get rid of damning evidence.

You know you're doing something right (3, Interesting)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462096)

when they start shooting at you.

Yawn (5, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462102)

Wake me up when the anchor of a ship accidentally cuts every cable around the WikiLeaks server buildings..

Anti-Conspiracy Theorists (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22462250)

Somewhere on the blogosphere or the net SOMEONE will say that these are just coincidences.

DDOS, fire, lawsuit. All a coincidence.

Just like the numerous internet cable cuts. All a coincidence.

Israeli art students celebrating the terrorist strike on the world trade centers minutes after the crash. Just a co-inky dink.

Anyone who says otherwise is a conspiracy theorist.

The thing that is funny is that the majority of those persons who claim that these are all coincidences are also the same persons who are of a right-leaning bent, and also like themselves a bit of the ol' good time gospel.

So on the one hand, you have crazy wingnut pundits claiming that any surreptitious event, any secretive group, anything that just doesn't add up, is met with screams of "nothing to see here, move along". These are also the same persons who claim that there is a "grand watchmaker" and that the earth must be intelligently designed, or that the Iraqis had WMD based on the poorest of evidence.

Re:Anti-Conspiracy Theorists (0, Offtopic)

hostyle (773991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462400)

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition [youtube.com] !

Re:Anti-Conspiracy Theorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22462498)

...the times where the truth is moded as troll are the times blackshirts march the streets saluting flags and insignia...

Winner: Counter-productive move of the year (5, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462142)


Could the people leaked about on WikiLeaks really be this dumb? Is there anything that will guarantee that this information will be more broadly distributed and read and more likely to come to the attention of the main stream media?

Why don't they just go the whole hog and DDoS the BBC and CNN at the same time to close the loop.

Re:Winner: Counter-productive move of the year (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22462260)

> Could the people leaked about on WikiLeaks really be this dumb? Is there anything that will guarantee that this information will be more broadly distributed and read and more likely to come to the attention of the main stream media?

Maybe that's the point.

Re:Winner: Counter-productive move of the year (5, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462308)

Could the people leaked about on WikiLeaks really be this dumb?

Fortunately, yes, they can, and it seems they are. Not 'dumb' per se, mind you, but operating without any idea of how things work in this day and age, when any information that finds its way onto the Internet is effectively immortal, and any attempts to suppress that information only succeed in calling even more attention to it.

There's no way to silence the truth directly anymore in this new medium. Indirect methods, however, like repeating a lie loudly and often enough, can still be effective.

Re:Winner: Counter-productive move of the year (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462588)

I'm curious about the judge though. Is that a simpleton as well; or perhaps a shrewd official, well aware that allowing the case is going to splatter a new meme "tax avoidance cayman islands bank julius baer" across the web for years to come?

Re:Winner: Counter-productive move of the year (4, Funny)

Alsee (515537) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462682)

Joe Garelli on NewsRadio said it best:
"You can't take something off the Internet! That's like trying to take pee out of a swimming pool."

-

In Soviet Russia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22462286)

leaks wiki you!

Doesn't necessarily have to be big business/ gov't (4, Insightful)

usul294 (1163169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462302)

You know it could always be some 14 year old prankster who figured out how to DDOS a server, and correctly thought "Hey, if I can effectively shut off WikiLeaks, everyone will assume that groups which suffer from WikiLeaks were responsible." I mean it takes alot of brains to maintain a big business, I doubt the CTO or CIO of a giant firm suggested DDOSing a fairly well-known website in order to prevent access to content.

Re:Doesn't necessarily have to be big business/ go (5, Interesting)

CHESTER COPPERPOT (864371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462378)

There are also a number of "citizen groups" out there that want to shut down wikileaks because they think it is anti-democratic. It seems a lot of them are affiliated with the guys who "hunt" terrorists online. One such blog of note is the "Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group". See this blog post here [209.85.173.104] . Though they seem to be from a psychological operations bent rather than hackers.

Re:Doesn't necessarily have to be big business/ go (1)

skulgnome (1114401) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462462)

Just what the _fuck_ are these people on about. "Directing unauthorized viewers at the classified material"?

I guess I now know what too much Tom Clancy will do to a person.

Re:Doesn't necessarily have to be big business/ go (3, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462808)

By "psychological operations" you mean "operations by lunatics" amiright?

Those "citizen groups" are right (2, Insightful)

cowwoc2001 (976892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463254)

You can't mount a decent psychological or intelligence-based warfare against an enemy if you publish what you're going to do every step of the way. I'm not trying to advocate censorship here but I'd love to hear a *serious* answer as to how you expect any country to mount this sort of effort under the limitations of full disclosure.

Some specific points I'd like to discuss:

- What is the point of publishing Coalition "soft spots" to the public? Aren't you just begging for terrorists to attack them? It makes perfect sense to publish this to a limited group of trusted people that can fix the problem but not to the general public. Again, I understand there are times where publishing this information might be appropriate, but for the vast majority of the time it is not.

- What is the point of publishing real-time army positions and schedules to the public? Is anyone benefiting from this except from the terrorists?

etc.

My point is that Wikileaks or others have published certain information in the past that has absolutely no benefit to anyone except the very people trying to kill our troops. It's one thing to publish information which embarrasses governments or big companies, it's another thing altogether to publish information whose sole use is the killing of our people.

Re:Doesn't necessarily have to be big business/ go (1)

TurinPT (1226568) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462456)

I doubt a 14 year old prankster who figured out how to DDOS a server could manage a 500Mbps attack.
It takes time to build up a botnet of that scale and remain undetected.

Re:Doesn't necessarily have to be big business/ go (1)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462756)

A 14 yo prankster with enough skillz can direct an existing botnet to conduct the attack... They're all controlled by an IRC-like protocol, and if they're encrypted, that's what a man-in-the-middle attack based on IP spoof is for. Botnets don't have security strong enough to withstand that.

Re:Doesn't necessarily have to be big business/ go (2, Funny)

alx5000 (896642) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462578)

I mean it takes alot of brains to maintain a big business
Sure it does [youtube.com] ...

Re:Doesn't necessarily have to be big business/ go (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462678)

Sure it does...

Oh my. The disappointing part of that collection of videos is that Balmer didn't give himself a heart attack. --In any case, it was nice to note that even though the apocalypse arrived and nobody thought to wake me up, I was still able to catch it on Youtube.


-FL

Questions (1)

CHESTER COPPERPOT (864371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462314)

Is it possible to overload a power supply to the point of fire from a remote location? I've heard of black hats getting into the climate control systems of certain areas and loading up the heat and frying certain parts of computers, but a power supply?

Secondly, Does wikileaks hold a record of the DDoS? As in the technical parameters, IPs etc.?

Thirdly, is their a translation to English of the bank records in question yet?

Re:Questions (2, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462410)

Is it possible to overload a power supply to the point of fire from a remote location? I've heard of black hats getting into the climate control systems of certain areas and loading up the heat and frying certain parts of computers, but a power supply?
There are UPSes with intelligent controllers [upsforless.ca] , of course. I don't really know how easy or difficult it would be to make these cause a UPS to overload, maybe someone else here has knowledge I don't. I would hope anyone using such a controller would take proper safety precautions, such as making them inaccessible from outside the internal network, but you know how smart some people are ... :)

Re:Questions (2, Interesting)

BadHaggis (1179673) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462622)

Yes, it is possible to hack modern UPS's. That's one of the reasons it is important to keep the firmware up to date, mostly to prevent some type of SNMP snooping/monitoring software from being used. However, I'm not sure if once hacked if the UPS could be made to self destruct, it might be possible if you could turn off the charge monitoring and force an overcharge on the batteries. Just a theory, and I'm sure there are people who know better than I if this is possible.

Re:Questions (1)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462734)

An UPS that can receive packets ... No. No, no, no. It's dead easy to construct a circuit with an absolutely reliable breaker, one that shuts it off as soon as the temp goes above some threshold. If there wasn't one in the UPS, then the engineer who designed it should be shot on sight!

Information wants to be free! (0, Offtopic)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462342)

That's why you pay good money to hunt it down and kill it.

If it can help... (5, Informative)

this great guy (922511) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462360)

Personally I can resolve the wikileaks.org hostname from time to time only. Their website is still accessible from my network location (SoCal): http://88.80.13.160/wiki/Wikileaks [88.80.13.160]

$ dig wikileaks.org
;; ANSWER SECTION:
wikileaks.org. 864 IN A 88.80.13.160
wikileaks.org. 864 IN A 87.106.162.82
;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
wikileaks.org. 198841 IN NS ns3.everydns.net.
wikileaks.org. 198841 IN NS ns2.everydns.net.
wikileaks.org. 198841 IN NS ns4.everydns.net.
;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:
ns2.everydns.net. 101251 IN A 204.152.184.150
ns3.everydns.net. 12596 IN A 208.96.6.134
ns4.everydns.net. 601 IN A 64.158.219.3


(special message dedicated to whoever wrote the slashdot lameness filter: foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar foobar)

How is this a troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22462694)

Isn't providing the IP of a host that can't be reached through DNS useful? Anyway, why are these people allowed to decide what websites I should be allowed to visit? After all, I did nothing wrong and yet they are restraining me, outside of their jurisdiction no less. And that's where such an IP address comes in handy.

The Text: "Clouds on the Cayman tax heaven (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22463352)

http://88.80.13.160/wiki/Clouds_on_the_Cayman_tax_heaven [88.80.13.160]

Clouds on the Cayman tax heaven
From Wikileaks
Jump to: navigation, search

Is David helvetic and Goliath a bear?

DANIEL SCHMITT
2008-02-15

This is the story of Rudolf Elmer of Switzerland, former Chief Operating Officer of Bank Julius Baer on the Cayman Islands. The story of a man suspected of leaking to the press information about the activities of a Swiss bank specialized in hiding and laundering the money of the ultra rich through anonymizing offshore trust structures. It also is the story of a man and his family living with the consequences of being suspected of fouling the nest of a traditional Swiss bank engaging in dubious activities. This story might differ from previous one's related to this issue, mainly because while researching the story, Rudolf Elmer has also been asked for his account of things.

Over the last few months Wikileaks has obtained and published various documents related to allegedly illegal activities in the Cayman Islands performed by Bank Julius Baer and started initial research into these. Regarding the same bank Wikileaks had obtained legal documentation on the case of a Rudolf Elmer, former debuty head of BJB cayman, in a Dec 2007 Zurich court case against Bank Julius Baer. The law suit relates to various irregularities of health-care/social-security payments by the bank, as well as the matter of stalking (including at least one acknowledged car chase) Elmer and his family by BJB-hired Private Investigators Zurich-based Ryffel AG,

Initial research easily turned up that 2002/2003 some sensitive documents had slipped out of the Swiss banks office in the Cayman Islands, apparently reaching US tax investigation units and eventually sent to the Swiss financial magazine CASH, which reported on the disclosure, but possibly due to an injunction or Swiss banking law, not the details. This event also triggered an article in the Wall Street Journal an article in Swiss Weltwoche, titled "The leak in paradise", giving background information on what happened back in 2003 on the Caymans.

When the leak of trust structures was discovered in 2003, Bank Julius Baer initiated legal investigations on the Caymans, involving the search of the home of each employee and when not gaining any insights from that, undertaking a polygraph test on the employees. It still remained unclear where the data went.

The group of people having legitimate access to these documents was small, Rudolf Elmer, who was BJB Caymans deputy head and Chief Operating Officer at that point in time also fulfilled the position of Hurricane Officer, whos duties included keeping backups. Elmer, facing a spinal surgery coming up in a few days time, was on sick leave and had some trouble scheduling the test. He thus became a suspect.
The Polygraph Test

The transcript of the polygraph test conducted by a Lou Criscella and passed on to Wikileaks is very abstract to read with names of clients being substituted with single letters. While not all the context thus is properly understandable, the transcript does not show any wrongdoing.

Reading the transcript one gets the impression that data has slipped out of the Cayman Islands as early as 1997, and timelining the transcript with a couple of later documents will also reveal that Elmer is accused of having leaked data that was produced after the date that he left from the Caymans.

Elmer complained to the American Polygraph Association, the institution his interrogator works for, the Cayman Prime Minister and other entities about the conduct of the test.

Normally sick people would not be interviewed, but the APA's Ethics Commission, stated in a letter that the ethical rules for polygraphing do not apply to the Cayman Islands, and as the test had not been fully carried out, most of the APA rules would not apply anyway. He was informed there are no regulations on the Caymans for polygraph tests as in the United States.
Leaving home, returning to Switzerland

This is about when things started to get different for Rudolf Elmer.

It became essentially clear that he was a prime suspect and Bank Julius Baer wanted to get rid of him. Personal suggestions by his manager to go out diving, possibly as deep as possible, as well as anonymous phone calls to his family suggesting they should leave the country for their own good, did not make the whole situation much easier for the Elmers. As can be derived from the transcript and personal communication with him, Rudolf Elmer felt very much like being home on the Caymans, much in contrast to Switzerland, and the same can be said for his family.

After the test Bank Julius Baer laid off him as an employee and the family decided to move back to Switzerland. Bank Julius Baer, not being able to substantially prove anything, but still investigating into him, had hired a bunch of different Private Investigators like the Zurich-based Ryffel AG, to track him. According to Elmer's assertions, he was threatened not to go to the police verbally by officials of the bank, most of them composing the boards of directors and similar entities within the various distributed BJB companies, holdings, limiteds etc.

According to Elmer (most of the allegations appear in his Dec 2007 court documents), he was subject to more or less permanent observation, as was his family. His then 6-year old daughter got followed on her way to school/kindergarden, his wife and daughter were even engaged in a chase on a Swiss autobahn by the Ryffel AG, which had to be intercepted by the Police (police confirmed). Cars driving in the dead-end street he lived in at night, annoying his neighbours and putting further pressure on him. The phone calls, that started in the Caymans followed to Switzerland. The situation again became very uncomfortable, with Elmer's 8-year old daughter suffering trauma from the bizarre lifestyle her family was forced into. Elmer also was offered CHF 500,000 by the bank, according to his statement in an effort to buy his silence; he turned down the offer and asked the bank to be charged with bribery, but the police found no law against bribing private persons.

Bank Julius Baer also started claims against Rudolf Elmer in Switzerland. These could not be followed by prosecution as BJB refused to give out information on its activity on the Cayman Islands that would provide a basis for investigation and Elmer's defense. On that basis no prosecution in Switzerland could be initiated. As BJB still had the PIs in the field at that point in time, putting Elmer under pressure, maybe the tradeoff between releasing the material to the prosecutor and facing eventual consequences, and silencing the suspected root of all the trouble did not appear good enough at that point in time.

Elmer wrote a a letter to the newly appointed CEO of Bank Julius Baer in Switzerland, Johannes de Gier, where he explained his position, trying to set some facts straight. This document is the only document this author is aware of linking Elmer to being (one of) the whisteblower(s), and it holds more information on his actual responsibilities and awareness of activities on the Caymans. While it has an uncompromising tone, it also sounds like a man talking about his strong defenses in order to put an end to the harassment he is under. Rudolf Elmer says this is about the time when he started to arrange protection for himself and his family with what he knew. He sent a few hints out that indicated he was in possession, lawfully, of this information, to make sure nothing would happen to him or his family. The document was submitted to Wikileaks in a bundle with the legal denial notice issued by the prosecutor in Zurich.

The legal applications filed with the prosecutor in Zurich-Sihl, Switzerland against Bank Julius Baer partly seem to be based on the letter sent to Johannes de Gier to describe Elmer's situation. The denial notice from the prosecutor's office indicate that Elmer also not been successful here. The prosecutor's office of Zurich-Sihl ruled that stalking can not be substance of a criminal prosecution in Switzerland, a land where no free person is restricted to move the same way as another in public space. Acknowledging the car pursuit, the prosecutor only mentions they were able to verify that a PI agency had been engaged, but does not comment any further on this incident at all. The prosecutor's office states that while there could be moral claims towards someone ordering such an observation, the actions did not break criminal law. Regarding the bribery claims that Elmer had made towards the bank, the Prosecutor further ruled that bribery is not applicable to a private person but only to a state entity, and stated non-understanding Elmer's motivation for this claim, stating the whistleblower should be happy about the money and the bank dropping its complaint.

Again, various other entities have been contacted by Rudolf Elmer, in his desperate and continuous search for help, with no real success. He contacted the Swiss Foundation of the International Social Service in respect to their Rights for Children program, to find help for his daughters protection of the harassment, yet no success. He was told these were if at all legal matters, and as he already found out, there is no legal basis or protection against stalking or observation by a private entity engaged by a private corporation. Not for children or anyone at all in the free country of Switzerland.

Rarely does it get as clear as at this point: not only are financial institutions in Switzerland very eager to avoid any attention by anyone, but also are those banks being protected by certain legal institutions. As one of the side effects of this story, the Swiss federal tax entity was very interested in having access to what was obtained by the Zurich Prosecutor's Office in relation to this case, yet have they also been denied access to those files. So leaving the premises of Bank Julius Baer for a short moment one could wonder if even after Jean Ziegler stood up as a hero and was actually able to change parts of the Swiss banking system to something morally and judicially more sound, the Swiss banking world is still as tightly knotted with parts of the legal system as much that it appears bizarre to anyone of non-helvetic origin. This also poses the important question in how much Switzerland with this attitude will ever be able to harmonize with the EU on the issue of banking transparency in order to stop illegal money flows.

While a lot of the extensive information and documentation is very hard to interpret, if at all, this was the rough story of a Rudolf Elmer, fighting like David against the bear Goliath. And this is also the story of one of the biggest banks involved into offshoring business on the Caymans, dealing with an issue related to the privacy of their businesses. A story of a bank that by its actions right from the beginning to all action taken today, shows it has a lot to hide from all parties eventually involved. A story of a bank that rather uses scare tactics than talk about its business in a proper lawsuit. A story of a bank that seems about willing to do anything to silence what Rudolf Elmer has to say.

Documents related to this story can be found at:

        * Bank Julius Baer [88.80.13.160]
        * Bank Julius Baer vs. Wikileaks [88.80.13.160]
        * Rudolf Elmer vs. Bank Julius Baer (german/english) [88.80.13.160]
        * Bank Julius Baer Polygraph test of Rudolf Elmer (english) [88.80.13.160]
        * Bank Julius Baer vs. Rudolf Elmer - no data theft (german/english) [88.80.13.160]

Rudolf Elmer to this day claims he has not leaked any documentation related to Bank Julius Baer in order to harm anyone, only setup an insurance for his and his family's personal safety. Whether this assertion is true, technically true, or untrue, or whether Mr. Elmer has been driven a bit batty by the pressure should not distract us from the actions of Bank Julius Baer in its attempts to silence its former high-level employee or the role it plays in supporting ultra-rich's offshore tax avoidance, tax evasion, asset hiding and money laundering..

Wikileaks would like to encourage everyone out there to have a look at the information. We encourage anyone dealing with tax fraud and evasion and offshore/Swiss banking to review the material posted with us. This will make sure we can verify the relevance and validity of the material presented. Bank Julius Baer has decided to go for the next round in trying to silence Wikileaks. This will not happen and only proves that at least parts of the material hold valid information.

Next up, /. under injunction? (1)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463528)

I guess we all need to add 88.80.13.160 and 87.106.162.82 to our sigs, right under the DeCSS key.

This is why.... (2, Interesting)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462368)

..WikiLeaks is a flawed idea.

What they should have is a very simple page at WikiLeaks.com instructing people on how to easily download, install and use FreeNet [freenetproject.org] , with FreeNet links to a FreeNet-hosted WikiLeaks website.

Then the site would not easily be able to be brought off line, because no one would know where it was hosted (since it is not actually hosted *anywhere*)

Re:This is why.... (0, Flamebait)

johnsie (1158363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462472)

Freenet looks like a pedophiles dream.

Re:This is why.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22462690)

It already is, probably even more so than Tor was.

There is almost certainly a large amount of private networks for pedos to gather at.

Re:This is why.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22462710)

Really, can you use Freenet to molest children? I didn't know IP packets had such capabilities. (Posting AC as this is OT)

Re:This is why.... (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462494)

That's great, except hardly anyone actually uses Freenet.

Re:This is why.... (0, Offtopic)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462888)

Oh ya install a program that requires you to manually find and connect to people.... While we're at it lets also wonder why Linux isn't the dominating OS, and why people just stop fighting.

Re:This is why.... (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463434)

I tried Freenet back when it was new. It was an incredible pain to use.

I still say that their biggest mistake was to use Java to write it.

It uses really incredible amounts of resources. Back when it appeared, a computer with 128-256MB RAM was decent. Problem is that Freenet brought this hardware to its knees. My server had load averages of 20, it was unbearable. Even if I could have dedicated this box to Freenet exclusively, a loadavg of 20 means it's not getting nearly all the time it wants, which adds to the latency of the network. And Freenet's latency is horrible as could be expected.

I believe that this is one of the major reasons it didn't catch on. Freenet should have been something light, easy to install, and as unobtrusive to the owner of the machine as possible to maximize its spread. Instead it was a hog, hard to install on any OS, and required lots of fiddling to keep it from griding your box to a halt.

It simply doesn't make sense that something with a relatively simple function can consume much more resources than an Apache server.

Freenet also had many bugs. Some of which were due to its massive use of threads IIRC. It also had horrible, scary bugs. For example a bug in the implementation of the encryption algorithm meant that half of every 256 bit block was encrypted, and the other half wasn't. The attitude on the mailing list was basically "oops", and "it's still in development, we didn't guarantee security, so sucks for whoever was bitten by this" from the main developer.

IMO, Freenet shows how "release early, release often" needs a small addition: "after making sure it's not a huge pain in the ass to use". Because when the user's impression is "This is pretty raw, but it's neat already" you're going well, but when it's "I spent an hour figuring out how to set it up, and now the darn thing killed my server" they're not likely to hang around for very long.

Clouds on the Cayman tax heaven REPOSTED HERE (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22462464)

Clouds on the Cayman tax heaven From Wikileaks

Is David helvetic and Goliath a bear?

DANIEL SCHMITT
2008-02-15

This is the story of Rudolf Elmer of Switzerland, former Chief Operating Officer of Bank Julius Baer on the Cayman Islands. The story of a man suspected of leaking to the press information about the activities of a Swiss bank specialized in hiding and laundering the money of the ultra rich through anonymizing offshore trust structures. It also is the story of a man and his family living with the consequences of being suspected of fouling the nest of a traditional Swiss bank engaging in dubious activities. This story might differ from previous ones related to this issue, mainly because while researching the story, Rudolf Elmer has also been asked for his account of things.

Over the last few months Wikileaks has obtained and published various documents related to allegedly illegal activities in the Cayman Islands performed by Bank Julius Baer and started initial research into these. Regarding the same bank Wikileaks had obtained legal documentation on the case of a Rudolf Elmer, former debuty head of BJB cayman, in a Dec 2007 Zurich court case against Bank Julius Baer. The law suit relates to various irregularities of health-care/social-security payments by the bank, as well as the matter of stalking (including at least one acknowledged car chase) Elmer and his family by BJB-hired Private Investigators Zurich-based Ryffel AG,

Initial research easily turned up that 2002/2003 some sensitive documents had slipped out of the Swiss banks office in the Cayman Islands, apparently reaching US tax investigation units and eventually sent to the Swiss financial magazine CASH, which reported on the disclosure, but possibly due to an injunction or Swiss banking law, not the details. This event also triggered an article in the Wall Street Journal an article in Swiss Weltwoche [weltwoche.ch] , titled "The leak in paradise", giving background information on what happened back in 2003 on the Caymans.

When the leak of trust structures was discovered in 2003, Bank Julius Baer initiated legal investigations on the Caymans, involving the search of the home of each employee and when not gaining any insights from that, undertaking a polygraph test on the employees. It still remained unclear where the data went.

The group of people having legitimate access to these documents was small, Rudolf Elmer, who was BJB Caymans deputy head and Chief Operating Officer at that point in time also fulfilled the position of Hurricane Officer, whos duties included keeping backups. Elmer, facing a spinal surgery coming up in a few days time, was on sick leave and had some trouble scheduling the test. He thus became a suspect.

The Polygraph Test

The transcript of the polygraph test conducted by a Lou Criscella and passed on to Wikileaks is very abstract to read with names of clients being substituted with single letters. While not all the context thus is properly understandable, the transcript does not show any wrongdoing.

Reading the transcript one gets the impression that data has slipped out of the Cayman Islands as early as 1997, and timelining the transcript with a couple of later documents will also reveal that Elmer is accused of having leaked data that was produced after the date that he left from the Caymans.

Elmer complained to the American Polygraph Association, the institution his interrogator works for, the Cayman Prime Minister and other entities about the conduct of the test.

Normally sick people would not be interviewed, but the APAs Ethics Commission, stated in a letter that the ethical rules for polygraphing do not apply to the Cayman Islands, and as the test had not been fully carried out, most of the APA rules would not apply anyway. He was informed there are no regulations on the Caymans for polygraph tests as in the United States.

Leaving home, returning to Switzerland

This is about when things started to get different for Rudolf Elmer.

It became essentially clear that he was a prime suspect and Bank Julius Baer wanted to get rid of him. Personal suggestions by his manager to go out diving, possibly as deep as possible, as well as anonymous phone calls to his family suggesting they should leave the country for their own good, did not make the whole situation much easier for the Elmers. As can be derived from the transcript and personal communication with him, Rudolf Elmer felt very much like being home on the Caymans, much in contrast to Switzerland, and the same can be said for his family.

After the test Bank Julius Baer laid off him as an employee and the family decided to move back to Switzerland. Bank Julius Baer, not being able to substantially prove anything, but still investigating into him, had hired a bunch of different Private Investigators like the Zurich-based Ryffel AG, to track him. According to Elmers assertions, he was threatened not to go to the police verbally by officials of the bank, most of them composing the boards of directors and similar entities within the various distributed BJB companies, holdings, limiteds etc.

According to Elmer (most of the allegations appear in his Dec 2007 court documents), he was subject to more or less permanent observation, as was his family. His then 6-year old daughter got followed on her way to school/kindergarden, his wife and daughter were even engaged in a chase on a Swiss autobahn by the Ryffel AG, which had to be intercepted by the Police (police confirmed). Cars driving in the dead-end street he lived in at night, annoying his neighbours and putting further pressure on him. The phone calls, that started in the Caymans followed to Switzerland. The situation again became very uncomfortable, with Elmers 8-year old daughter suffering trauma from the bizarre lifestyle her family was forced into. Elmer also was offered CHF 500,000 by the bank, according to his statement in an effort to buy his silence; he turned down the offer and asked the bank to be charged with bribery, but the police found no law against bribing private persons.

Bank Julius Baer also started claims against Rudolf Elmer in Switzerland. These could not be followed by prosecution as BJB refused to give out information on its activity on the Cayman Islands that would provide a basis for investigation and Elmers defense. On that basis no prosecution in Switzerland could be initiated. As BJB still had the PIs in the field at that point in time, putting Elmer under pressure, maybe the tradeoff between releasing the material to the prosecutor and facing eventual consequences, and silencing the suspected root of all the trouble did not appear good enough at that point in time.

Elmer wrote a a letter [88.80.13.160] to the newly appointed CEO of Bank Julius Baer in Switzerland, Johannes de Gier, where he explained his position, trying to set some facts straight. This document is the only document this author is aware of linking Elmer to being (one of) the whisteblower(s), and it holds more information on his actual responsibilities and awareness of activities on the Caymans. While it has an uncompromising tone, it also sounds like a man talking about his strong defenses in order to put an end to the harassment he is under. Rudolf Elmer says this is about the time when he started to arrange protection for himself and his family with what he knew. He sent a few hints out that indicated he was in possession, lawfully, of this information, to make sure nothing would happen to him or his family. The document was submitted to Wikileaks in a bundle with the legal denial notice issued by the prosecutor in Zurich.

The legal applications filed with the prosecutor in Zurich-Sihl, Switzerland against Bank Julius Baer partly seem to be based on the letter sent to Johannes de Gier to describe Elmers situation. The denial notice from the prosecutors office indicate that Elmer also not been successful here. The prosecutors office of Zurich-Sihl ruled that stalking can not be substance of a criminal prosecution in Switzerland, a land where no free person is restricted to move the same way as another in public space. Acknowledging the car pursuit, the prosecutor only mentions they were able to verify that a PI agency had been engaged, but does not comment any further on this incident at all. The prosecutors office states that while there could be moral claims towards someone ordering such an observation, the actions did not break criminal law. Regarding the bribery claims that Elmer had made towards the bank, the Prosecutor further ruled that bribery is not applicable to a private person but only to a state entity, and stated non-understanding Elmers motivation for this claim, stating the whistleblower should be happy about the money and the bank dropping its complaint.

Again, various other entities have been contacted by Rudolf Elmer, in his desperate and continuous search for help, with no real success. He contacted the Swiss Foundation of the International Social Service in respect to their Rights for Children program, to find help for his daughters protection of the harassment, yet no success. He was told these were if at all legal matters, and as he already found out, there is no legal basis or protection against stalking or observation by a private entity engaged by a private corporation. Not for children or anyone at all in the free country of Switzerland.

Rarely does it get as clear as at this point: not only are financial institutions in Switzerland very eager to avoid any attention by anyone, but also are those banks being protected by certain legal institutions. As one of the side effects of this story, the Swiss federal tax entity was very interested in having access to what was obtained by the Zurich Prosecutors Office in relation to this case, yet have they also been denied access to those files. So leaving the premises of Bank Julius Baer for a short moment one could wonder if even after Jean Ziegler stood up as a hero and was actually able to change parts of the Swiss banking system to something morally and judicially more sound, the Swiss banking world is still as tightly knotted with parts of the legal system as much that it appears bizarre to anyone of non-helvetic origin. This also poses the important question in how much Switzerland with this attitude will ever be able to harmonize with the EU on the issue of banking transparency in order to stop illegal money flows.

While a lot of the extensive information and documentation is very hard to interpret, if at all, this was the rough story of a Rudolf Elmer, fighting like David against the bear Goliath. And this is also the story of one of the biggest banks involved into offshoring business on the Caymans, dealing with an issue related to the privacy of their businesses. A story of a bank that by its actions right from the beginning to all action taken today, shows it has a lot to hide from all parties eventually involved. A story of a bank that rather uses scare tactics than talk about its business in a proper lawsuit. A story of a bank that seems about willing to do anything to silence what Rudolf Elmer has to say.

Documents related to this story can be found at:

Rudolf Elmer to this day claims he has not leaked any documentation related to Bank Julius Baer in order to harm anyone, only setup an insurance for his and his familys personal safety. Whether this assertion is true, technically true, or untrue, or whether Mr. Elmer has been driven a bit batty by the pressure should not distract us from the actions of Bank Julius Baer in its attempts to silence its former high-level employee or the role it plays in supporting ultra-richs offshore tax avoidance, tax evasion, asset hiding and money laundering..


Wikileaks would like to encourage everyone out there to have a look at the information. We encourage anyone dealing with tax fraud and evasion and offshore/Swiss banking to review the material posted with us. This will make sure we can verify the relevance and validity of the material presented. Bank Julius Baer has decided to go for the next round in trying to silence Wikileaks. This will not happen and only proves that at least parts of the material hold valid information.

Dead Pool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22462486)

I'm putting that former Bank VP ahead of Amy Winehouse and Brittany Spears on the Deadpool. He is messing with the world's most powerful people. They, especially any involved 3rd world dictators, won't take this lying down.

Good way to help WikiLeaks (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462632)

is to add a couple of links to some of their sites (in different top level domains) from your site. This will increase their search engine rating and also introduce more people to them - as they browse your site.

This is a real way of hitting back - respond to this attempt at burying WikiLeaks by giving them extra publicity!

The people vs the banks (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462672)

"The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is The People vs. The Banks." - Lord Acton, Historian, 1834 - 1902

Privacy for all or nothing (5, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462760)

The problem with Wikileaks and other "expose" sites like it is that they rationalize what they do by choosing selective enforcement of privacy rights. They say that it is ok for them to trump an interest in privacy because doing so benefits the public good. While this might be laudable at the service, a more studied approach to this would show that one could also use the selective revealing of private documents to advance a political agenda. Everyone's private documents "look bad", and so, cherry picking which documents should be revealed, really just undermines the people being cherry picked.

For this reason, if you want truth, and are that interested in the truth, then you should advocate the full public disclosure of all corporate, charitable and government documents. Since this covers just about everyone, it follows that there should be no privacy at all and we ought to live in a world where everything is online. The alternative is to accept that there is a right to privacy, and if so, then institutions such as wikileaks ought to be viewed with a well deserved deep distrust, as the outcome can only be ultimately political.

Re:Privacy for all or nothing (2, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463150)

The exact same argument goes for piracy as well. You can have one of 2 things : privacy or piracy. Privacy OR thepiratebay.org.

Just killing the privacy of "the rich" (like e.g. the riaa currently is) will unfortunately cause the elimination of everyone's privacy (and this is not "Bush's fault", not even China's, and not anyone's, it's a somewhat-less-obvious truth of the world we live in, like gravity is). Enforcing everyone's privacy rights, including the right of "the rich" to keep their ideas limited to whoever they choose (and profit by that mechanism), will indeed protect everyone's privacy, but obviously will enforce copyright to a rather extreme degree.

(and the same thing goes for "racism", either you allow racism, and it's consequences, or you disallow it, including any racist ideologies (like islam and communism), you can't have it both ways, muslims or tolerance, choose ONE)

Re:Privacy for all or nothing (4, Insightful)

Grym (725290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463382)

For this reason, if you want truth, and are that interested in the truth, then you should advocate the full public disclosure of all corporate, charitable and government documents. Since this covers just about everyone, it follows that there should be no privacy at all and we ought to live in a world where everything is online.

I think this is a false choice. Why should we be forced to choose between a complete lack of transparency within government-chartered and/or publicly-traded organizations and no privacy--for anyone--at all?

There can be a reasonable balance between transparency and privacy. Trade secrets, proprietary processes, and national secrets, I agree, should be undisclosed, but should things like financial records, safety/environmental studies, and so on should be publicly available. If businesses don't like that, then they could easily remain private, un-incorporated entities.

The alternative is to accept that there is a right to privacy, and if so, then institutions such as wikileaks ought to be viewed with a well deserved deep distrust, as the outcome can only be ultimately political.

Well, of course wikileaks can be used as a political tool. But if that leads to the exposure of corruption and fraud--who cares?!? I would expect that, over time, organizations like wikileaks, even if they are biased, would come to compete in exposing dirt from opposing sides. In fact, I see no reason why anyone should be against such a situation, because all true capitalists love competition (right?) and everyone wants to end corruption and fraud (right?). So what's the problem?

-Grym

Re:Privacy for all or nothing (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463518)

There can be a reasonable balance between transparency and privacy. Trade secrets, proprietary processes, and national secrets, I agree, should be undisclosed, but should things like financial records, safety/environmental studies, and so on should be publicly available. If businesses don't like that, then they could easily remain private, un-incorporated entities.

Financial records of the government will necessarily expose national secrets.
Safety/environmental studies need to be limited for exposure. Unreleased products are always trade secrets, as are some aspects of released products that apply to safety (e.g. the full inner workings of a virus scanner software obviously relate to the safety of the user).

In short, you did not sufficiently indicate where to draw a line ...

Privacy for no one, then. (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463844)

Pragmatically, there is no right to privacy. Get used to it. Not only that, there is no moral reason to uphold a right to privacy. Finally, there is no longer any practical reason to uphold privacy rights.

Let me explain.

Privacy is a stopgap measure. It existed to ensure that those who had better access to information and more power to act on that information could not use that to dominate the rest of us. If everyone has equal access to information, then we can know when someone is trying to use their power to gather or act on information to harm someone else, and we can act collectively to stop them. There is no practical reason to have privacy if everyone can see what everyone else is doing.

There is no moral reason to uphold privacy because it is essentially limiting other people's rights. If no one else were around limiting me, I could experience anything that I had the physical capacity to experience. Privacy limits my freedom to access information. While that my have been a useful compromise at one time, it is rapidly approaching the point where it no longer will be.

And pragmatically, bad guys do not respect the right to privacy while at the same time demanding it. Good guys won't use the information they gained to harm another. It's like guns, outlaw them and only outlaws have guns. Outlaw access to information and only outlaws will have access to that information.

Missing something (3, Insightful)

griffjon (14945) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462762)

Offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands are used for tax fraud???? I thought they were there for decoration. Seriously; I was under the opinion that their reputation along these lines was well-established?

Stupid is as Stupid does. (3, Interesting)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462864)

If you're silly enough to think that money is god, then you're silly enough to try to attack information on the internet.

Psychopaths live in utterly false realities where their idea of how things work totally overshadows how things actually work. --But it does make them dangerous and tiresome, because they just keep trying to kill and destroy things and they never stop. It's like having somebody constantly trying to break down your Leggo structure while you're trying to build it. --And they'll also go running to the teacher to try to get you in trouble for the shit they're pulling.

--And information does vanish if you don't work to keep tabs on it. --The prime minister of Canada was caught trying to hide his millions worth of personal wealth from taxation in such an off-shore scheme, but it's very hard to find that info now.

One of the most effective ways for information to get lost is when the key word for the issue happens to be the same as for some other totally unrelated item which happens to be many times more current and popular. That one is frustrating.


-FL

WIKILEAKS under fire... (1)

SillySlashdotName (466702) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462910)

It is not UNDER fire, it is ON fire!

Re:WIKILEAKS under fire... (1)

rvw (755107) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463268)

It is not UNDER fire, it is ON fire!
No of course not. That's why it's leaking man! (Otherwise they would call it wikiheating wouldn't they?)

http://gaddbiwdftapglkq.onion (5, Informative)

giminy (94188) | more than 6 years ago | (#22462998)

WikiLeaks on The Onion [torproject.org] appears to be unaffected. Gotta love that that server is anonymously located. If you want to read the document, follow the link above and install TOR, then punch in the URL in the subject...

Guess I should have posted this as an anonymous coward ;-).

What's Its IP#? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463214)

The site is blocked by stopping its DNS. So what's its IP#? If the site is still up, people can link to it by IP#, and pass around the story that way. Sure, if its IP# changes later, the links will be lost, but if it doesn't get its DNS back eventually it will be lost anyway. Linking to its IP# will help it survive to fight to get its DNS back.

The court has targeted WikiLeaks' DNS registrar, not WikiLeaks itself with this order. So WikiLeaks shouldn't have to depend on DNS while it defends itself.

What's the IP#?

WikiLeaks.org at IP#: 88.80.13.160 (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463354)

This court order has blocked the Wikileaks.org DNS [wikileaks.org] . But the site is still up and running [88.80.13.160] at its IP number, which is 88.80.13.160 .

Spread the word. DNS can be replaced, with some inconvenience, with manual labor.

WikiLeaks.be Address (4, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463420)

WikiLeaks is also available at WikiLeaks.be [wikileaks.be] , which Belgian DNS is not under the Califoria court's jurisdiction.

Re:WikiLeaks.org at IP#: 88.80.13.160 (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463678)

Since its site is still running, its own wiki explains the story [88.80.13.160] of the current injunction attack.

WikiLeak.org explains... (1)

Mr. Picklesworth (931427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22463522)

WikiLeak.org [wikileak.org] , WikiLeaks' discussion web log, has a lot of information on this matter!
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