Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Troubling Ruling

Little noticed in the United States, at least in the mainstream media, a ruling was handed down yesterday in California that could conceivably alter the entire make up for the Net:
A controversial website that allows whistle-blowers to anonymously post government and corporate documents has been taken offline in the US.

Wikileaks.org, as it is known, was cut off from the internet following a California court ruling, the site says.

The case was brought by a Swiss bank after "several hundred" documents were posted about its offshore activities.
It's understandable that a Swiss bank would want to keep its activities under wraps. After all, the selling point of a Swiss account is its privacy. So what was the hubbub, Bub?
The case was brought by lawyers working for the Swiss banking group Julius Baer. It concerned several documents posted on the site which allegedly reveal that the bank was involved with money laundering and tax evasion.

The documents were allegedly posted by Rudolf Elmer, former vice president of the bank's Cayman Island's operation.
And because of a potential tax evasion claim, the freedom of information that is the hallmark of the Internet, the illusion of full disclosure, has to take a hit?

The taming of the Internet has begun in earnest. Nevermind "net neutrality," altho that is a big part of it, this story makes "NN" look like a fence dispute between two neighbors.

The site is still available, presumably from one of the mirror sites, here. Warning: slow load.