Wikileaks returns after judge overturns own injunction
Whistleblower site Wikileaks has been allowed to reopen after the judge reversed his own decision to block it within the United States.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White cited First Amendment issues and legal jurisdiction questions as his reasoning for removing the injunction. This could be viewed as a win for both the site and the free speech advocates who saw it as too broad a ruling.
Instead of just ordering Wikileaks to remove Swiss bank Julius Baer & Company's confidential information, he chose to disable the entire site in mid-February. White said he questioned whether the legal remedies sought by the bank "would be constitutionally appropriate."
The decision came as part of a hearing on Friday which centered around whether or not to make the injunction permanent. Both the ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation had filed motions in court to have the ban overturned, which also gained support from traditional media outlets.
White said that the ban could essentially be rendered meaningless, especially considering that other sites were mirroring the information well before the court order.
"Attempting to interfere with the operation of an entire website because you have a dispute over some of its content is never the right approach," EFF attorney Matt Zimmerman said. "Disabling access to an Internet domain in an effort to prevent the world from accessing a handful of widely-discussed documents is not only unconstitutional -- it simply won't work."
It's not clear whether Wikileaks had returned under new hosting. As part of its agreement with Julius Baer, Wikileaks' old host Dynadot agreed to shut down the site in exchange for being removed from the lawsuit.
Wikileaks was back online Monday morning, but it was unknown whether it was still with Dynadot.
Julius Baer had no immediate public comment on Friday's news.