Amicus Curiae Win the Day in the WikiLeaks case – Claimed publication of confidential and forged bank records not sufficient to shut down website

Can publication of confidential and allegedly forged bank records justify shutting down an entire website? Apparently not – thanks to EFF and other public interest groups.

Yesterday, Judge Jeffrey S. White dissolved an injunction that locked the domain name and disabled the WikiLeaks website. Among the most interesting aspects of this decision:

  1. EFF and other public interest organizations intervened as the sole champions of users’ First Amendment rights (and did so on a very tight schedule) – one of the defendants (Dynadot) had stipulated to the injunction, and neither defendant briefed this issue;
  2. The judge’s decision was based, in large part, on his recognition that shutting down WikiLeaks could not, in this day and age, prevent dissemination of the challenged documents – and, in fact, had increased their visibility (p.6); and
  3. The judge recognized that, if any order were appropriate, it would be the far more narrow order of requiring the documents to be redacted (p.6).

Whether or not you agree with the decision (I do) – kudos to EFF and the other interveners for stepping up on such short notice to so capably make sure the public’s First Amendment rights were addressed.

[More information about this case is available at: JD SupraWikiLeaks, and EFF]