Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Government Politics

Bank That Suppressed WikiLeaks Gives It Up 145

Posted by kdawson
from the can't-stop-the-rain dept.
Is It Obvious writes "Bank Julius Baer has moved to withdraw suit against Wikileaks. We've discussed this story a few times, most recently when the judge lifted his injunction against WikiLeaks' registrar. The Baer story reflects an issue that will only grow worse over time: the gap between technology and the legal system's understanding of said technologies and their application to established legal principle. Given the rapid rate of technological change, is there a more practical way to interface emergent technology with our legal system while retaining civil rights over corporate rights?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Bank That Suppressed WikiLeaks Gives It Up

Comments Filter:
  • I wonder if... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @05:50PM (#22668906)
    Can Wikileaks recover any legal expenses?
    • Re:I wonder if... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sique (173459) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @06:03PM (#22669082) Homepage
      It seems so. From TFA:

      Lawyers for the intervening parties in the case had threatened to try to recover legal fees in the case under a California law intended to prevent frivolous lawsuits, said Paul Alan Levy, a lawyer at Public Citizen who argued against the judges order at the hearing on Friday.
      • Re:I wonder if... (Score:5, Informative)

        by jellie (949898) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @07:58PM (#22670464)
        I don't know if that applies to Wikileaks. The quote says:

        Lawyers for the intervening parties had threatened to try to recover legal fees...
        I think that refers to all the groups that filed amici curiae (friends of the court) briefs. These included (off the top of my head) Public Citizen, ACLU, EFF, and some dozen or so media companies. Wikileaks never went to court and never filed any legal motions! I don't think you can reimbursed for responding to frivolous e-mails from stupid lawyers (which, I understand, is all they did).

        I think the laws that the statement refers to are California's anti-SLAPP [wikipedia.org] (SLAPP = strategic lawsuit against public participation) statutes. However, it seems like the defendents must file anti-SLAPP motions, and we haven't heard of any that have been filed (though I may be wrong).
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by budgenator (254554)
          I would think that by moving to have their domain removed from resolution resulted in wikileaks being harmed and they should be eligible for damages. When Baer filed suit for copyright, it could be argued that the filing was a defacto admission of the documents authenticity and if the document is authentic then it's also newsworthy and becuase it's new the freedoms of the press apply and wikileak's trade was restrained for no good reason.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by jellie (949898)
            While the actions of Julius Baer, Lavely and Singer, and Dynadot were all despicable, they didn't break the law, per se. Breaking the law would be something like setting Wikileaks servers on fire (which is still a suspicious incident) or intentionally causing a DDOS on their servers. Violating someone's First Amendment rights is not quite the same; additionally, a judge agreed with them. Probably the most similar case, which has probably been mentioned many times, is New York Times Co. v United States [wikipedia.org]. In t
            • Julius Baer of course has no need to respect wikileaks freedom of the press only the government and that means the judge, but by filing a motion to have the government infringe the wikileaks freedom of the press, Baer restrained the trade of wikileaks by induced the court to infringe on wikileak's freedom of the press. If I tell the village idiot to go jump off a bridge, his widow isn't going to be impressed when I say "I didn't think he was that stupid". The court should have known better, but it wouldn't
    • by Idefix97 (725474)
      I believe that they can sue for filing a frivolous lawsuit. From the article: "Lawyers for the intervening parties in the case had threatened to try to recover legal fees in the case under a California law intended to prevent frivolous lawsuits, said Paul Alan Levy, a lawyer at Public Citizen who argued against the judge's order at the hearing on Friday."
    • by neoform (551705)
      Fund raiser.
  • Short answer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sm62704 (957197) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @05:51PM (#22668910) Journal
    is there a more practical way to interface emergent technology with our legal system while retaining civil rights over corporate rights?"

    No.

    Longer answer: We don't need more knowlegable judges, we need more intelligent ones.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pilgrim23 (716938)
      In the early days of automobiles, there were laws written concerning the hay the new transport would consume. Legal systems are by their nature designed to look backward for precedent not forward. Those attracted to this profession share this basic nature.
      • by Abreu (173023)
        Not that I don't believe you, but I'd like to see your source for that!

        It must be worth a good laugh
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by pilgrim23 (716938)
          unfortunately I cannot quote the source; it was a humor book on legal foolishness I read some 20 years back. but. I do think if you google "hay" and "taxi" you will find that Australian taxi cabs are by law still required to carry a bail of hay in their "boot" to feed the no longer existing horse.. a left over from English law governing 19th cent Hansom cabs in London. Britian HAS repealed it but I think it is still ont he books in other commonwealth countries.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MightyMartian (840721)
        The point of precedence in the legal system is to allow it to adapt to changing circumstances. Those sitting on the cusp will, of course, have to put up with the pain of new interpretations of statutes, but what's the alternative? The system works, for the most part, and I agree with a poster that says we need smarter judges. It's not as if this case were something fundamentally new. It was a frivolous attempt to use the courts to shut someone up who was saying negative things. That's hardly a brand ne
        • by mgblst (80109)
          Surely there is the right answer, and it shouldn't need precedence to come up with it. If all judges don't come up with the right answer everytime, then how can we trust precedence anyway? Why is the first judge to come up with the case going to automatically make the right decision?

          The legal system is a joke, to anyone outside it.
      • Law tends to mutate over time. slower then technology but technology also isn't on a continuous evolutionary path. It spurts. Eventually law catches up. As seen in the previous months as they try to fix patent law.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by $RANDOMLUSER (804576)

      is there a more practical way to interface emergent technology with our legal system while retaining civil rights over corporate rights?"
      Ummm, kill all the lawyers?
      • Ummm, kill all the lawyers?

        There are good lawyers (Although I have to admit my salary comes partly from the local law foundation so I have a bias.) Lawyers get a bad rap because there are some exceptionally scummy ones (Jack Thompson) but I'd prefer a country with lots a lawyers to a country with none. Look at any where the lawyers are few, non existent, or powerless and you'll find places where the rule of law is weak or non existent. the Rule of law is necessary for the management of large groups of people because there is always

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rtb61 (674572)
          In this case it how ever has very little to do with the law. Whilst the principles of the law are clearly being abused, that is not the real focus of what is going on and how it is being challenged. This is all about late twentieth century mass marketing, and public relations and using the law as a delaying and silencing tactic.

          So in this case the bank wanted to temporarily silence it critic whilst it own public relations and marketing teams created a lie to cover it over and via mass media define their l

          • by julesh (229690)
            So in this case the bank wanted to temporarily silence it critic whilst it own public relations and marketing teams created a lie to cover it over and via mass media define their lie as the truth and the accusations against them and their corrupt clients as lies.

            In this case, I think they're fighting a losing battle. I mean, seriously... who's going to believe that an offshore bank isn't involved in helping its clients evade tax?
            • by ultranova (717540)

              In this case, I think they're fighting a losing battle. I mean, seriously... who's going to believe that an offshore bank isn't involved in helping its clients evade tax?

              A better question is: why would they want anyone believe that ? Don't they have more to gain if word gets out that being a client of Julius Baer helps you evade taxes ? It's free advertizing.

              After all, it's not like it's possible to have a good reputation when you're a banker: sooner or later someone can't pay back a debt, at which po

              • by julesh (229690)
                A better question is: why would they want anyone believe that ?

                As I understand the situation, tax haven banks are allowed to participate in international banking systems on the condition that they do not actively assist tax evasion; that is, they need to avoid the perception that they do so (as much as is possible), or see their access to (for example) automatic international fund transfers withdrawn.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hatta (162192)
      Seriously, we can't even interface antiquated technology [washingtonpost.com] with our legal system and retain our civil rights over corporate rights.
    • by Al Dimond (792444)
      This is like saying that we need more intelligent programmers. The total amount of intelligence going into any profession is pretty hard to change without making the field more interesting or appealing (perhaps more lucrative?). Maybe improving education could bring up the overall level of intelligence.

      It's often quicker and better to come up with tools and systems that augment the intelligence of their users and help prevent mistakes. It's easier for one group of programmers to write tools that make all
      • by sm62704 (957197)
        The difference between stupid and ignorant is that ignorant is curable. No amount of education will make a stupid person less stupid. He'll simply be a more knowledgeable stupid person.

        Plenty of intelligent people want corporate rights over civil rights, often to protect their profits

        That's not stupid, that's dishonest. There's no cure AFAIK for dishonesty, either.
    • We don't need more knowlegable judges, we need more intelligent ones.

      Pulling out my geek card a little bit, this reminds me of the Bene Geserit in the Dune series. No formal system of laws, simply judges/jury that look at each individual case and rule as fairly as they can.

      Of course, you were refering to their knowledge of technology, not of the law. The point is, our laws should be simple. Why do we need a law that says "don't steal over the internet" and another that says "don't mug people on the streets" and another that says "don't break into people's homes and steal

      • Re:Short answer (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sjames (1099) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @07:32PM (#22670182) Homepage

        If only we could require judges to undergo rigorous mental training and prove their humanity (on pain of death) before they get to sit in judgement of others. Legislators even more so.

        • by Repton (60818)

          So, what, you want to start testing judges with the gom jabbar?

          • by sjames (1099)

            It could be argued that a criminal court judge will preside over cases where people who may have been in fear for their lives are now on trial for their actions. The judge should be intimately familiar with the fear of death in order to understand what the defendant faced.

            The judge may also preside over trials where the death penelty is an option. He should have himself been in a position where another literally held the power of life or death over him so he can understand the magnitude of the responsabil

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Beale (676138)
        Define 'steal'.
        • by sm62704 (957197)
          Define 'steal'.

          steal [reference.com] /stil/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[steel] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation, verb, stole, stolen, stealing, noun
          -verb (used with object)
          1. to take (the property of another or others) without permission or right, esp. secretly or by force: A pickpocket stole his watch.
          2. to appropriate (ideas, credit, words, etc.) without right or acknowledgment.
          3. to take, get, or win insidiously, surreptitiously, subtly, or by chance: He stole my girlfriend.
          4. to move, bri

  • Interface (Score:4, Funny)

    by gammygator (820041) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @05:54PM (#22668958)
    I'd say a more practical interface is to plug the lawyers into something electrical and then turn it on.
    • by wizkid (13692)

      Great idea, accept to have any effect on this class of scum you'd have to have at least a 480V 3 phase circuit.
  • Wrong approach (Score:4, Insightful)

    by moogied (1175879) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @05:55PM (#22668972)
    Its not an issue of making laws for every single new techonology. Its about making laws that cover our basic rights and are upheld purely on those basis. So this means company's cannot take our information and share it whoever they want, because we have a law against it. Its fundamental issues that are in need of clarification, not little laws for every application.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      The only problem with that is the impossibility of generalization over so many probably outcomes. The basic rights in the US are written in a general manner, which makes them subject to ever-changing interpretations, basically on the whims of the judge reading them at the time. Specificity is the attempt to cure that.

      There is no good answer in any system designed to cover so many eventualities.
      • by Wordplay (54438)
        There's no impossibility here. What you're describing is the result of attempting to subvert a general right by adding a bunch of exceptions between the weasel words.

        For example, let's say the First Amendment said, in plain language, "The government may not, in any way, prevent any citizen or group of citizens from expressing a fact or opinion, or from publishing a creative work that is represented as such. This applies to all expression or publication, whether verbal or non-verbal. The government is not
  • Sure we can. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ardyng (973980) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @06:00PM (#22669038)
    There are these mystical people called "Consultants." I know that that's a dirty word in most people's minds, but seriously.

    We should have an independent group of people who ACTUALLY know what they're talking about that can be called upon by judges who don't understand what's going on. Judges can't be expected to have a grasp of every field of knowledge that may come up in their cases.

    I don't see it actually happening, but that's life.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by SeePage87 (923251)
      Why don't you see this happening in real life? I used to work at a firm that did legal consulting and expert witnessing. It wasn't just corporations that hired us, it was the government too. We were called in for economic consulting, but many other kinds exist.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cmowire (254489)
      Define how you can tell the difference between a real expert and a snowjob artist.

      This is the problem with the current Expert Witness system (which works vaguely like you suggest). You can get expert witnesses to say all sorts of stuff and people will believe them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Mister Whirly (964219)
        "Define how you can tell the difference between a real expert and a snowjob artist."

        Their fee.
        • Their fee.
          What does their fee have to do with their expertise; do you think the snowjob artist who depends on his fee for making his mortgage payment is going to charge less that the real expert who will have to take time out of productive work to be deposed?
          • Quite the opposite. The snowjob artists knows it is all bullshit, and can charge whatever he wants for his "expertise". Both parties involved know it is a crock and that they are buying an "expert opinion".
      • Four words. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ardyng (973980) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @08:09PM (#22670578)

        Define how you can tell the difference between a real expert and a snowjob artist.

        I can do that in four words.

        Peer review and publication.

        • by cmowire (254489)
          Bah.

          If you can't tell the difference between 1 bullshit artist and 1 expert, what makes you think that you can tell the difference between 100 bullshit artists and 100 experts or 100 bullshit publications and 100 expert publications?
    • by CompMD (522020)
      I've done this for a judge. I know a federal district court judge that was hearing a case that involved the defendant tapping into an unsecured wireless network of an acquaintance and performing criminal activity over the acquaintance's net connection. The judge called me up one day, told me I should come over for dinner, and we chatted about wireless networking, security, etc. She found our conversation quite enlightening and will likely never look at a can of Pringles the same way ever again.
  • by thoolie (442789) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @06:02PM (#22669074) Homepage
    Corporations are not people. Therefore, corporations do not have rights.

    End of story.

    Now, laws can be passed to protect corporations to limit what they can and can not do, but they do no have unalienable rights. Those are reserved for people.
    • by ServerIrv (840609)
      Yes, corporations are not people; that is where your statement stops being correct. Any corporation has the same rights as an individual. About the only thing a corporation cannot do that an individual do is to get married. Although they can bypass that limitation by merging.
    • by EMG at MU (1194965) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @06:22PM (#22669312)
      A corporation is a person.

      From wikipedia: "A corporation [wikipedia.org]is legally a citizen of the state (or other jurisdiction) in which it is incorporated (except when circumstances direct the corporation be classified as a citizen of the state in which it has its head office, or the state in which it does the majority of its business)."

      Corporations are protected under the Bill of Rights in the U.S., the same bill of rights that protects U.S. citizens.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by KublaiKhan (522918)
        It's not -really- a person, though. It is an -entity-, yes, but not an actual -person-.

        Unless corporations have gained the right to vote and to hold public office while I wasn't looking?
        • As far as the IRS is concerned, a corporation is a person. That is the whole reason for incorporating - so when someone wants to sue, they sue the corporation instead of you personally. You can only sue other "people", and not intangible things.
          • by mikelieman (35628)
            And now please list the BENEFITS to The People for providing the mechanism for Incorporating Artificial Legal Entities.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Mister Whirly (964219)
              I think I just did. As a personal example, when I ran an apartment rental business, I incorporated. That way my own personal assets were protected, and I could only be sued for what the business had in assets. If that isn't a huge protection for "The People" I don't know what is. You see, corporations are made up of "The People", and most corporations in the US are small businesses and not huge conglomerates.
              • by mikelieman (35628)
                You're falling for the propaganda. While there are many small corporations, the majority of the assets are held by the huge ones.

                "What is the benefit to The People of this arrangement?"

                The answer is simple. In exchange for the benefits of incorporation, the ALE agrees to obey not just the Law, but Regulations promulgated by The People.

                The Individual Rights of the owners, have been EXCHANGED for the privilege of Incorporation.

                And if they don't like the Regulations, they don't have to Incorporate, do they?

                T
            • by vidarh (309115)
              One of the primary reasons beyond limited liability is the ability to create a business that survives the founder without disruption. Before incorporation became common, businesses often failed on the death of the founder because they were entirely dependent on the execution of the estate in a way that allowed on of the beneficiaries to continue operating the business. This had significant impact for example on employees, who might be left in limbo once the owner died, and certainly would have little to no
              • by mikelieman (35628)
                I'm not disputing its usefulness as a tool. But we cannot lose sight of the essential nature of the transaction.

                Under Incorporation, the primary effect is that The State gains Regulatory Control of the Artificial Legal Entity (ALE). Your own example points out the Business Continuity benefits to Employees provided by that Regulation.

                In the traditional sense, "Rights" are given us by "Our Creator". In that context, an ALE has only the "Rights" which The State ( its creator ) decide to give it. If they ca
        • by oliderid (710055)
          Unless corporations have gained the right to vote and to hold public office while I wasn't looking?

          So a foreigner living in your country isn't a person? :-)

          In french a company is "une personne morale" a "moral person". I always found that one so funny :-)
          As a human being you are a "private person", "une personne privée".

          It has rights and properties, and these rights can even protect it from me its unique shareholder.
          Various international treaties guarantee these rights abroad (for example: copyrights)
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Chris Burke (6130)
          It's not -really- a person, though. It is an -entity-, yes, but not an actual -person-.

          That's right, it's not really a person. It's all based on a pun, the fact that they used to be called "corporate persons", and since that's the same word used in the 14th Amendment (though not the same sense of the word), it was argued that corporations should have equal protection under the laws as actual persons. A really bad pun is what caused all this mess.

          Fun Fact: The 14th Amendment language regarding "persons" w
          • by julesh (229690)
            That's right, it's not really a person. It's all based on a pun, the fact that they used to be called "corporate persons", and since that's the same word used in the 14th Amendment (though not the same sense of the word), it was argued that corporations should have equal protection under the laws as actual persons. A really bad pun is what caused all this mess.

            Fun Fact: The 14th Amendment language regarding "persons" was applied to corporations (not people) before it was applied to women (people) and homose
            • by Chris Burke (6130)
              Okay, whatever [wikipedia.org]. There's a difference between "generally held" to have "broadly the same rights", and "afforded the full protection of the Constitution as a person via court precedent with the full weight of law" (said precedent actually coming later than the linked case, but as a consequence of it).
      • A corporation is a person.
        An immortal, immoral person that can be owned and sold by another.
      • This means that corporations often have "headquarters" (a shack holding a person who may or may not be alive at the time) in a State that has little or no corporate tax, even if they do business in areas with gigantic tax rates. Which means the corporations pay next to nothing to work there. The taxes therefore end up coming out of the pockets of employees in those areas, since the money will be raised somehow.
      • Epic fail.

        1. Quoting Wikipedia as a source on a legal question.
        2. Ignoring Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, which happened about 100 years after the Bill of Rights was created.
      • by fyoder (857358)
        Yup, there was a court case that established that corporations have the rights of personhood. Unfortunately I can't cite it off the top of my head, but it is cited in the documentary The Corporation [wikipedia.org]. The documentary makers ask what kind of a person the corporation is, and, after going through some 'evidence', conclude that it is a psychopath.
    • by mrbluze (1034940)

      Corporations are not people. Therefore, corporations do not have rights.

      In law, corporations have rights (as a tool of defining injustices). Morally, neither corporations nor people have rights, but obligations. Eg: not to steal, to help the vulnerable of society, etc. Rights are implicit but not absolute, despite what the U.N. charter says, rights have always been merely a human construct and as such are not part of any religious code and traditionally not considered part of the natural order.

      • i fear that what you say may in fact be close to the practical truth.
      • by Toonol (1057698)
        It's always interesting to come across somebody confidently asserting as fact something that I'm confident is completely wrong. (Thanks, Slashdot.) Morally, your only obligation is to respect other people's rights. Rights are not an arbitrary human construct, but a recognition of human nature and how society functions. Because rights derive from the nature of humanity, does not mean that they are constructs of humanity.

        True, they aren't religious in nature. But they correspond to some degree with ma
        • by vidarh (309115)

          The issue of corporations having rights is really a legal fiction, done mainly as a legal matter of convenience, not out of moral or ethical principles. Morally, corporations should have no rights other than that possessed by the conglomeration of its stockholders.

          If that became the case, most modern corporations would have to shut down or would collapse.

          IBM (just to take an arbitrary name) as a corporation for example have a vast number of rights that are necessary for it to function as a business that NONE of it's shareholders have, or where their shareholders are not the right party to exercise that right. Just to give some examples:

          • IBM can market computers under the IBM trademark and in general use the name IBM for a lot of stuff. If their shareholders had
    • > Now, laws can be passed to protect corporations to limit what they can and can not do

      If, as you say, corporations are not people, how can we pass laws about what a corporation can do? Only people can do things.
      (People can make objects do things, but legally the person did it...)

      Or are you saying that sometimes it is convenient to think of corporations as being similar to people?

  • Powerful Lesson? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Pearson (953531)
    Mr. Levy said that the judge's decision to withdraw his order would offer a powerful message in future cases in which plaintiffs might try to shut down Web sites because of the content they display. "A judge who's confronted with a request like the bank's in the future is going to be much more reluctant to give this order," Mr. Levy said. "The lesson of the case is going to be taken very seriously."

    While I hope this will be the case, the various courts handling RIAA cases haven't seemed to know anything
    • by mrbluze (1034940)

      The internet is quite a disruptive technology, and it necessitates a complete realignment of parts of the law to address the way things are.
      Rather, the truth is quite a disruptive instrument and the enemy of deceptive corporations like banks. That's why wikileaks was attacked.
  • Just a thought (Score:5, Insightful)

    by apdyck (1010443) <aaron...p...dyck@@@gmail...com> on Thursday March 06, 2008 @06:10PM (#22669168) Homepage Journal
    I don't know if anyone else has thought about this, or if it's even practical, but why not establish a court system for High-Tech cases? They could hear things like the **AA cases and examples such as this one, and would have judges that are actually paid to keep up with the changes in technology. In fact, I'm sure you would have no problem finding volunteers among the existing pool of judges that are actually aware of legal issues. So you take a pool of existing judges with knowledge of tech issues, ask them to keep their knowledge current (I'm sure they have aides to help them with this), and have any cases dealing with computer crime and/or civil cases involving the Internet go through this 'special' court system. It would not be any more lenient than the existing courts, however the parties involved would have a basic understanding of the issues that face high tech companies and individuals. Of course, the hard part would be to determine which cases go before this court. For this, I propose that all cases have to be heard before the regular system, and if one or more of the parties involved wants to have it moved to the high tech court, both parties should have to make an argument as to why / why not. Thoughts, anyone?
    • Has it not occured to you that all regulation that has been put in place recently (like music radio) is run by the RIAA, so a court system is set up, you can be sure that the people running it are going to be executing the RIAA's orders not judging their cases.
    • by matt4077 (581118)
      Technology isn't really that special, and lots of judges are actually very good at what they do and in learning new things, contrary to what ./ believes. Looking at this case, I'd say the initial injunction was justified. It can't be denied that these accusations were/are indeed detrimental to JB's public image, and the defence (truthfulness) wasn't invoked because wikileaks didn't show up. Without any way to contact WL, The injunction against the registrar was the only option.
    • by yuna49 (905461)
      I don't know if anyone else has thought about this, or if it's even practical, but why not establish a court system for High-Tech cases?

      The idea of a "science court [upenn.edu]" [PDF] has been batted around for a few decades now.
  • The answer to the question is simple. Use a BFG to kill all the lawyers. Apply technology at what it does best to solve this problem. Eliminate the parasites that have ruined so many people , companies and projects.
  • Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CrazyDrumGuy (836427)

    retaining civil rights over corporate rights
    Retaining? Um, have you been paying attention [aclu.org]? Corporate rights already take place over civil rights under the Bush administration.
  • what we, the people, already know -- that an INDIVIDUAL'S rights should always trump a Corporation's wants/desires/wishes. As another poster pointed out, Corporations do not have rights as they are not human beings. So, when a Corporation tries to suppress an Individual (or group of people) the rights of the human beings will trump the rights of a "corporate entity".

    What about slandering a company? Or libel against a company? Simple -- the company must prove the individual wrong beyond a shadow of a doubt.
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @06:38PM (#22669518) Homepage

    The legal system worked. As soon as Wikileaks got involved in the case, the judge reversed himself almost immediately.

    The real problem here is with Dynadot, the domain registrar. Like most domain registrars, Dynadot tries to wriggle out of the concept that domains are the property of the registrant, substituting one-sided terms of service [dynadot.com] which give them discretionary power over the domain. That's the problem.

    They made a deal with Bank Julius Baer to shut down the site, and got the court to sign off on the deal, without even notifying the registrant. That was Dynadot's doing. That's where the problem started.

    Interestingly, Dynadot has one of those indemnification clauses in their agreement that everyone ignores. This time, it matters. It reads: You agree to release, indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Dynadot ... against any losses, liabilities, claims, damages or costs, ... relating to or arising out of Your registration, application, transaction request, resale, or use of services provided by Dynadot and Your account with Dynadot ....

    Should Dynadot be threatened with a lawsuit or receive notice of a filed or pending lawsuit by a third party, Dynadot may seek written assurances from You concerning Your promise to indemnify Dynadot. Your failure to provide such written assurances may be considered a material breach of this Agreement.

    One could argue that Dynadot's insertion of such a clause created an obligation on Dynadot to promptly notify the registrant of any threatened litigation. Dynadot has claimed in their contract that the registrant has responsibility for claims against Dynadot by third parties. Yet Dynadot did not properly notify the registrant of such a claim. Instead, they apparently went to court before notifying the registrant. That's usually considered negligence or worse.

  • Given the rapid rate of technological change, is there a more practical way to interface emergent technology with our legal system while retaining civil rights over corporate rights?

    Yes. Make sure the troublemakers get Focused. Oh wait, civil rights?
  • "Given the rapid rate of technological change, is there a more practical way to interface emergent technology with our legal system while retaining civil rights over corporate rights?"

    Corporations have no rights over civilians rights. In fact, corporations have no rights except as defined by their corporate charter in the city, state, nation that holds their articles of incorporation. In fact, I'd even suggest that corporations are ONLY legal entities, artificially constructed, that serve the members of tha
  • I think the opposite is true. Legal understand of technology will get better. As people who use the Internet on a daily basis (not IT pros but normal people) get out into other fields basic network understanding will be common.

    In 50 years everyone will know HTML and BBCode (or the equivalent popular format of the day) because it will be used daily.
  • by jdoss (802219) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @07:10PM (#22669950)
    I don't mean to come off as a troll, but I think the answer is: "Stop fucking with us."

    The things that we citizens of the Internet (if there is such a thing), nearly universally, seem to agree on is that we want to be left alone from the "powerful". Spammers? Leave us alone. Advertisers? By and large, leave us alone. Eavesdropping, corporate or governmental, leave us alone.

    We reserve the right to poke, prod, and change the world around us by using the Internet, but we do not appreciate, nor do we seem to stand for, the reverse to hold true.
    • by cdrguru (88047)
      The problem is, when the idea of securing some private information comes around to affect YOU in a very personal way you will be right there saying "leave me alone".

      Sorry, today I have the right to find out anything I can about you, photograph you in any way whatsoever - including ways that you may believe are wrong using infrared and other non-visible techniques and publish anything I want.

      Have a wife? With sufficient motivation I bet I can make her life hell on earth. And I can do it completely on the I
  • I don't think you can blame the "legal system" here, so much as you can blame ignorant bank management and uninformed attorneys.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @07:48PM (#22670344) Homepage
    There are many technologists out there who have either found themselves displaced, replaced or burned out in their fields. Perhaps it would be a good time for some to change careers to law? The EFF might do well to offer scholarships to the best and brightest of those to become lawyers and then try to become judges.

    Of course that may not work since very often the venue for many cases involving technology and patents are selected simply for its lack of expertise and knowledge perhaps to win through bullshit misconceptions. (Consider the pactice of jury selection where they always choose people who have the least understanding of law or legal procedure.)
  • by sudog (101964) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @08:25PM (#22670764) Homepage
    .. everyone decides that something that shouold be private, isn't, and some poor individual, company, or country gets screwed by the same technologies that we have all grown to know and love.

    It's not a lack of understanding on the part of these banks. They hire people like us all the time and are in many cases more versed with security and the realities of the Internet than 99% of us. It's a concern that, without adequate controls or cooperation from online presences and technologies, one day real damage will be done and there'll be nothing that can stop it.

    They're not worried about injustices. Those are just their legal departments trying to build precedent for future legal actions. They're worried about real, actual damage when private, secret, or sensitive data is released through the same channels and nobody cooperates in removing it or halting its spread.

    You idealistic types can gnash your teeth about the curtailing of your online freedoms, but what you're failing to grasp is the simple fact that Your Opinion Is Not Perfect. Your idea of what deserves to be free isn't the same as your neighbour's idea, and when pictures stolen from your webcam of you and your wife engaging in something that you think should be legal but isn't, are circulated to every major visitor-supported voyeur pornsite, you'll be sitting there thinking that maybe, just maybe, being forced to trust anonymous individuals on the Internet who are well beyond the reach of any punishment you can effect, isn't the utopia you thought it would be.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Those are just their legal departments trying to build precedent for future legal actions. They're worried about real, actual damage when private, secret, or sensitive data is released through the same channels and nobody cooperates in removing it or halting its spread.

      I'd rather have real data spread around than silence someone because of what they might say.

      You idealistic types can gnash your teeth about the curtailing of your online freedoms, but what you're failing to grasp is the simple fact that

  • Why cant law (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EEPROMS (889169) on Thursday March 06, 2008 @10:35PM (#22671772)
    be more like medicine were only a specialist familiar with the problem can actually advise or operate. Can you imagine a plastic surgeon doing brain surgery, no and it would have massive legal consequences if it did happen. So why can Judges with no technical understanding in regards to the subject matter he is dealing with advise or take any action ?
  • Not a Big Shock (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stephen Samuel (106962) <.samuel. .at. .bcgreen.com.> on Friday March 07, 2008 @12:59AM (#22672474) Homepage Journal
    It's not at all uncommon to launch a lawsuit solely for the purpose of using it to get a 'temporary' injunction for something. Once the injunction is obtained, the purpose of the lawsuit is achieved and there is little, if any reason, to continue with the lawsuit to it's final result.

    In this case, however, the injunction vanished, and the lawsuit was threatening to become a liability to the company. Making the lawsuit disappear minimizes the liability (but may not eliminate it).

    (( IANAL. Wanna pay for my law school? ))

  • Given the rapid rate of technological change, is there a more practical way to interface emergent technology with our legal system while retaining civil rights over corporate rights?"

    File more suits, refuse more settlements, roll out appeals.

    The courts are informed by precedence more than experts. Experts will alert a single judge -- who will be limited by his understanding of the material, the talent for communication in the expert, and the persuasive abilities of a the lawyers before the court. Judges prefer case law - nice simple black and white text that tells them what to do. Building case law takes appellate decisions. So... we have to take it on the chin and eat more appeals

  • What strikes me as amazing is the silence about this topic in Switzerland.
    We are rather touchy about our banks and normally a leak of this magnitude would be considered top news. Yet, the topic was given no news coverage in Switzerland. After all, an internal document leaked which pointed towards illegal activities of the bank!
    And before all the trolls have a party: no, this is not a normal business practice of a Swiss bank.

    Disclaimer: Working for a Swiss bank, I am biased.
  • by yuna49 (905461) on Friday March 07, 2008 @09:39AM (#22674368)
    This case, and the one concerning the European travel agent I submitted earlier this week, both raise important questions about the policies for registering in the com/org/net TLDs. In both cases the offshore entities found their domains embargoed because their registrars were located in the United States even though the domains' owners and their operations were off-shore.

    This situation gives American courts jurisdiction over foreign entities who would otherwise be outside the American legal system. So, why hasn't someone in a place like Antigua set up a domain registration service for these TLDs? I realize that ultimately all roads lead back to Verisign (not a healthy thing either, in my opinion, but that's for another day). Still these cases have been directed against the registrars (eNom and Dynadot), not Verisign. I'm not up on all my ICANN politics and policies these days, so I'm asking for some help here. Is there some provision in how jurisdiction over com/net/org is set up so all the registrars must be in the US, or could there be off-shore registrars for these TLDs immune from American jurisprudence?

    (Please don't reply just to say, "Let them register in their ISO domains." The visibility of .com throughout the world makes that a non-starter for many businesses and leaves unresolved the question of what to do with all the existing registrations in the worldwide TLDs.)

If A = B and B = C, then A = C, except where void or prohibited by law. -- Roy Santoro

Working...