Feeds

Wikileaks judge gets Pirate Bay treatment

We're bulletproof, Your Honor

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Analysis Every now and again, an event comes along and takes our breath away by reminding us just how far out of step the legal system can be with today's changing world. The latest example is last week's attempt by a federal judge in California to shutter Wikileaks, a website devoted to disclosing confidential information that exposes unethical behavior.

Almost a week after US District Judge Jeffrey White unequivocally ordered the disabling of the guerrilla outfit, it remains up, and its foot soldiers are as defiant as ever. More to the point, it continues to host internal documents purporting to prove that a bank located in the Cayman Islands engaged in money laundering and tax evasion - the same documents that landed it in hot water in the first place.

It remains doubtful that Wikileaks will ever be shut down. That's because the site, as reported earlier by the The New York Times Bits blog, is hosted by PRQ, a Sweden-based outfit that provides highly secure, no-questions-asked hosting services to its customers. It has almost no information about its clientele and maintains few if any of its own logs.

Oh yeah, PRQ is also run by Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij, two of the founders of The Pirate Bay, the BitTorrent tracker site that, as a frequent target of the Hollywood elite, has amassed considerable expertise in withstanding legal attacks from powerful corporate interests.

Not that attorneys from the Julius Baer Bank and Trust, the bank accused of the misdeeds, haven't demanded PRQ disconnect the site.

"We have the usual small army of stupid lawyers that think we will piss our pants because they send us a scary letter," Svartholm said in a telephone interview. "We do employ our own legal staff. We are used to this sort of situation."

Also making a take-down difficult, Wikileaks maintains its own servers at undisclosed locations, keeps no logs and uses military-grade encryption to protect sources and other confidential information, according to an unidentified individual who answered a press inquiry sent to Wikileaks.

"Wikileaks certainly trusts no hosting provider," the person wrote.

There's a name for arrangements such as these. It's called "bulletproof hosting," and it's historically been used to insulate online criminal gangs against take-down efforts by law enforcers or private parties. As Wikileaks has demonstrated, the measure can also be used by those engaging in civil disobedience. Wikileaks uses a different term: "an uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking."

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.