by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
censorship, france, hosting, wikileaks


French Hosting Company Asks Judge If It's Okay To Host Wikileaks

from the better-than-just-taking-them-down... dept

It seems like, as in the US with Senator Lieberman's desire for censorship, a French politician has also been looking to censor Wikileaks, which has been partially hosted by French firm OVH. However, rather than just folding, PrometheeFeu alerts us to the news that OVH notes that their job is to run infrastructure and they have no feelings one way or another about Wikileaks itself. However, due to all of the publicity and controversy, they're asking a judge if it's okay for them to do what they're doing (Google translation of the original French). They specifically state that they don't think it should be up to politicians (or the company itself) to decide but that a court of law should actually determine if it's legal. That certainly seems like a better solution than just taking it down...

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  • icon
    James Carmichael (profile), 3 Dec 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Common sense ftw.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2010 @ 1:41pm


    Maybe it's time for the French to give America another Statue of Liberty present?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    cc (profile), 3 Dec 2010 @ 2:27pm

    Not entirely relevant, but the wikileaks.ch DNS entry is now gone as well.

    This entry was also hosted by EveryDNS, the same US company that had the original wikileaks.org. As I expect was the plan all along, it's quite clear now that a US company has effectively censored a Swiss address.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kurata, 3 Dec 2010 @ 3:16pm

    I would like to point out the following :
    In French law, if you know something is illegal, while you're hosting it, you are to take it down.
    You are also to take it down as soon as you are aware it is illegal.

    I can't find the article about it, but it seems one of the reason it's doing so is because most of the wikileaks "leaks" are concerning American messages, and not French one. When they're French, it seems they're pretty meaningless and unharmful, thus the question of legality.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, 3 Dec 2010 @ 7:10pm

    Wikileaks As a Swiss Organization.

    When the dust settles, Wikileaks will just move its hosting, etc., to Switzerland, and set up a full presence in Switzerland. Switzerland is one of the most determinedly neutral countries in the world, having managed to sit out the First World War, the Second World War, and the Cold War. International organizations, such as the International Red Cross, which have an unusually strong need to demonstrate their neutrality, have, for the last hundred years or so, taken up residence in Switzerland, and employed Swiss nationals on their staffs.

    Swiss banking gives Switzerland a mildly antagonistic relationship to the governments of most countries. These governments want to collect taxes on Swiss bank accounts, and the Swiss are accustomed to saying no, and no, and no yet again. For every political dissident who takes up residence in Switzerland, there are a hundred tax evaders. The established attitudes about how to deal with foreign tax collectors are reflexively applied to foreign secret police or political police.

    Switzerland forswears geographical expansionism, of course, but it is also disinclined to accept economic immigrants. When it has to use guest-workers, it keeps them at the greatest possible arm's length. Switzerland accepts limits on its industries, in ways that, say, Sweden does not, saying in effect that industries which need to have unusual numbers of guest workers, for example, automobile manufacturing, are not welcome in Switzerland.

    Now, of course, there are some kinds of leaks that a Swiss organization cannot handle, such as the dealings of Swiss bankers. There is room for another organization, perhaps headquartered in Iceland. By analogy, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Institute For Justice complement each other. Each has different funding sources, and can take on cases which might tend to antagonize the other organization's backers.

    Dot-Com, Dot-Net, and Dot-Org are American top-level domains, ultimately issued under the authority of the United States Department of Commerce, and you should not be using them as your primary contact point if you are uncomfortable about residing in the United States, and, if it comes to that, standing your trial in an American court, and carrying your case to the Supreme Court. If you are an essentially pan-European organization, committed to relying on European law and ignoring the dictates of Washington, you should use Dot-Eu. Certain organizations founded by international treaties can use Dot-Int. I believe that Dot-Biz and Dot-Info are controlled by the WIPO organization. There is nothing wrong with a Dot-CH domain, provided that your goals are consistent with the Swiss idea of neutrality.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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