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More detail on WikiLeaks.de suspension
April 13, 2009
WIKILEAKS PRESS RELEASE (Deutsche Fassung: Mehr Details zur Wikileaks.de Stilllegung)
Tue Apr 14 07:05:51 2009 CEST
Registrar at fault; dispute related to last year's exposure of Germany's foreign intelligence service, the BND.
On April the 9th of 2009, the WikiLeaks.de domain ceased to be available after effective control was transferred from its registered owner, Theodore Reppe, to the Germany's internet authority, DeNIC. Details were initially hard to come by due to the Easter holiday period in Germany.
The transfer came two weeks after the March 24 search of Mr. Reppe's house by German police over WikiLeaks' publication of the internet censorship lists for Australia. At that time police demanded Mr. Reppe disable the WikiLeaks.de domain name (the request was denied).
Yet to understand the issue, we need to go back to an incident between a more secretive German authority and WikiLeaks late last year.
In November and December 2008, WikiLeaks released sensitive information on the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence service. This included documents and articles about corruption in Kosovo and a list of covert Internet addresses used by the BND under the cover bvoe.de. WikiLeaks had also earlier released documents about the BND's infiltration of Germany's Focus magazine.
The head of the BND, Ernst Uhrlau, eventually threatened WikiLeaks with criminal prosecution unless it removed BND documents (no documents were removed).
The WikiLeaks revelations of the bvoe.de cover operation were debated on the Internet, including in a discussion in the Heise.de forum.
The Heise discussion addresses the non-compliant information in the BND's domain registration for BND.de. That registration was accused of violating DeNIC registration standards, by, for instance, failing to include its physical address. As alleged in the posting, according to these standards, the intelligence agency did not have formal ownership over the BND.de domain, since it had not met the required standards for ownership.
In order to test this disparity in requirements for the BND, the WikiLeaks.de domain donor, Theodore Reppe, requested that the BND.de domain ownership be transferred to his account at the DeNIC licensed registrar Beasts Associated (based in Hamburg), through which the WikiLeaks.de domain was also registered.
As expected, the request was denied,
- "Sehr geehrter Herr Reppe,
- Sie haben die Domain
- per Transfer angefordert. Es handelt sich hierbei - unschwer zu erkennen -
- um die Domain des Bundesnachrichtendienstes.
- Da es sich hierbei um eine bedeutende Domain handelt, bitten wir Sie
- umgehend das entsprechende Transfer-Fax und OwnerChange-Formular an uns zu
- Bis zu Klärung dieses Vorfalls haben wir Ihren Account gesperrt.
- Mit freundlichen Grüßen
- Daniel Teixeira"
Dear Mr Reppe
- You have requested the domain
- be transferred to you. It is not hard to see that the domain is that of the Federal Intelligence (Bundesnachrichtendienstes).
- Since this is an important domain, we ask you to immediately send us the appropriate fax and owner change form.
- Pending clarification of this incident we have blocked your account.
- Yours sincerely,
- Daniel Teixeira"
but in response the registrar then attempted to terminate its involvement with all Mr. Reppe's domains, including WikiLeaks.de for "contract violation".
As Mr. Reppe had paid for a full year in advance, it was agreed after a January phone call that the company would not transfer out the domains held by Mr. Reppe until the term paid had expired.
Despite this agreement, the registrar dropped the domains last week, leaving Mr. Reppe with more than 30 broken domains into the Easter festivities, including WikiLeaks.de, his popular Tor node, two film projects and other non-profit and open-source groups.
Mr. Reppe was not given notification of the voiding of the previous hotline agreement. The reasons for specific timing, which occurred nine days after the three month minimum contract resolution period, are unknown and may or may not be related to the police raid over the Australian censorship list.
The Thursday evening WikiLeaks.de domain transfer occurred more than two hours after the close of business of the DeNIC offices, and on the evening before the Easter weekend, that in Germany includes Friday and Monday as public holidays.
Contrary to the pro-forma statement on the DeNIC website that readers received when trying to view www.wikileaks.de, the domain owner was not notified, nor was he given the details necessary to move the domains to another registrar. This effectively rendered and still renders the WikiLeaks.de site unusable. In response to an email by WikiLeaks, DeNIC stated on Sunday that a postal letter would be sent to Mr. Reppe on Tuesday. DeNIC declined to supply an after hours phone number or answer its press phone.
Later the same day DeNIC CEO Sabine Dolderer issued a media statement saying that DeNIC itself did not originate the move, but that the transfer of control was initiated by the DeNIC licensed registrar (domain name company) Beasts Associated of Hamburg, through which the WikiLeaks.de domain had been originally registered.
On Monday, Beasts Associated CEO Daniel Teixeira issued a statement saying the contract with the domain owner had been canceled due to an unspecified "contract violation" in December 2008 and that the domains had therefore been transferred to DeNIC.
Full WikiLeaks content continues to be available on its sites outside of Germany, such as wikileaks.org and on the following "solidarity" domains registered by German supporters:
- http://unzensiert.cgisecurity.de/ (infact anything.cgisecurity.de!)
- http://leaks.h4rk.de | https://leaks.h4rk.de (requires certificate exception rule!)
- Germany deletes WikiLeaks.de domain after raid
- Deutsche Wikileaks Domain ohne Vorwarnung gesperrt
- Hausdurchsuchung bei WikiLeaks.de Domaininhaber
- Police raid home of Wikileaks.de domain owner over censorship lists
- Die angebliche E-Mail vom BND-Chef
- Correspondence between BND and Wikileaks, as of Dec 22 2008
- BND Kosovo intelligence report, 22 Feb 2005
- Institute for European Politics: Kosovo security and intelligence report, 9 January 2007
- German Secret Intelligence Service (BND) T-Systems network assignments, 13 Nov 2008
- Schaefer report missing pages on BND contacts with journalist Josef Hufelschulte 2006
- Die Deutsche Telekom und ihr Kunde BND
- German intelligence scrubs European records after Wikileaks exposure
- Notfallsäuberung des BND nach Wikileaks Enthüllung
- Experten greifen von der Leyen an
- Grundrechtliche, telekommunikations- und telemedienrechtliche Fragen im Zusammenhang mit der Sperrung kinderpornographischer Inhalte im Internet, 19 Feb 2009
- German Interior Ministry Internet Expertise re internet spying and censorship, 17 Feb 2009
- Vertragsentwurf BKA ISP, 11 Feb 2009
- Australian government secret ACMA internet censorship blacklist, 18 Mar 2009
- Australian government secret ACMA internet censorship blacklist, 11 Mar 2009
- Australian government secret ACMA internet censorship blacklist, 6 Aug 2008
- Australia secretly censors Wikileaks press release and Danish Internet censorship list, 16 Mar 2009
- Denmark: 3863 sites on censorship list, Feb 2008
- 797 domains on Finnish Internet censorship list, including censorship critic, 2008
- Norwegian secret internet censorship blacklist, 3518 domains, 18 Mar 2009
- Thailand official MICT censorship list, 20 Dec 2008
- United Arab Emirates Internet censorship plan (2006)
- Landgericht Pforzheim: Beschluss zu Hausdurchsuchung von Blogverlinkung zu Wikileaks, 23 Mar 2009
- Durchsuchungsbeschluss Blog wegen Verlinkung auf Schutzalter und anwaltliche Reaktion, 2009
- German police search warrant over study linking to Danish censorship list on Wikileaks, Feb 2009
- Westliche Internetzensur: Anfang vom Ende oder Ende vom Anfang?
- Gericht: Durchsuchung wegen mittelbarer Links auf Kinderporno-Sperrliste rechtmäßig
- Spiegel: Schlag gegen Internet-Aktivisten wegen angeblicher Beihilfe zum Vertrieb von Kinderpornografie
- Einblicke in die Kinderpornoszene
- My life in child porn
- A Blacklist for Websites Backfires in Australia
- There is no bigger issue than net censorship
- It certainly looks like the ACMA blacklist, eh Senator Conroy
- Dentist's website on leaked blacklist
- Banned hyperlinks could cost you 11,000 dollars a day
- Leaked Australian blacklist reveals banned sites
- Australian Government censorship of US anti-abortion site abortiontv.com, 21 Jan 2009