Feb. 29, 2008
California Federal Judge’s Decision Puts Wikileaks Back on the Web; Ruling a Victory for Internet Free Speech
Statement of Paul Alan Levy, Attorney, Public Citizen
Today, a U.S. District judge in California struck a victory for free speech when he unmuzzled Wikileaks.org, the Website that provides a forum for investigating government and corporate corruption around the world. After listening to arguments from Public Citizen, the California First Amendment Coalition and other public interest groups, the judge dissolved a temporary injunction against the site and denied a request for a permanent injunction.
This is a great victory for the First Amendment. And it’s a great victory for the citizens of the world who rely on sites like Wikileaks to help expose wrongdoing and injustice. What this teaches us is that when courts order prior restraints on speech, especially when it’s done quickly, there are bound to be mistakes. But it also shows that when concerned citizen groups, such as Public Citizen, are willing to speak up in defense of the First Amendment, the federal judiciary will respond by protecting the rights of Internet speakers and, just as importantly, the public’s right to know what corporations and governments are up to.