back up; Julius Baer’s stock down 3.6 percent

Free speech advocates immediately hailed as a victory the decision on Friday of a federal judge to withdraw a prior order turning off the Web address of the site

Indeed! Jonathan D. Glater’s New York Times article is an excellent overview of the complexities of the situation, including jurisdictional issues, the privacy rights of named account holders (as a lawyer pointed out in court “That’s how you identify who’s been salting away money in accounts” — but what about those who are falsely accused), and the difficulties of defining Wikileaks more concretely than “an organization of dissidents, journalists, mathematicians, technologists, and grad students.”

“Whatever this entity is, it has not filed a response,” Judge White observed.

True enough. Fortunately for Wikileaks, organizations like American Civil Liberties Union, Public Citizen and the Electronic Frontier Foundation stepped forward on its behalf in defense to plaintiff Julius Baer’s suit in early February.

David Kravets on Wired’s Threat Level blog has some very complementary information and quotes, including the judge’s “the court does not want to be a part of any order that is not constitutional” and the ISP’s perspective

Dynadot’s attorney, told the judge the company was not inserting itself in the battle. “Dynadot’s position, your honor, we are not taking a position on the merits of the litigation. We’re willing to comply with any order the court issues.”

The two articles end on similar themes. Guess for yourself which paragraph comes from which article:

“Maybe that’s just the reality of the world that we live in,” Judge White said. “When this genie gets out of the bottle, that’s it.”

The judge added that the bank “should take a breath” and consider whether it wishes to continue pursuing the litigation, especially because the genie is out of the bottle.

And today, Thomas Mulier reports for Bloomberg, stock in Julius Baer Holding AG (Switzerland’s biggest independent bank) fell by 3.6%.

Kudos to the civil liberties groups for reacting so swiftly and strongly — and to United States District Judge Jeffrey S. White for his willingness to revisit the issue, taking the time to explore the problem deeply, explicitly putting the constituational issue squarely on the table, and backing freedom of the press and free speech.