Commentary

The Internet Society on the Wikileaks issue

Recently, we have witnessed the effective disappearance from the Internet of a website made infamous through international press coverage and political intrigue.

The Internet Society is founded upon key principles of free expression and non discrimination that are essential to preserve the openness and utility of the Internet. We believe that this incident dramatically illustrates that those principles are currently at risk.

Recognizing the content of the wikileaks.org website is the subject of concern to a variety of individuals and nations, we nevertheless believe it must be subject to the same laws and policies of availability as all Internet sites. Free expression should not be restricted by governmental or private controls over computer hardware or software, telecommunications infrastructure, or other essential components of the Internet.

Resilience and cooperation are built into the Internet as a design principle. The cooperation among several organizations has ensured that the impact on the Wikileaks organizational website has not prevented all access to Wikileaks material. This further underscores that the removal of a domain is an ineffective tool to suppress communication, merely serving to undermine the integrity of the global Internet and its operation.

Unless and until appropriate laws are brought to bear to take the wikileaks.org domain down legally, technical solutions should be sought to reestablish its proper presence, and appropriate actions taken to pursue and prosecute entities (if any) that acted maliciously to take it off the air.

This article, first published on Internet Society, is the official stance of the Internet Society on the WikiLeaks saga.

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