Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Police Raid Home of Wikileaks.de Domain Owner Over Censorship Lists

Via Wikileaks.org -

Shortly after 9pm on Monday the 24th of March 2009, seven police officers in Dresden and four in Jena searched the homes of Theodor Reppe, who holds the domain registration for 'wikileaks.de'. According to the search protocol the reason for the search is "distribution of pornographic material" and "discovery of evidence". Police claim the raid was initiated due to Mr. Reppe's position as the Wikileaks.de domain owner.

Police did not want to give any further information to Mr. Reppe and no contact was made with Wikileaks before the search. It is therefore not totally clear why the search was made, however Wikileaks, in its role as a defender of press freedoms, has published censorship lists for Australia, Thailand, Denmark and other countries that include links to pornographic sites.

Some details of the search raise questions:

  • Mr Reppe was not informed of his rights; police documentation clearly shows the box to be left unchecked.
  • Contrary to what is stated in the police protocol, he did not agree to "not having a witness" present.

Ultimately, Mr Reppe refused to sign the police documentation due these and other inaccuracies.

The raid appears to be related to a recent German social hysteria around child pornography and the political battle for a national censorship system under the German family minister Ursula von der Leyen. It comes just a few weeks after a member of parliament, SPD minister Joerg Tauss had his office and private house searched by police and German bloggers discussing the subject were similarly raided.

Mr Reppe is maintainer of one of the most popular German Tor-proxy servers (morphium.info) and is not involved in the Wikileaks project other than sponsoring the German domain registration and mirroring a collection of US Congressional Research Service reports.

Wikileaks is a non-profit project, sponsored by transparency groups and investigative journalists world wide. To support our defense of this and other cases, see http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Wikileaks

Police documentation of the raid:

Additional context:

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