Wikileaks Sponsor Raided By German Police

    March 26, 2009
    WebProNews Staff

The Internet is the last refuge of free speech, but governments aren’t too keen on keeping it that way. The latest offense comes out of Germany, where police raided the home of a Wikileaks volunteer. The police also seized the domain, which the man owned.

The incident has its roots in recent controversy over the leakage and publishing of governmental website blacklists to Wikileaks, an organization dedicated to uncovering secret documents detailing governments’ and other organizations’ misdeeds. With branches in three separate company, Wikileaks has its firmest footing in Sweden, where freedom of the press laws are most stringent and where those who try to force the revelation of press sources are prosecuted.

Recently, Wikileaks posted Australian regulators’ secret website blacklist, which contained around 1,300 URLs, a large number of which pointed to child pornography sites. However, about 500 sites on the list were legal and included even anti-abortion pages. Regulators had threatened fines of as much as $11,000 Australian dollars daily for anyone linking to websites on the list even though the government would not reveal the list.

Further concern that the link would balloon, as the government had suggested, to include 10,000 sites and evidence that regulators were adding sites upon whim and request, led Wikileaks to post the blacklist on their Website to expose the abuse of power. Wikileaks has done this before, with blacklists from both Denmark and Thailand. Thailand’s list revealed a number of sites with heavy criticism of the royal family.

In Dresden, Germany, this past Tuesday evening, police raided the home of Theodor Reppe, to whom the domain is registered. According Wikileaks, Reppe’s only involvement with the organization is that he sponsors the German domain. Other than sponsoring the domain and mirroring a Wikileaks collection of US Congressional Research Service reports, Wikileaks says Reppe has no other involvement with the organization.

German police seized the domain and raided Reppe’s home based on reason to believe he was “distributing pornographic material” and for “discovery of evidence.” Wikileaks reports they were not contacted before the search, that Reppe wasn’t informed of his rights, and that Reppe would not sign the police documentation because inaccuracies.