Elana Schor
February 20 2008

The US court order shutting down the website Wikileaks today appeared to backfire on the Swiss bank that sought the legal action, as bloggers and other fans of the site gave new life to leaked documents the bank was working to suppress.

In addition to international Wikileaks versions that were unaffected by the shutdown order, “mirror” copies of the website sprouted like weeds thanks to supporters of its mission. Run anonymously, Wikileaks aims to publish sensitive documents that often prove incriminating for governments and corporations.

Swiss-based Bank Julius Baer obtained the order on Friday to stop Wikileaks from disseminating internal company documents that purported to show the bank’s Cayman Islands branch involved in money laundering and tax evasion.

But the overwhelming online response to Wikileaks’s demise made the bank — and the documents themselves — the talk of the internet.

“Clearly, the court and Bank Julius Baer underestimated the ingenuity of the web development community,” the whistleblower protection group Project on Government Oversight wrote on its blog.

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