WikiLeaks may be allowed back on the Internet if it removes the bank documents. Nonetheless, the judge’s order seems to afford less First Amendment protection to web sites than to more traditional media. It’s hard to imagine a judge shutting down a magazine or newspaper, even temporarily. Moreover, the judge’s action is eerily similar to that of the Chinese government, which shut down WikiLeaks.cn last year for its own reasons.
The traditional remedy of awarding damages, where appropriate, would seem preferable here. The free market has a role to play as well. WikiLeaks has a national reputation to protect and thus has a built-in incentive not to post misinformation or otherwise appear reckless or irresponsible.