A US court has shut down a controversial website that allows whistle-blowers to post corporate and government documents anonymously.
The site, known as Wikileaks.org, has been taken offline in the US due to a court order from the District Court in San Francisco. However, the site remains online in other countries, including Belgium and Germany.
The order came after a Swiss bank, Julius Baer, earlier this month filed a complaint against the site and San Mateo, California-based Dynadot, Wikileaks' domain-name registry, for posting several hundred of the bank's documents.
Some of those documents allegedly reveal that Julius Baer was involved in offshore money laundering and tax evasion in the Cayman Islands for customers in several countries, including the US.
The court ordered that "Dynadot shall immediately clear and remove all DNS hosting records for the wikileaks.org domain name," according to court documents. It also said that Dynadot should prevent the domain name from resolving to the wikileaks.org site or any other website or server other than a blank park page until further notice.
A spokesman for Julius Baer could not be reached for comment Monday.
According to its Web site, the purpose of Wikileaks, founded in 2006, is to develop "an uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking and public analysis."
Wikileaks has been plagued by controversy since its inception, coming under fire from institutions whose confidential documents have been posted and from critics who questioned the motives of the site's founders. Still, others have praised the site for supporting the free dissemination of information.
Wikileaks posted a press statement on its site about the US order, calling it "clearly unconstitutional" and said it "exceeds its jurisdiction."