Julius Baer drops a Press Release

Checking my inbox I found a press release from the banking firm Julius Baer.  Now, if you’re having problems remembering, Julius Baer is the firm that successfully sued to have the whistleblower website; Wikileaks.com, shut down.  This raised something of a stir, particularly amongst those who are particularly skeptical of the comings and goings of major corporations.

According to them, it was all a misconception:



Julius Baer STATEMENT ON Wikileaks.org CASE

ZURICH / NEW YORK, February 28, 2008 — Julius Baer wishes to address
certain misconceptions relating to a recent court decision to take the
Wikileaks.org website off line.

This decision was arrived at only after a month long effort on the part
of Julius Baer and its advisors had failed to identify and engage the
operators of Wikileaks in a dialogue regarding the unlawful posting of
stolen and forged bank records. This matter has nothing whatsoever to do
with censorship or The First Amendment. Instead, Julius Baer’s sole
objective has always been limited to the removal of these private and
legally protected documents from the website.

The documents in question are protected and prohibited from unauthorized
publication under U.S., California and foreign consumer banking and
privacy protection laws. The posting of confidential bank records by
anonymous sources significantly harms the privacy rights of all

It is not and has never been Julius Baer’s intention to stifle anyone’s
right to free speech. Indeed, Julius Baer has specifically made no
attempt to remove material on the website which refers to the
organization but which does not include information personal to its
customers. However, Julius Baer denies the authenticity of this material
and wholly rejects the serious and defamatory allegations which it


Neil Shapiro, Intermarket Communications, 212-754-5423 or 917-470-6570

Jenna Agins, Intermarket Communications, 212-754-5610 or 917-470-6563

Martin Mosbacher, Intermarket Communications, 212-754-5449

Now I get the whole government intrustion aspect,and protecting privacy rights.  On the other hand, as was expressed in the original report, much of the documents leaked were not exposing private persons’ info, but instead revealed tax evasion, money laundering, and other fun little crimes.

Here’s the way I see it.  Despite what corporatists might say, corporations are not people; people are people.  There should be, of course, certain laws that should be put in place to protect a business’s right to operate legally without ceding creative advantages to its competitors.  However, there should be no quarter for those business practices that trod upon actual people and snub their noses at the law.

I admit to not being well versed in corporate law, but if an employee can’t blow the whistle on work practices that are simply not legal, well, corporate law is working too much for the corporations and not enough for the people.  And, between you and me, corporations have plenty of lawyers and money to protect them already.  Laws that make them utterly invincible?  Too much.

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