Barely Legally

Confessions of a Moot Court Bailiff

A Tangled Web

Wikileaks employee leaks Wikileaks NDA; universe implodes upon itself. From the New Statesman blog:

“This blog has previously described the bizarre legal world of WikiLeaks where, for example, the organisation claims some form of commercial ownership over the information that has been leaked to it.

“Today, the New Statesman can reveal the extent of this legal eccentricity as we publish a copy of the draconian and extraordinary legal gag that WikiLeaks imposes on its own staff.

“Clause 5 of this ‘Confidentiality Agreement’ (PDF) imposes a penalty of ‘£12,000,000 – twelve million pounds sterling’ on anyone who breaches this legal gag.

“This ludicrous – and undoubtedly unenforceable – amount is even based on ‘a typical open market valuation’ for the leaked information that WikiLeaks possesses.

“This phraseology is consistent with WikliLeaks’s perception of itself as a commercial organisation in the business of owning and selling leaked information. Indeed, there is no other sensible way of interpreting this penalty clause.”

The confidentiality agreement is itself under a separate confidentiality provision; even talking about it is a breach. Stay classy, Wikileaks.