p2pnet view P2P | Freedom:- The private records of three Twitter users linked to WikiLeaks will be revealed to the Obama government as part of its WikiLeaks investigation, a federal magistrate judge in Virginia has ruled.
The three are Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir (right), Dutch hacker Rop Gonggrijp and US computer programmer Jacob Appelbaum, all of whom know, or have worked with, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
But neither the three victims, nor the public, will learn exactly how the government gained access their records.
“The secret government demands for information about the subscribers’ communications came to light only because Twitter took steps to ensure their customers were notified and had the opportunity to respond”, says the EFF.
It, and the American Civil Liberties Union are representing Jonsdottir.
If the ruling stands, she “may be prevented from challenging the government’s requests to other companies because she might never know if and how many other companies have been ordered to turn over information about her”, says ACLU lawyer Aden Fine who, at an earlier hearing, spoke for the Twitter trio.
The order calling on Twitter to release account details, IP addresses, user names and sign-up information was made by district judge Theresa Buchanan in December last year, said the BBC in February, continuing >>>
The order, only made public earlier this month, also requested details of the general Wikileaks Twitter account, thought to be run by Julian Assange, and that of Bradley Manning, the army intelligence analyst suspected of leaking the documents to Wikileaks.
A justice department spokesman said the terms of the request had since been narrowed to data from 15 November, 2009, to 1 June, 2010, and to four accounts – those belonging to Mr Appelbaum, Mr Gonggrijp and Ms Jonsdottir and the official Wikileaks account.
The US government is allowed to ask for the communication records of service providers up to 180 days in the past.
Appearing at the hearing on Tuesday, Assistant US Attorney John Davis said the government was seeking routine data, no different to phone records or credit card bills.
The EFF and ACLU say they’ll appeal the ruling.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
World War III will be a global information war with no division between civilian & military participation ~ Marshall McLuhan
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