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Thread: WikiLeaks: US demanding our Twitter account info

  1. #1
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    WikiLeaks: US demanding our Twitter account info



    U.S. officials have issued a subpoena to demand details about WikiLeaks' Twitter account, according to court documents obtained Saturday. WikiLeaks says other American Internet companies may also have been ordered to hand over information about its activities.

    The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ordered San Francisco-based Twitter Inc. to hand over private messages, billing addresses and connection records of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and other alleged associates — including the U.S. Army intelligence analyst suspected of handing classified information to the site and a high-profile Icelandic parliamentarian.

    Assange blasted the order, saying it amounted to harassment.

    "If the Iranian government was to attempt to coercively obtain this information from journalists and activists of foreign nations, human rights groups around the world would speak out," he said in a statement.

    A copy of the court order, dated Dec. 14 and sent to The Associated Press by Icelandic lawmaker Birgitta Jonsdottir, said the information sought was "relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation" and ordered Twitter not to disclose its existence to Assange or any of the others targeted.

    But a second document, dated Jan. 5, unsealed the court order. The reason wasn't made explicit but WikiLeaks said it had been unsealed "thanks to legal action by Twitter."

    Twitter has declined to comment on the topic, saying only that its policy is to notify its users, where possible, of government requests for information.

    Those named in the order include Pfc. Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private suspected of being the source of some of WikiLeaks' material, as well as Jonsdottir, a one-time WikiLeaks collaborator known for her role in pioneering Iceland's media initiative, which aims to make the North Atlantic island nation a haven for free speech.

    The U.S. is also seeking details about Dutch hacker Rop Gonggrijp and U.S. programmer Jacob Appelbaum, both of whom have previously worked with WikiLeaks.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

  2. #2

    US wants Twitter details of Wikileaks activists

    BBC News
    Saturday, January 8, 2010

    The US government has subpoenaed the social networking site Twitter for personal details of people connected to Wikileaks, court documents show.

    The US District Court in Virginia said it wanted information including user names, addresses, connection records, telephone numbers and payment details.

    Those named include Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and an Icelandic MP.

    The US is examining possible charges against Mr Assange over the leaking of 250,000 classified diplomatic cables.

    Full story here.


    Source...

  3. #3
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    WikiLeaks subpoenas spill out into public realm



    WASHINGTON – Investigative documents in the WikiLeaks probe spilled out into the public domain Saturday for the first time, pointing to the Obama administration's determination to assemble a criminal case no matter how long it takes and how far afield authorities have to go.

    Backed by a magistrate judge's court order from Dec. 14, the newly disclosed documents sent to Twitter Inc. by the U.S. attorney's office in Alexandria, Va., demand details about the accounts of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Pfc. Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who's in custody and suspected of supplying WikiLeaks with classified information.

    The others whose Twitter accounts are targeted in the prosecutors' demand are Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic parliamentarian and one-time WikiLeaks collaborator; Dutch hacker Rop Gonggrijp; and U.S. programmer Jacob Appelbaum. Gonggrijp and Appelbaum have worked with WikiLeaks in the past.

    Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller declined comment on the disclosure in the case, which intensified following WikiLeaks' latest round of revelations with the posting of classified State Department diplomatic cables. The next day, Nov. 29, Attorney General Eric Holder vowed that anyone found to have violated U.S. law in the leaks would be prosecuted.

    Assange said the U.S. move amounted to harassment, and he pledged to fight it.

    "If the Iranian government was to attempt to coercively obtain this information from journalists and activists of foreign nations, human rights groups around the world would speak out," he told The Associated Press in an e-mail.

    Legal experts have said one possible avenue for federal prosecutors would be to establish a conspiracy to steal classified information.

    "They are trying to show that Manning was more than a source of the information to a reporter and rather that Assange and Manning were trying to jointly steal information from the U.S. government," said Mark Rasch, a former prosecutor on computer crime and espionage cases in the Justice Department.

    The problem is distinguishing between WikiLeaks as a news organization and those who re-published the same classified information, like The New York Times, said Rasch, director of cybersecurity and privacy consulting at CSC, a Falls Church, Va., technology company.

    "How do they prosecute?" asked Rasch. "The answer is by establishing a unity of interest between Manning and Assange. Make it a theft case and not just a journalist publishing information case."

    The demand by prosecutors sought information dating to Nov. 1, 2009, several months before an earlier WikiLeaks release.

    Manning is in a maximum-security military brig at Quantico, Va., charged with leaking video of a 2007 U.S. Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed a Reuters news photographer and his driver. WikiLeaks posted the video on its website in April of last year. Three months later, WikiLeaks posted some 90,000 leaked U.S. military records on the war in Afghanistan, including unreported incidents of Afghan civilian killings as well as covert operations against Taliban figures.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

  4. #4

    Re: WikiLeaks subpoenas spill out into public realm

    I don't think anyone is right in republishing that stuff even if they are the New York Times. The smart ones are keeping their hands clean and letting people know not to get involved with it. Still I don't think it is anything that bad once it is already public domain and is a lot like the media republishing the nude shots tmz got of the latest celebrity. Fine them and be done with it.

  5. #5

    Re: WikiLeaks subpoenas spill out into public realm

    I disagree. Everyone should have the right to read private Government documents, the Government keeps people in the dark about too many things nowadays.

  6. #6

    Re: WikiLeaks: US demanding our Twitter account info

    I can't really blame them, I mean WikiLeaks was releasing their documents... However, I agree with everything WikiLeaks done, so I don't agree that the Government should be ordering these details.

  7. #7

    DOJ subpoenas Twitter records of several WikiLeaks volunteers

    This has been sort of overlooked recently due to the Giffords shooting and Wheeler murder, but it's still quite important.

    Long story short, the US is going on the offensive against Wikileaks supporters (within and without). I highly recommend Glenn Greenwald's article/analysis that I have posted in its entirety below.

    And for Twitter users out there who follow the Wikileaks Twitter feed (as I do), this does affect you, and it's too late to unfollow. Fun times.

    -----

    DOJ subpoenas Twitter records of several WikiLeaks volunteers
    by GLENN GREENWALD

    (updated below - Update II - Update III)

    Last night, Birgitta Jónsdóttir -- a former WikiLeaks volunteer and current member of the Icelandic Parliament -- announced (on Twitter) that she had been notified by Twitter that the DOJ had served a Subpoena demanding information "about all my tweets and more since November 1st 2009." Several news outlets, including The Guardian, wrote about Jónsdóttir's announcement.

    What hasn't been reported is that the Subpoena served on Twitter -- which is actually an Order from a federal court that the DOJ requested -- seeks the same information for numerous other individuals currently or formerly associated with WikiLeaks, including Jacob Appelbaum, Rop Gonggrijp, and Julian Assange. It also seeks the same information for Bradley Manning and for WikiLeaks' Twitter account.

    The information demanded by the DOJ is sweeping in scope. It includes all mailing addresses and billing information known for the user, all connection records and session times, all IP addresses used to access Twitter, all known email accounts, as well as the "means and source of payment," including banking records and credit cards. It seeks all of that information for the period beginning November 1, 2009, through the present. A copy of the Order served on Twitter, obtained exclusively by Salon, is here.

    The Order was signed by a federal Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Virginia, Theresa Buchanan, and served on Twitter by the DOJ division for that district. It states that there is "reasonable ground to believe that the records or other information sought are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation," the language required by the relevant statute. It was issued on December 14 and ordered sealed -- i.e., kept secret from the targets of the Order. It gave Twitter three days to respond and barred the company from notifying anyone, including the users, of the existence of the Order. On January 5, the same judge directed that the Order be unsealed at Twitter's request in order to inform the users and give them 10 days to object; had Twitter not so requested, it would have been compelled to turn over this information without the knowledge of its users. A copy of the unsealing order is here.

    Jónsdóttir told me that as "a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee [of Iceland's Parliament] and the NATO parliamentary assembly," she intends to "call for a meeting at the Committee early next week and ask for the ambassador to meet" her to protest the DOJ's subpoena for her records. The other individuals named in the subpoena were unwilling to publicly comment until speaking with their lawyer.

    I'll have much more on the implications of this tomorrow. Suffice to say, this is a serious escalation of the DOJ's efforts to probe, harass and intimidate anyone having to do with WikiLeaks. Previously, Appelbaum as well as Bradley Manning supporter David House -- both American citizens -- had their laptops and other electronic equipment seized at the border by Homeland Security agents when attempting to re-enter the U.S.



    UPDATE: Three other points: first, the three named producers of the "Collateral Murder" video -- depicting and commenting on the U.S. Apache helicopter attack on journalists and civilians in Baghdad -- were Assange, Jónsdóttir, and Gonggrijp (whose name is misspelled in the DOJ's documents). Since Gonggrijp has had no connection to WikiLeaks for several months and Jónsdóttir's association has diminished substantially over time, it seems clear that they were selected due to their involvement in the release of that film. Second, the unsealing order does not name either Assange or Manning, which means either that Twitter did not request permission to notify them of the Subpoena or that they did request it but the court denied it (then again, neither "Julian Assange" nor "Bradley Manning" are names of Twitter accounts, and the company has no way of knowing with certainty which accounts are theirs, so perhaps Twitter only sought an unsealing order for actual Twitter accounts named in the Order). Finally, WikiLeaks and Assange intend to contest this Order.


    UPDATE II: It's worth recalling -- and I hope journalists writing about this story remind themselves -- that all of this extraordinary probing and "criminal" investigating is stemming from WikiLeaks' doing nothing more than publishing classified information showing what the U.S. Government is doing: something investigative journalists, by definition, do all the time.

    And the key question now is this: did other Internet and social network companies (Google, Facebook, etc.) receive similar Orders and then quietly comply? It's difficult to imagine why the DOJ would want information only from Twitter; if anything, given the limited information it has about users, Twitter would seem one of the least fruitful avenues to pursue. But if other companies did receive and quietly comply with these orders, it will be a long time before we know, if we ever do, given the prohibition in these orders on disclosing even its existence to anyone.


    UPDATE III: Iceland's Interior Minister, Ögmundur Jónasson, described the DOJ's efforts to obtain the Twitter information of a member of that country's Parliament as "grave and odd." While suggesting some criticisms of WikiLeaks, he added: "if we manage to make government transparent and give all of us some insight into what is happening in countries involved in warfare it can only be for the good." The DOJ's investigation of a member of Iceland's Parliament -- as part of an effort to intimidate anyone supporting WikiLeaks and to criminalize journalism that exposes what the U.S. Government does -- is one of the most extreme acts yet in the Obama administration's always-escalating war on whistleblowers, and shows how just excessive and paranoid the administration is when it comes to transparency: all this from a President who ran on a vow to have the "most transparent administration in history" and to "Protect Whistleblowers."


    source: http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/gl...ter/index.html

  8. #8

    Hitting Twitter: US Wants WikiLeaks Info



    A US court has ordered social networking site Twitter to hand over records on Wikileaks staff members and supporters. The records sought include online activity, messages, addresses and bank account details. The order has caused a stir within rights groups, while WikiLeaks condemned the move. The government of Iceland said it would lodge an official complaint.

  9. #9

    Re: WikiLeaks: US demanding our Twitter account info

    That's sick. To know that these people have the rights to find/get any information they want about us, and popular websites will give it to them just to avoid legal confrontation, that's just not right in any way. It shouldn't be allowed, full stop.

  10. #10

    Re: WikiLeaks: US demanding our Twitter account info

    that's the price that you pay for using a public medium. If you have a facebook, myspace, or free webmail there is a profile built on you. Usually it is just sold to advertisers so that they can send you all sorts of spam, but things are changed and these things are used for all sorts of things these days, like making decisions on employment hiring and school admittance. Not good, privacy does not really seem to exist anymore

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