Judge Allows Access to WikiLeaker's Twitter Accounts

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

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US Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan has granted a Department of Justice request to access information in the Twitter accounts of WikiLeaks supporters in an ongoing criminal investigation of the whistleblower organization.

The federal subpoena was originally granted on December 14, 2010, and seeks basic information from the accounts of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Army Private Bradley Manning, Jacob Appelbaum, Rop Gonggrijp and Birgitta Jonsdottir.

The information sought includes residential addresses, email addresses, IP addresses, session times, billing records, and bank account details.

Judge Buchanan rejected arguments made by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU that the subpoena violated free speech and privacy rights accorded by the Constitution.

“The Twitter Order does not demand the contents of any communication, and thus constitutes only a request for records under §2703(c),” Buchanan wrote in her opinion, making reference to provisions in the 1994 Stored Communications Act which permits access to information related to records stored online.

“Petitioners, who have already made their Twitter posts and associations publicly available, fail to explain how the Twitter Order has a chilling effect,” Buchanan wrote.

The judge also denied a request that the application to access the Twitter account information submitted by investigators be unsealed.

Source:  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/14/wikileaks_twitter_info_order/

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