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WARNING all 637,000 @wikileaks followers are a target of US gov subpoena against Twitter, under section 2. B

DOJ letter to Twitter

Check out Informationthread 30 for more info on Twitter-gate

records of user activity for any connections made to or from the Account, including the date, time, length, and method of connections, data transfer volume, user name, and source and destination Internet Protocol address(es).

[N]on-content information associated with the contents of any communication or file stored by or for the account(s), such as the source and destination email addresses and IP addresses.

The issued subpoena ordered Twitter to provide information regarding any account either registered to or in any way associated with the following individuals or user names:

Julian Assange
Bradley Manning
Rop Gonggrijp
Birgitta Jonsdottir

WLCentral DOJ subpoena applicable to non-Twitter users who viewed tweets?

Yet if we grant that all followers will be implicated by virtue of having received tweet data from the 7 primary targets, it seems the present language is also inclusive of anyone who has clicked on a link directing them to a tweet from any of the above accounts. If you did view one of these tweets at some point on or after November 1, 2009 (the cut-off date in stipulated in the subpoena) but were not signed in to Twitter, then even if you are not a registered user, it seems you too qualify as a "connection made to or from" the accounts. There is no stipulation that 'connections' must be from users who are following Wikileaks et al., or even that they must be from users who are signed in. If Twitter logs visitors, and it certainly does, then visitor data will be in these logs irrespective of whether they have a Twitter account.

How significant is this and what information about you will be visible if you fall under the range of affected parties? To get an idea, note that Twitter stores (or "may" store) the following data, according to the following excerpt from its privacy policy.

>Location Information, including "exact coordinates"

>Log Data created by your use of the Services. Log Data may include information such as your IP address, browser type, the referring domain, pages visited, and search terms. Other actions, such as interactions with advertisements, may also be included in Log Data.

>Links: Twitter may keep track of how you interact with links in Tweets across our Services including third party clients.

While the data logged by Twitter are managed by Twitter, and while keeping your information private is a significant priority for any such large company hoping to stay in business, presumably, the same cannot be said of U.S. government entities. Even if there is no concern over how your data will be used by those entities, the likelihood that your information will remain private decreases significantly with every additional party possessing access to it.
Although anyone can get this information from you when you visit their site, the concern here is over the manner in which the data will be used. Insofar as your information exists in the database that brought us the Terror Watch List, and insofar as you have been suspected of being the ally of a "high tech terrorist", trivial data have the potential of becoming legally relevant. And if the language of the court order is inclusive of all individuals ever having accessed a tweet from any of the targeted accounts (since 2009), then the number of people affected by the subpoena is much larger than the previous estimate of 600,000 Wikileaks followers.

RT @dictvm: Jake, Birgitta and Rop have been given the option to object. What about the followers? Class action suit?

Well, I am pissed.

So is Anonymous. "Open letter to Twitter"

The Department of Justice's subpoena ( is but the latest in a series of assaults on our free society. The salient point is that Twitter was not used as a platform to distribute confidential information, nor was it used to broadcase hateful messages. The only crime that the users of the accounts named committed was to voice their opinion. For the DOJ to seek access to the personal details, network addresses, and session information of those users is not just unconstitutional, but quite frankly terrifying.
Although Twitter and Anonymous have had our grievances in the past, we pledge to fully support your organisation if you will choose to fight this subpoena.

Yours Faithfully

We do not forgive. We do not forget.

Icelandic politicians have blasted US demands for Twitter to hand over a member of parliament's account details. Birgitta Jonsdottir faces investigation as one of several people connected to the website WikiLeaks.

Icelandic Foreign Minister Oessur Skarphedinsson said it was not acceptable that US authorities had demanded the information.

9:10  Well-known U.S. media writer Dan Kennedy tweets:  "As a First Amendment statement, I am now following @ WikiLeaks. Come and get me, Mr. Holder."

The WikiLeaks Subpoena, Twitter and Standing

Twitter really didn’t have standing to quash the subpoena directly because Twitter doesn’t have much stake in its customers’ privacy. This is in contrast other business models, such as WikiLeaks itself. If WikiLeaks receives a subpoena to divulge information about its users (the leakers) it would have standing to oppose that subpoena because the WikiLeaks business model is centered around protecting the privacy of its users. Take that away and you have basically destroyed the raison d’etre for WikiLeaks and upended its entire business model.

Not that WikiLeaks would be likely to win such a motion to quash. As Judy Miller and Matt Cooper found out to their chagrin, if law enforcement can show a particularized need for a piece of info and that there is no other viable means to obtain that info, the court is going to uphold the subpoena.

However, WikiLeaks would have standing to contest on the merits in a way that Twitter probably does not.

"It is so sad. This is not how America wants to present itself to the world." -- Birgitta Jonsdottir

"Wikileaks" MP: American Authorities are Desperate

Jónsdóttir says she wants clear answers on whether she can stay on as a member of the Foreign relations committee of Althingi and whether it is safe for her to travel abroad. "I don’t know if I can go to the US without risking that my phone or computer will be confiscated."

The case which involves a request before a Virginia court that Twitter submit Jónsdóttir’s blogs and her IP numbers. Jónsdóttir has the assistance of US lawyers. She says, according to, that it is important that it is not illegal to leak documents; to be a source or publish information from sources. To the contrary it is the duty of the public, no matter what the individual’s role, that if the individuals have seen information that prove criminal activity he or she should put that information forward.

Iceland summons US envoy over WikiLeaks probe

"(It is) very serious that a foreign state, the United States, demands such personal information of an Icelandic person, an elected official," Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson told Icelandic broadcaster RUV.

"This is even more serious when put (in) perspective and concerns freedom of speech and people's freedom in general," he added.

WikiLeaks under attack: the definitive timeline

U.S. journalists back away from WikiLeaks founder

But just three years after a major court confrontation in which many of America's most important journalism organizations file briefs on WikiLeaks' behalf, much of the U.S. journalistic community has shunned Assange - even as reporters write scores of stories based on WikiLeaks' trove of leaked State Department cables.

With a few notable exceptions, it's been left to foreign journalism organizations to offer the loudest calls for the U.S. to recognize WikiLeaks' and Assange's right to publish under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.

"Bob Woodward has probably become one of the richest journalists in history by publishing classified documents in book after book. And yet no one would suggest that Bob Woodward be prosecuted because Woodward is accepted in the halls of Washington," said Glenn Greenwald, a lawyer and media critic who writes for the online journal "There is no way of prosecuting Julian Assange without harming investigative journalism."

Woodward, who rose to fame by exposing the Watergate conspiracy in the Nixon administration, told a Yale University law school audience in November that WikiLeaks' "willy-nilly" release of documents was "madness" and would be "fuel for those who oppose disclosure." But that appearance came before U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder launched a criminal investigation of Assange. Woodward didn't respond to e-mails seeking comment.

The idea of America, heralded as a beacon of press freedom internationally, prosecuting someone for publishing secret documents would have a chilling effect throughout the world, the Australian Newspaper Editors wrote a letter to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, whose government also is considering charges against Assange, who's an Australian citizen.

"Any such action would impact not only on WikiLeaks, but every media organization in the world that aims to inform the public about decisions made on their behalf," the organization wrote in its Dec. 15 letter. "It is the media's duty to responsibly report such material if it comes into their possession. To aggressively attempt to shut WikiLeaks down, to threaten to prosecute those who publish official leaks, and to pressure companies to cease doing commercial business with WikiLeaks, is a serious threat to democracy, which relies on a free and fearless press.

Basic Links

Greg Mitchell's Wikileaks blog at The Nation

Unofficial Wikileaks information site

Wikileaks cable page

Aftenposten english Wikileaks torrent

Glenn Greenwald


Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

@Swedish TV
In full

Al Jazeera English show

It's about 22mins long and well worth it. Again, here is the exchange that I think is VERY important at about the 10min mark:

When the host asks Baruch Weiss, a former U.S. Government lawyer,
if leaking classified information is a crime in the United States, he says:

"I'm going to say it twice because noone will believe me the first time, but the answer is usually no. No.

There is no statute on the books in the United States that says 'Thou shalt not leak classified information.' There is no statute of that sort. Congress tried to pass one during the Clinton administration and Clinton Vetoed it and for a very good reason. And the good reason is, that in the United States there is a huge over-classification problem. There is a huge amount of material that should not be classified that is."

Julian Assagne: A Wanted Man
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Near v. Minnesota

Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 (1931), was a United States Supreme Court decision that recognized the freedom of the press by roundly rejecting prior restraints on publication, a principle that was applied to free speech generally in subsequent jurisprudence. The Court ruled that a Minnesota law that targeted publishers of "malicious" or "scandalous" newspapers violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (as applied through the Fourteenth Amendment). Legal scholar and columnist Anthony Lewis called Near the Court's "first great press case."[1]

It was later a key precedent in New York Times Co. v. United States (1971), in which the Court ruled against the Nixon administration's attempt to enjoin publication of the Pentagon Papers.

New York Times Co. v. United States

New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971), was a United States Supreme Court per curiam decision. The ruling made it possible for the New York Times and Washington Post newspapers to publish the then-classified Pentagon Papers without risk of government censure.

President Richard Nixon had claimed executive authority to force the Times to suspend publication of classified information in its possession. The question before the court was whether the constitutional freedom of the press under the First Amendment was subordinate to a claimed Executive need to maintain the secrecy of information. The Supreme Court ruled that First Amendment did protect the New York Times' right to print said materials.


The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.
And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.
And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.
No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary.

"Try as I may I can not escape the sound of suffering. Perhaps as an old man I will accept suffering with insouciance. But not now; men in their prime, if they have convictions are tasked to act on them."

-- Julian Assange, 2007 blog entry

Originally posted to cedar park on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 05:03 PM PST.


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