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<nettime> DOJ wins access to WikiLeaks-related Twitter accounts
Felix Stalder on Sun, 13 Mar 2011 01:59:29 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> DOJ wins access to WikiLeaks-related Twitter accounts


[Twitter was lauded back in January when it challenged the subpoena for 
records (while others (Google? Facebook?), which were presumably handed the 
same subpoena, did not). The judge's argument is a fine piece of legalistic 
hair splitting. There is no freedom of speech issue here, since the 
messages had been published, and there is no right to privacy since the DOJ 
did not seek access to the content of the information (which has been 
published) but only to the connection data. 

Makes stuff like diaspora and the freedom box all the more necessary.]


March 11, 2011 1:34 PM PST 

DOJ wins access to WikiLeaks-related Twitter accounts

A federal judge in Virginia today granted federal prosecutors access to 
WikiLeaks-related Twitter accounts, including information about what 
Internet and e-mail addresses are associated with them. 
The 20-page ruling represents a clear victory for the U.S. Department of 
Justice, which sought the court order as part of a grand jury probe that 
appears to be investigating whether WikiLeaks principals, including editor 
Julian Assange, violated American criminal laws. 
U.S. Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan rejected arguments raised by the 
ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and a host of private attorneys 
representing the Twitter account holders, who had asserted that their 
privacy was protected by federal law, the First Amendment, and the Fourth 
Amendment. 
Buchanan rejected each of the arguments in quick succession, saying that 
there was no First Amendment issue because activists "have already made 
their Twitter posts and associations publicly available." The account 
holders have "no Fourth Amendment privacy interest in their IP addresses," 
she said, and federal privacy law did not apply because prosecutors were 
not seeking contents of the communications.
<....>

Buchanan's order isn't a traditional subpoena. Rather, it's what's known as 
a 2703(d) order, which allows police to obtain certain records from a Web 
site or Internet provider if they are "relevant and material to an ongoing 
criminal investigation." 
The 2703(d) order is broad. It requests any "contact information" 
associated with the accounts from November 1, 2009, to the present, 
"connection records, or records of session times and durations," and 
"records of user activity for any connections made to or from the account," 
including Internet addresses used. 
It also covers "all records" and "correspondence" relating to those 
accounts, which appears to be broad enough to sweep in the content of 
messages such as direct messages sent through Twitter or tweets from a 
nonpublic account. That would have allowed the account holders to cite a 
nonbinding but influential opinion from a federal appeals court, which 
concluded that a 2703(d) order is insufficient for content data and a 
search warrant is necessary. 

<....>

J?nsd?ttir said in a Twitter message after the ruling that it's now "time 
to apply pressure on social media to move their servers out of the U.S." 
Appelbaum, who gave a speech at a hacker conference in New York last year 
on behalf of WikiLeaks, sent out a note saying: "Bad news is exhausting." 

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20042277-281.html


--- http://felix.openflows.com ----------------------- books out now:
*|Deep Search.The Politics of Search Beyond Google.Studienverlag 2009
*|Mediale Kunst/Media Arts Zurich.13 Positions.Scheidegger&Spiess2008
*|Manuel Castells and the Theory of the Network Society. Polity, 2006 
*|Open Cultures and the Nature of Networks. Ed. Futura/Revolver, 2005 


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