back to article Feds win access to WikiLeakers Twitter account data

US Justice Department investigators have won a hard-fought campaign to access the Twitter records of three current and former WikiLeaks associates, rebuffing arguments that the document demand violated the constitutional right to free speech and a prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. In a 60-page opinion …


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  1. T J
    Big Brother

    So, they're not even pretending anymore

    The only good thing I can hope for from this is that it pushes human rights in hegemonised western societies right up the scale of importance.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time for prison

    Phuck around, go to prison.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >> “With this decision, the court is telling all users of online tools hosted in the US that the US government will have secret access to their data,” Jonsdottir said in a statement.

    actually they always had that ability! All servers that are hosted in the USofA are subject to the USofA law, which does give them the right to access anything on that server if they have a warrant. This apply to your facebook account, email account, twitter account and even your shopping account and SMS messages.

    As long as the server keeps a copy of whatever is it that you did, then the US government can have access to it, if the server is hosted locally and they have a warrant. That is why VoIP is giving the government some trouble, it is p2p and the server doesn't store conversation.

    I honestly believed that this was common knowledge!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      this is about warrantless access

      The difference here is the argument that a warrant and probable cause are not needed, the defendents are arguing that the investigators should have a warrant.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby

        @AC re: warrantless access...


        Put down the crack pipe and pay attention.


        If you actually bothered to pay attention to the details of the case, rather than base your opinion on sound bites from the radical left press, you might actually try to understand what is happening.

        First, there is this investigation in to how an alleged Manning stole classified documents and gave them to Wikileaks. Who/What/When/Where and how have to be established. At least to a point where a military tribunal can adjudicate this case against Manning.

        As part of this investigation, there is an investigation as to the involvement of Wikileaks.

        The important thing is that the DoJ had gotten LE Subpoenas for the information. Its not that it was a warrant less search but that instead of the company Twitter handing over the information, they notified the parties involved and allowed them to challenge the Subpoena.

        That is the important fact that you don't seem to grasp. LE Subs are legal and can easily be abused. I know this first hand. However in this case. There is a specific investigation and the subpoenas are valid.

        Its only a matter of time before the DoJ puts together the pieces.

  4. Rombizio
    Thumb Down

    Oh well....

    So much for 1984....2011 is much worse in every possible way. And don't get me started on the ridiculous case against Assange. He might be crazy, but he is not guilty of anything.

    1. JimC

      @[Assange] might be crazy, but he is not guilty of anything.

      Just as a matter of interest, how do you know? Were you there?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Were you there?

        I wasn't there either and have no idea what Julian did on that night of the 13th with Miss A but I would love to access Anna Ardin's twitter account records. Shame, I am not a FED agent.

        On Saturday 14 August at 14:00

        'Julian wants to go to a crayfish party, anyone have a couple of available seats tonight or tomorrow?

        Early on the morning of Sunday 15 August (02:00)

        'Sitting outdoors at 02:00 and hardly freezing with the world's coolest smartest people, it's amazing!

  5. Anonymous Coward


    Given that this organization exists to publish information that people wish to keep secret surely the folks being investigated here are being a bit hypocritical. Never mind a court order once they knew that somebody was interested they could have just put there twitter messages on their own web site.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Agreed, slightly hypocritical, however, there is a world of difference between releasing secret footage of, as an example, a helicopter gunning down reuters reporters which the military previously denied ever happened and allowing warantless search and seizure of electronic records of citizens without cause.

      Especially if said warantless search and seizure follows the release of said footage.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby


        You do know that Assange edited the tape he released, right?

        You do know that the helicopter crew were operating within their RoE right?

        You do know that civilians do get killed when in a war zone, right?

        Clearly you don't know anything about subpoenas or specifically law enforcement subpoenas.

        Clearly you don't comprehend that there is an ongoing investigation and that the information being sought has nothing to do with the content but with the information concerning the meta data around the tweets.

    2. Scorchio!!

      Re: Wikileaks

      Shit happens when you party naked, and Jules knew that he was a partying-oh.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Then again

        Not so much difference between the legal access of twitter records held on US servers, and releasing the names and addresses of people in Afghanistan.

        Oh except that now the folks in Afghanistan are likely to get killed.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another Supreme Court Fail

    Why don't they just wipe their asses with the document they're SUPPOSED to be upholding while they're at it.

    Am I alone in being sick and tired of the Supreme Court protecting corporate interests and embarrassed politicians instead of enforcing the Constitution like they're supposed to?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Another Supreme Court Fail

    "Am I alone in being sick and tired of the Supreme Court protecting corporate interests and embarrassed politicians instead of enforcing the Constitution like they're supposed to?"

    Yes - that sounds like terrorist talk.

    I feel another warrantless search coming on...

  8. Ian Michael Gumby

    RIF == Reading is Fundemental.

    Its amazing to read all of the comments posted.

    First this isn't a case of 'warrantless [sic] search and seizure'.

    This is the case of the DoJ during an active investigation had requested a Law Enforcement Subpoena. (LE Sub). Under this subpoena, the target is not alerted and the company being subpoena quietly hands over the data as not to interfere with the ongoing investigation.

    Because these subpoenas can be easily abused and the secretive nature of the subpoena, companies hit with the subpoenas can refuse to comply and then notify those involved and let them hire legal counsel to fight the subpoena.

    This is what happened. The courts ruled that the LE Sub was valid. This was reaffirmed during the appeals process.

    This is not good news for the Assange legal team, nor for his supports who's information is being requested.

    Since the bulk of the comment 'tards are a tad slow to pick up the pieces, let me spell it out to you... The DoJ specifically targeted these individuals. Ask yourself why would they do this?

    Could it be that they were trying to find a link between Assange and Manning? I mean hypothetically speaking... is it possible that someone gave Assange access to their own twitter account, among other things.

    I don't know, but I do know that the scope of the investigation was very limited and fairly specific. I also know that members of Assange's 'volunteers' and supporters have a limited education of the legal system. Not just the US, but that of their own countries legal systems.

    This information is contained in the articles referenced along with the information in El Reg's article.

    The FAIL isn't on El Reg, but on those who consider themselves to be educated and rational thinking people.

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