WikiLeaks and Twitter: Four supporters’ accounts subpoenaed by US

We’ve been following the WikiLeaks saga for many months and of course covered the most recent round of leaks and the story of its founder Julian Assange’s fight not to be extradited to face questioning in Sweden over sex crime allegations. We also told readers about how organizations such as the Bank of America, Apple, Amazon and PayPal, amongst other, had cut their ties with WikiLeaks but how social networking sites Twitter and Facebook were holding strong and not prepared to ban WikiLeaks yet.

However more news has developed and the BBC reported that the US government has subpoenaed Twitter for details of WikiLeaks activists and supporters. Information such as names, addresses, records of connections, telephone numbers and payment details has been requested by the US District Court in Virginia, including the details of Julian Assange himself. This is because the US government is looking into the possibility of pressing charges over the hundreds of thousands of leaked military documents and diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks.

It has also emerged that interestingly Twitter was told not to reveal the existence of the subpoena or the investigation, however those restrictions were later removed and Twitter was told it could disclose this information to its customers. Later developments, reported by AFP today, are that 4 WikiLeaks supporters’ Twitter accounts have now been subpoenaed, including those of Assange and also Icelandic lawmaker Birgitta Jonsdottir.

A statement from WikiLeaks said, “Today, the existence of a secret US government grand jury espionage investigation into WikiLeaks was confirmed for the first time as a subpoena was brought into the public domain.” WikiLeaks also said that it believes other organizations, including Facebook and Google have also received court orders adding, “WikiLeaks is opposing the subpoena order and is currently taking action to instruct US lawyers.”

This is a hugely significant development in the WikiLeaks story and the U.S. government’s opposition to the whistleblowing site and we’d like to know where you stand. Are you a WikiLeaks supporter or maybe you think a legal case against the site is justified? Please do send us your comments about this case which could have vast implications for the future.

  • scared

    To scared of my government to speak.

  • Dter

    Give me absolute control, over every living soul…. The future is murder! Leonard Cohen

  • Haydon Young

    This is precisely why it is necessary for the public to know what the power people try to hide. This is also why Wikileaks and Julian Assange have the right to exist uninhibited. Julian Assange and Wikileaks are being persecuted and run into the ground simply because the power people want to get away with corruption and lawlessness for the purpose of increased power and profit all in the name of "patriotism". The power people must be stopped by revealing the details of their own schemes. Julian Assange and Wikileaks must be supported by the regular folk so that the world can be free.

  • freeassange

    We are all Wikileaks, so come and prosecute every pair of eyes, ears and mouth that talks freedom if you dare.

  • Garve

    The US government / political class is risking a great deal for very little benefit.

    Amazon, Paypal, Facebook, Twitter and Google are US companies which contribute massive amounts to the US economy. These companies are all global brands, and as such their success relies upon non-US citizens like me, 95% of the world's population, feeling able to trust them with their data and custom. If due to the US government's actions we start moving to non-US based alternatives the US economy will suffer badly in the long run.

    This huge risk needs to be balanced against what they hope to achieve – the best outcome for the US govt would be that they get their hands on Julian Assange, prosecute him successfully and jail him for a very long time as a deterrent to others. However, anyone following this story knows that that's very unlikely. Extradition from the UK or Sweden to the US will prove almost impossible, and even if he did end up in the US, expert US legal opinion is that it's unlikely that he could actually be prosecuted for anything. Beyond that, the 'deterrent' aspect would also fail utterly – Assange would become a martyr and 100 Wikileaks clones would appear in its place.

    For its own self-interest the US badly needs to take a step back, accept that Wikileaks has a right to exist and tighten up its own internal security to try to prevent leaks in the future. After all, we know that if Wikileaks' current target was Iran, China, Russia or many other countries, the US govt would be applauding them rather than trying to shut them down.

  • http://gabrielhaze.com Gabriel Haze

    For once the U.S. citizens will be forced to stand up against their government on something they can relate to outside of race or religious background. Having the right to know what the government does with our money is something that crosses all walks of life. I dare the government to start arresting it's citizens and watch the outcry.

  • Bruce Illig

    Let me add my vote to these 100% supportive comments: yes, they have the right, and they may be the last vestige of democracy left in America. Speaking of America, now that homeowners are winning lawsuits against the ongoing criminal enterprise Bank of America, it would be a good time for Wiki to leak those executive hard drives. I myself intend to make a generous contribution to Wiki as soon as that hits the public airwaves.

  • Urvi

    We have to decide which is the lesser of the two evils-the leaks or U.S.A's continued policy of occupation and unjust wars? Assange has belled the cat of U.S. aggression to begin the advent of peace in the world.

  • AnonymousCritic

    Didn’t I read somewhere that Julain Assange sold his life story for millions?

    That puts him on the same level as the rest of the crooks. It’s all about money and getting his name in lights.

    • esther schmeer

      He's not on the same level as the rest of the crooks! Look at the info available! He said he did not want to write a life story, but he must contribute to his immense legal fees!

      • AnonymousCritic

        I call BS on that! Lawyers would be tripping over themselves to defend the guy, just for the feather in their own cap. Assange is a greedy narccisist. Nothing more.

        The other thing which everyone is overlooking is that the citizens of the internet at large are the ones who are going to be suffering/get penalized for this guy, and his mob of supporters misconduct.

        Again, this creep is only in it for the money and to feed his ego.

        The world could have lived on just fine without this.

  • AnonymousCritic

    Another thing… Where are the banking leaks?

    I’ll tell you where…. He’s probably purposely foot-dragging and likely making secret deals with BofA and whoever behind the scenes. Otherwise he would have just dumped them without making a huge dog and pony show out of everything.

    He is a sell out and a world class scam artist IMO.

    Do you really think this guy cares about anything other than seeing his name covering the planet and his millions of dirty pounds or dollars??

  • paul crawford

    Solomun Rushdie was sent into hiding by radicals, now Julien Assange is pursued by the US, not one bit of difference, we even had a Canadian bureaucrat saying he should be executed.