WikiLeaks Activists and Twitter Data: Hearing set about dispute

If you are a regular reader here at OSM you’ll have noticed that we’ve been closely following the WikiLeaks saga including its founder Julian Assange’s fight against extradition to Sweden and also about WikiLeaks supporters hacking major company websites.

We also reported around a month ago on the news that Twitter accounts had been subpoenaed by the U.S. government for four WikiLeaks supporters and activists. The U.S. government were looking into possible charges over the thousands of leaked documents made by WikiLeaks and the request came from the U.S. District Court in Virginia and asked for details such as names, addresses and records of connection.

One of the accounts that was subpoenaed belonged to founder Julian Assange and another account involved was that belonging to Icelandic lawmaker Birgitta Jonsdottir and at the time WikiLeaks stated that they would oppose the U.S. subpoena order. We have now heard from Declan McCullagh over on Cnet, that a date for a hearing about this dispute has been set for February 15 by a federal judge in Virginia. The case will decide if there is legal justification for the Twitter accounts in question to be accessed by the U.S. Justice Department and will also look at whether court records so far kept secret, should be made public.

Three WikiLeaks supporters involved have filed a joint motion against the subpoena request and they are Jonsdottir, who we previously mentioned, and also Dutch hacker Rob Gonggrijp and Jacob Appelbaum a U.S. computer programmer. Matt Apuzzo over on The Washington Post also reports on the dispute and yesterday asked the U.S. Department of Justice for a comment, which has not yet been forthcoming.

What are your thoughts on this hearing? Do you think that the information requested should be turned over to the U.S. government or maybe you think these Twitter communications should remain protected? Let us know with your comments please.

  • Voter

    This is trampling on the rights of all of us. Government forgets it is "of the people, for the people, and by the people" and wants to substitute "government" for "people."

    The Information Highway seems our only conduit left to attempt to free humanity from its oppressors.

    When our founding fathers were fighting the American Revolution for our independence, our oppressor was Great Britain. It doesn't take a Thomas Paine to recognize that at the moment, the major oppressor of the United States People is the United States Government.