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.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter