If the Iranian government was to attempt to coercively obtain this information from journalists and activists of foreign nations, human rights groups around the world would speak out. — Julian Assange
I think I am being given a message, almost like someone breathing in a phone. — Birgitta Jonsdottir
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
Note that we can assume Google and Facebook also have secret US government subpeonas. They make no comment. Did they fold? — twitter
Wikileaks has committed no crime in the US. Julian Assange has committed no crime in the US. Wikileaks supporters have committed no crime. Nato has said no lives have been put at risk.
But one would would not think so from the hysterionics coming out of the US. One would not think so from the death threats coming out of the US.
If you work for the US governement, you are not allowed to read Wikileaks, not allowed to discuss or talk about, not even allowed to access from your home computer. If you work for the USAF, you are not even allowed to read The Guardian. I am tempted to stand outside a USAF base, pst, would you like a Guardian?
One would not think so from the inhumane treatment of Bradley Manning, held in solitary confinement for several months. He has not been charged with anything. The only ‘evidence’ against him has come from a pathological liar associated with Wired. A patholigical liar who changes his story with every time of telling.
We have Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Bank of America refusing to handle transactions for Wikileaks claiming they are doing something illegal but have yet be able to say why or what is illegal. On the other hand they are more than happy to process transactions for illegal Jewish Settlements in Occupied Palestine. [see Spot the difference between Israel and Wikileaks]
The lastest is to demand of twitter that they hand over information re Wikileaks and any supporters of Wikileaks, though the reports are as yet a little confused as to what is being demanded and from whom.
One of those targetted is Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic MP and former WikiLeaks volunteer. She says the US justice department has ordered Twitter to hand over her private messages.
@birgittaj just got this: Twitter has received legal process requesting information regarding your Twitter account in (relation to wikileaks)
@birgittaj usa government wants to know about all my tweets and more since november 1st 2009. do they realize i am a member of parliament in iceland?
@birgittaj i dont blame twitter for what is going on – they managed to unseal the subpoena and thus i know about it and can do something about it.
Birgitta Jonsdottir has demanded a meeting with the US Ambassador to Iceland. She says “The justice department has gone completely over the top.” She said last on twitter that the “USA government wants to know about all my tweets and more since november 1st 2009. Do they realize I am a member of parliament in Iceland?”
“It’s not just about my information. It’s a warning for anyone who had anything to do with WikiLeaks. It is completely unacceptable for the US justice department to flex its muscles like this. I am lucky, I’m a representative in parliament. But what of other people? It’s my duty to do whatever I can to stop this abuse.”
Can we any longer trust US corporations who dominate the Internet? Is there any difference between these global corporations and the state? The US is already using PayPal, Visa and MasterCard to learn who has made donations to Wikileaks.
Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC) in Washington, said it appeared the US justice department was looking at building a case against WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, over its publication of secret US documents. EPIC has already requested that the US authorities hand over information about their investigations into people who have donated to WikiLeaks via Mastercard, Visa or PayPal.
If twitter has had a request to hand over information on Wikileaks supporters, then it is reasonable to asume Google and facebook have had similar requests. Did they quietly roll over?
@wikileaks Note that we can assume Google & Facebook also have secret US government subpeonas. They make no comment. Did they fold?
Birgitta Jonsdottir has probably pissed of the US as in 2009 she took Julain Assange to a party at the US embassy in Reykjavik where he chatted with the ambassador to Iceland.
WikiLeaks published a secret report on the collapse of Iceland’s banks.
In Iceland Birgitta Jonsdottir has championed the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative which is aimed at creating legislation to make Iceland a legal haven for journalists and media outlets.
Birgitta Jonsdottir is not the only one to be targetted by the US authorities. July 2010 Jacob Appelbaum, one of Assange’s closest colleagues, was interrogated for three hours and had his phones confiscated upon entering the US at Newark airport. Customs officials photocopied receipts and searched his laptop.
The subpoena served on Twitter, which is actually an Order from a federal court that the DOJ requested seeks the same information for numerous other individuals currently or formerly associated with WikiLeaks, including Jacob Appelbaum, Rop Gonggrijp, and Julian Assange. It also seeks the same information for Bradley Manning and for WikiLeaks’ Twitter account.
The information demanded by the DOJ is sweeping in scope. It includes all mailing addresses and billing information known for the user, all connection records and session times, all IP addresses used to access Twitter, all known email accounts, as well as the “means and source of payment,” including banking records and credit cards. It seeks all of that information for the period beginning 1 November 2009, through to the present.
The Order was signed by Federal Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Virginia Theresa Buchanan and served on Twitter by the DOJ division for that district. It states that there is “reasonable ground to believe that the records or other information sought are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation” (language required by the relevant statute). It was issued on 14 December 2010 and ordered sealed, ie kept secret from the targets of the Order. It gave Twitter three days to respond and barred the company from notifying anyone, including the users, of the existence of the Order. On 5 January 2011 the same judge directed that the Order be unsealed at the request of Twitter in order to inform the users and give them 10 days to object. Had Twitter not so requested, it would have been compelled to turn over this information without the knowledge of its users.
The specific clause of the Patriot Act used to acquire the subpoena is one that the FBI has described as necessary for “obtaining such records [that] will make the process of identifying computer criminals and tracing their internet communications faster and easier”.
The subpoena itself is an unusual one known as a 2703(d). Recently a federal appeals court ruled this kind of order was insufficient to order the disclosure of the contents of communication. Significantly, however, that ruling is binding in neither Virginia – where the Twitter subpoena was issued – nor San Francisco where Twitter is based.
This is clear abuse of the Patriot Act. Terroism legislation that was rushed through in the wake of 9/11. Legislation used not for dealing with terrorism but for clamping down on democracy.
This is further evidence of the willingness of the US to probe, harass and intimidate anyone having anything to do with WikiLeaks, anyone willing to expose the War Crimes of Obama.
The behaviour is that of a totalitarian state and it is completely unacceptable. Obama is proving to be an evil president on a par with Robert Mugabe.
And just in case we need reminding, and most of the mainstream useless journalists clearly do need reminding, these henious crimes of of which Wikileaks and Julian Assange stand accused (though not in the Court of World Opinion) is to investigate and expose those in high office corrupted by power and to hold them to account.
It is not a crime to expose war crimes! It is not a crime to expose war criminals!
This month Julian Assange is back in Court to fight extradition to Sweden.
Shame on BBC for their pathetic news coverage. Blink and you would have missed it. More time was devoted to Liverpool sacking their manager.