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January 8, 2011

Department of Justice Subpoenas Twitter for Personal Info of Wikileaks Supporters

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a subpoena against Twitter, demanding for the personal information of a number of known Wikileaks supporters. These include Birgitta Jonsdottir (a member of the Icelandic parliament), Rop Gongrijp (a Dutch hacker), Jacob Applebaum (Tor developer), Bradley Manning (solder believed to have leaked info to Wikileaks), and Julian Assange himself. The order requests a large amount of personal information including:

  1. Subscriber names, username, etc
  2. Mailing, residential, business and email addresses
  3. Connection records, and records of session times and durations
  4. Length of service, and type of service utilized
  5. Telephone or other subscriber number
  6. Means of payment (including any credit card of bank account number)
  7. All Tweets (private or not)

The original Order was sealed, meaning that the intended targets of the information request could not be informed that their data was being subpoena’d. At Twitter’s request, the Order was unsealed, and the targets informed. Many of these individuals will undoubtedly be contesting the subpoena, for which they now have 10 days. It is believed this information is being requested as part of a growing criminal investigation into Wikileaks.

A copy of the Order served to Twitter is available here (PDF), and a more in-depth report can be found here. I wonder if the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will weigh in on this one…

[Update] According to Wikileaks, the subpoena potentially covers over 637,000 people who follow Wikileaks on Twitter. Iceland has blasted the US’ demand.

Sources: Salon, cnet

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