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Twitter order to hand over WikiLeaks data appealed

Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Mar 2011 2:20 User comments (2)

Twitter order to hand over WikiLeaks data appealed

A U.S. Judge's decision to compel Twitter to hand over data of three users linked to the Wikileaks website has been appealed by rights' groups in the United States.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) are challenging the ruling, made earlier this month, which compels Twitter to hand over data on American, Icelandic and Dutch twitter users somehow linked to the controversial website.

"Except in very rare circumstances, the government should not be permitted to obtain information about individuals' private Internet communications in secret," said ACLU staff attorney Aden Fine. "If the ruling is allowed to stand, our client might never know how many other companies have been ordered to turn over information about her, and she may never be able to challenge the invasive requests."

Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan rejected claims that seeking the Twitter information violated freedom of speech and privacy, on the basis that the three individuals had already made their Twitter posts and their associations public knowledge voluntarily. She also stressed that the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution protected people against "unreasonable" searches by authorities.



She asserted that when all three relayed information with their Twitter accounts, they gave up any reasonable expectation of privacy. The EFF thinks this decision not only misses some big points, but is also a bad precedent to set.

"Services like Twitter have information that can be used to track us and link our communications across multiple services including Facebook and Gmail," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "The Magistrate's ruling that users have no ability to protect that information from the US government is especially troubling."

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2 user comments

126.3.2011 06:17

Quote:

She also stressed that the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution protected people against "unreasonable" searches by authorities.

That is the problem with vague laws...what is "unreasonable"? Is holding someone's head underwater until they confessed to watching a youtube video "unreasonable"? Maybe driving pieces of wood under someone's toe nails, that seems perfectly reasonable by Guantanamo Bay standards.




226.3.2011 11:48

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Quote:

She also stressed that the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution protected people against "unreasonable" searches by authorities.

That is the problem with vague laws...what is "unreasonable"? Is holding someone's head underwater until they confessed to watching a youtube video "unreasonable"? Maybe driving pieces of wood under someone's toe nails, that seems perfectly reasonable by Guantanamo Bay standards.

It is one thing to build a straw man for an example about Guantanamo Bay detainees, which is completely unrelated to this this story.

Unreasonable? Hmmm, isn't there an investigation looking into who leaked classified information was leaked? It is reasonable I would think to follow the information trail to see who leaked what. Provided it they have proof the information trail leads that way... I have a problem with people that have security clearances and leaking information they swore to keep private. But i'm also not naive to see the government use it as a grab to get other information they weren't directly looking for.

On the other side, what i'm really surprised about, why does the government already need the information from them? I would venture and guess they already have the information with as much surveillance they are all ready doing. It seem rather then needing to do a lot of reassembling of the network traffic they just want an easier way to get the data i bet they could already assemble if desired.

On the other side i'm just as mad and frustrated as you i believe over the loss of many of our rights to freedom, while at a dinner party with some friends, many Russian, they were saying how much the Homeland security and the rest of the associated agencies resemble the good old KGB... I think the U.S. is so f'ed up now, people no longer matter, it is all about corporations, people have lost so many rights in order to protect the all mighty corporations, but that is another issue...

Not saying this is a simple issue, and i would be the first to argue the treatment of those at Guantanamo isn't right, but then again we may not have all the information. On the other side i would agree either try them in court or let them go. I as an American would say we need to live by the laws we have and not be hypocritical with double (triple?) speak for the treatment of the detainees. And for the matter I thought our laws forbids torture. I for one would agree this "War on Terror" sure seems like a figurehead for Two minutes of hate from Orwell's 1984...

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