US Justice Dept Subpoenas Twitter for Info on Wikileaks Volunteer

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Today the US Justice Department subpoenaed Twitter for the account information of an Icelandic politician who worked as a volunteer with Wikileaks and Julian Assange.

“I got the letter from Twitter a couple of hours ago, saying I got 10 days to stop it,” wrote Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of Iceland’s parliament, in an e-mail. “Looking for legal ways to do it. Will be talking to lawyers from EFF tonight.”

EFF refers to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit civil liberties group in the United States.

On her Twitter feed, Jonsdottir said the government is seeking an archive of tweets she sent out since Nov. 1, 2009 as well as “personal information” for her account.

Josdottir told Threat Level that the request was filed by the Justice Department on December 14 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia. This is the same jurisdiction where, according to previous press reports, a federal grand jury is investigating possible charges against Assange, with whom Jonsdottir has worked closely.

They’re looking for connections and evidence to prove that Bradley Manning and Julian Assange collaborated to steal the classified documents.

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is suspected of leaking the Army video to WikiLeaks earlier this year. In chats with former hacker Adrian Lamo, who turned him in to authorities, Manning indicated that he had first contacted WikiLeaks sometime in late November 2009. This corresponds with the time period mentioned in the government’s request for Jonsdottir’s tweet history.

UPDATE at 1/7/11 6:14:31 pm:

Boing Boing has more: US subpoenas Twitter for accounts of two Wikileaks volunteers.

The U.S. Justice Department has apparently served Twitter with subpoenas related to a case involving Wikileaks and Bradley Manning. One of these involves Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of Iceland’s parliament who has worked with WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

The other is Wikileaks volunteer Jake Appelbaum, according to a statement published by Appelbaum on Twitter today.

A Twitter spokesperson tells Boing Boing the company will not comment on specific legal requests, “But, to help users protect their rights, it’s our policy to notify users about law enforcement and governmental requests for their information, unless we are prevented by law from doing so. We outline this policy in our law enforcement guidelines.”

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