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WikiLeaks Supporters' Twitter Accounts Subpoenaed 391

HJED writes "The US Justice Department has served Twitter with a subpoena for the personal information and private messages of WikiLeaks supporters. There's a copy of the subpoena here (PDF); boing boing has a detailed article. Twitter has 3 days to turn over the information."
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WikiLeaks Supporters' Twitter Accounts Subpoenaed

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  • by owlstead ( 636356 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @09:03AM (#34803382)

    There is a threat to democracy, quick, suspend all civil liberties!

  • by walshy007 ( 906710 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @09:03AM (#34803386)

    Individuals are entitled to say as they wish to each other in their private lives, the moment that is stopped in the name of 'national security' when they are discussing politics is when you should get the hell out.

    To where is the only real question.

  • by Haedrian ( 1676506 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @09:12AM (#34803432)

    When you have a facist/nazi/evil/whatever state you have people getting taken from their homes for not supporting the glorious leader/fuhrer/overlord/whatever and protesting?

    Good times.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 08, 2011 @09:13AM (#34803438)

    Step 1: Pressure internet companies into violating individual rights
    for the sake of security. e.g. withhold money saved online, block

    Step 2: Play into anti-free-market sentiments of the Internet users.
    Whine about how the companies that make the Internet possible are the
    real threats to freedom of information on the Internet. Cite examples
    of companies which were pressured into violating the individual

    Step 3: Justify government control of the Internet as a measure
    against excessive human greed.

    Step 4: Take control. Decide who can see what on the Internet.

    Step 5: POWER!!!

  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @09:17AM (#34803456) Journal
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/01/state_dept_launching_democracy.html [npr.org]
    ..the State Department says, it's launching a Twitter contest to "tweet what you think democracy is in 140 characters or less." The person who gets the most "unique re-tweets" will receive a Flip Video HD Camcorder."
    "Evan Williams [co-founder of Twitter] says Twitter fundamental to government"
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8563109.stm [bbc.co.uk]
    "open exchange of information will prevail in most regions, but we don't have any specific plans in China or other areas where we're blocked"
    All sounded so cool when it was aimed at ....
    Welcome back to reality. Enjoy the gems from WikiLeaks, note whats missing and welcome to the honeypot.
  • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @09:31AM (#34803516) Homepage

    Well, at least, I'd hand them a gigantic picture of a whale. "Sorry, your legal standing is over capacity."

  • What??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @09:36AM (#34803544)
    So they are demanding the personal information of a Non-US citizen, that's not in the country and did not access Twitter from within the United States? Nor did any of them commit any sort of crime on US soil. Could a middle eastern country charge my wife for wearing a bikini to the beach in Florida and then demand her personal information from Twitter?
  • by Notch ( 1612475 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @09:38AM (#34803554) Homepage
    Who's applauding, though? From what I can tell, it's mostly just a stunned silence punctuated by occasional mutterings of "wait, isn't this wrong?".
  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @09:49AM (#34803616) Journal

    Anyone notice Obama is acting a lot like Bush lately? I would have expected a "give me your damn twitter accounts!" coming from the Bush government, but not under Obama who was supposed to end that nonsense. ALSO I wonder what the politicians fear wikileaks so much? I'm tempted to set-up a twitter account and "friend" Wikileaks just for the sake of solidarity. Maybe they'll come after facebook next. Or Michael Moore (he supports the website).

    >>>Move to where is the only real question.

    Pretty much. The European Union is not any more free than the American Union. China is definitely out, and Australia/Canada are less free then even the US. (Australia is filtering the net, arrests people who DRAW sex images of children, and Canada recently forced a reporter/artist to submit to questioning when he included a Muslim in his cartoon.) Ironically the freest state might be the former soviet union, now known as the Russian Federation. Too bad it's so damn cold there.

  • by 3seas ( 184403 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @09:58AM (#34803678) Homepage Journal

    What is happening here is the application of war tactics applied by the US defense department, only Wikileaks has no WMD's only words. Perhaps the defense department can justify its military spending by using its stock of WMD's???

    There is a genuine and serious need for psychiatric evaluation, constraints and care of what is apparently many in government, specifically the defense department and defense contractors like Halliburton.

    Consider the following and how so far out of line it really is, to the point of insanity. Who are we ever going to go to war with that would justify this level of military spending? Add to the US spending that of allies that the US would not go to war against. And then consider what the last link presents.

    Clearly, absolutely, without doubt, there is solid evidence of insanity of some in very dangerous positions. They need to be identified, removed from their positions and treated for their mental disorders.

    What's wrong with this picture?
    http://bit.ly/ey8svA [bit.ly]
    http://bit.ly/hHIwSs [bit.ly]
    http://bit.ly/9BDHA7 [bit.ly]
    http://bit.ly/hsrMaE [bit.ly]
    http://bit.ly/8iTYUu [bit.ly] (even if adjusted for inflation [x2]) Maybe the way to deflate so called terrorism is, instead of acts of destruction. correct real problems.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 08, 2011 @10:07AM (#34803728)

    Anyone notice Obama is acting a lot like Bush lately?

    Bush never ordered the assassination of an American citizen. Or at least if he did, he had the decency to be ashamed of it and not announce it as being public policy.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @10:21AM (#34803808) Homepage

    Everything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law. The connections you make, the things you read, everything. The government has too much power and by indulging in these useless social media activities, people are making themselves into potential targets by participating in them. Say you were curious about wikileaks and subscribed to Assange's twitter. Well guess what, now the government knows who you are, you are on yet another list and only because you were curious about what he had to say.

    I'm not condemning social media as much as I am condemning this sort of behavior from government. But while the government IS behaving this way, people should be more careful in response.

  • by Cwix ( 1671282 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @10:39AM (#34803928)

    What's wrong with this picture?

    The fact that you posted shortened urls, that no one is gonna look at?

  • by walshy007 ( 906710 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @11:42AM (#34804438)

    I'd recommend a different action than "getting the hell out". Get elected and change the laws.

    Anyone who is ruthless enough to actually be elected normally does not deserve the position. To win you must be a master of both public speaking and doublespeak. After concessions are made to your ethics in order to gain the required popularity to win it is a slippery slope and by the time you get there (if you do) you become just as bad as those that were in power before you.

    Not saying I have the solution to it, only that there are another set of problems to think about.

  • by Steeltoe ( 98226 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @11:57AM (#34804552) Homepage

    A law was broken? So what? You are probably breaking more than a dozen laws a week, just by living and breathing, taking shortcuts over the lane, missing some info on the tax report, etc. If someone is out to get you, they can easily find something on you, or fabricate evidence against you.

    If you had any spine left in your body AC, you would ask yourself WHY someone put their LIFE on the line to disclose this information, and why someone else do EVERYTHING in their power to stop it..

  • by Torvac ( 691504 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @12:02PM (#34804580)
    since he is just a corporate paid speaker like bush was, its no wonder. doesnt matter what president is "in power" if its still the same people around and behind him.
  • Re:Rememeber 2007! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Steeltoe ( 98226 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @12:16PM (#34804684) Homepage

    Of course not! When it's China doing it, then it's "the bad guys". When it's USA, it's "the good guys".

    Do as we tell you, but don't do as we do..

  • by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @12:56PM (#34805034)

    ... in the US government's life of doing whatever the hell they want without a court involved

    This was a court order; in fact the first link in the summary was to the court order. Page 2 basically states "This is a court order".

    I am at a loss for words sometimes when people can assert things in direct contradiction with the article, and get modded up for it. Real "interesting", i suppose.

  • by Somewhat Delirious ( 938752 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @01:03PM (#34805098)

    This is a fishing expedition for the purpose of a political trial.

    There corrected it for you.

    And people are railing against specific actions and attitudes of the US government, which now, thanks in large part to Wikileaks, are very well documented reasons as well.

  • by dangitman ( 862676 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @03:19PM (#34806024)

    Non US citizens outside of the territory of the US do not have any of the same rights that US citizens have.

    The Declaration of independence opens with these words:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

    So clearly, the rights enshrined in US law are intended to apply to all humans. And this gets to the heart of "rights," whether in the sense of US law, or the more international conception of "human rights." They are meaningless unless they apply to everybody. If something is a (human) right, then why would it only apply to people who are citizens of a certain nation? If you hold any belief in the notion, they should apply to people regardless of country of origin.

  • by chrisG23 ( 812077 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @04:20PM (#34806592)
    I agree with you and hate to be a nitpicker, but the Declaration of Independence is not part of US law. It is a statement of principles and reasons for the thirteen colonies rebelling against the British Empire. Legal rights start at and derive from the US Constitution. The Declaration of Independence was and is tremendously influential towards US political philosophy, so maybe what you meant to say is that "clearly the rights enshrined in US government philosophy are intended to apply to all humans." And yes, we have never fully lived up to our principles, and have done many things completely counter to them throughout history and up until now, and that it is the job, the duty of the citizens of the country, to keep the government continually in check, even when it means inconveniencing our lives.
  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @04:58PM (#34807076) Journal

    That's like saying FDR didn't actually imprison japanese-and-german-Americans. He just ordered other diplomats to do it.

  • by tehdaemon ( 753808 ) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @06:17PM (#34808096)

    The constitution is clear and careful with the wording it uses. When it means citizen - it uses the word 'citizen'. Most of the bill of rights uses the term 'people' not citizens. It means what it says. The US simply does not have jurisdiction over most people outside of the US, there is nothing in the constitution to imply that those people not not have those rights.

    Not all rights are inalienable, and since some of these rights have been granted to US citizens only, it is not wrong to say that citizens have more rights than non-citizens. The right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures does not fall into this category.


In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982