US orders Twitter to hand over account data on Wikileaks and multiple Wikileaks supporters


88 Responses to “US orders Twitter to hand over account data on Wikileaks and multiple Wikileaks supporters”

  1. Dougall says:

    One of the things I dislike most about the behavior of the American government is its notion of extraterritoriality. Why in the world should an citizen of an different country have to obey or be charged under American laws? That speaks to the heart of sovereignty.

    Sure, Americans, in your own country, obey or disobey your laws. Have whatever strange religious beliefs you want. Oppress your own minorities, cheat on your taxes, your wives, whatever, but try to understand that you don’t own the whole world. Other countries are not part of your country (despite the ignorant tourists who seem to think Canada and Mexico are just other states).

    Arrogance is not attractive. The rest of the world has seen plenty of it from you.

  2. ericmartinex1 says:

    Guess what, this all stems from a criminal investigation (gasp!). So the Feds are doing their job investigating a high profile secrecy breach (gasp! How dare they!).

    I guess Manning gave up the goods and names on Twitter while they were waterboarding him and electrocuting his nipples right?

  3. MrAverage says:

    how do you spell fckng pgs?

    They’ll put us in cages for thinking, for dissenting, for smoking flowers or ingesting a sacrament, for refusing to die for their profit, for not wanting our children to be crippled for the benefit of their class.
    Their Department of “Justice” makes demands from citizens of other countries, but the only demands made from the beneficiaries of power (neil-george-jenna-barbara-noellle-jeby bush, paris hilton, and the like) is alcohol and cocaine abuse.

    The empire never died.

  4. Anonymous says:

    How long until they start grabbing the information of anyone who even follows WikiLeaks on Twitter? Or have they?

    Guilt by association, right? Better make sure we investigate any and all possible troublemakers.

  5. Baldhead says:

    The US shows once again that the only freedom they truly prize is their own. This both bullying and desperately grasping at straws to find anything that proves Assange plotted with Manning beforehand, instead of merely possessing the final product.

  6. Robbo says:

    Yo, DoJ!

    I too am a supporter of Wikileaks – and I have the “Insurance File” and have been sharing it freely with others. My Twitter account is open for all to see.

    P.S. Bite me.

    • Michael Smith says:

      Robbo: Bite me.

      DOJ: okay we are going to need two pieces of information. Your latitude and your longitude.

  7. kaini says:

    whilst being completely execrable behaviour, this is also very interesting. this isn’t a ‘basement dwelling “hacktivist”‘ (oh, how i loathe that term) that they are – basically – threatening here. it’s a member of parliament in that hotbed of radical liberalism, iceland.

    i think it demonstrates that the american government are now worried enough about this whole clusterfuck that they are willing to risk damaging international relations with one o’ those pinko commie countries.

    • Michael Smith says:

      i think it demonstrates that the american government are now worried enough about this whole clusterfuck that they are willing to risk damaging international relations with one o’ those pinko commie countries.

      I live in a smaller country than the US, though not as small as Iceland. I assure you that the US is not in the slightest bit concerned about damaging relations with Iceland. The US has enormous economic power. They can pull any strings they want.

      • Ugly Canuck says:

        Perhaps you’ve missed the news about the nation of Iceland being effectively bankrupted by the dealings of crooked international bankers and their political allies over the past two years.

        They are very interested in the “secret banking” documents….
        why aren’t Americans?

      • Ugly Canuck says:

        “The US has enormous economic power. They can pull any strings they want.”

        In secret, you mean?

        And they can attack any country any way and any how they want at any time, right? I mean, who’s going to stop them!

        Yeah, sure. Just keep on thinking that.

        “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

        -Proverbs 16:18

        • mathdemon says:

          Oooo! Bible thumping from a Canadian, EH!? :D

          No, but really, Wikileaks initiated the chicken race believing that the US govt. would veer off first. Bad judgment.

          What will be interesting at this stage is not whether Twitter will hand over the info of not (they will), but how the “terrorist faction” (or they want to call themselves “Anonymous”) of the Assangists will react to all this. I predict that they’ll once again lash out against anybody perceived to have “let down” Wikileaks. They will have to. If they don’t, all those acne-infested white male teenagers on 4chan will eat them alive. “U SUCK anonymus!!1 Fags!!1 etc, etc, etc…”

          Which ultimately will lead to Wikileaks losing more support. You can’t expect any other outcome when a bunch of white teenagers of high school age are trying to force their will on the “evil adult population”. (I can already imagine the acne-infested faces mutter “no u”.)

  8. awjtawjt says:

    I am probably not the only one who thinks this demand is NOT a salient threat. Grand Juries do what Grand Juries do. They plot a course, then gather information, then issue a finding and ultimately a recommendation or indictment.

    So naturally, they are now past the stage of enumeration of instruments they can use to gather their information: subpoenas, powers granted by various Acts or various judicial maneuvers. And the natural next step is to carry out the information retrieval, then move into a deliberation phase and eventually toward the endgame.

    I wouldn’t expect anything different from a grand jury, secret or not.

    What’s worrisome is that this secret grand jury will most likely lead to a secret trial, preceded by a public extradition of a non-citizen journalist. Which, in my sense of justice, just ain’t right.

    But for the time being, is this phase of things in the realm of the unexpected? No. The Grand Jury’s behavior is consistent and within expectation.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Since when does Twitter ask for phone number, address, or credit card info?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Department of Justice? There’s some doublespeak right there…

  11. jennybean42 says:

    I am confused about one thing. Isn’t all of twitter already being archived for the Library of Congress?

    So why do they have to subpoena anything? And how did anyone expect privacy in the first place?

    Of course, ironically Library of Congress is blocking Wikileaks, too..

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is the start of the physical war.

    There has been an ideology war going on for ages- and the government has become increasingly paranoid of it’s citizens.

    Now they are going after names and accounts of people for trying to know the truth. Last I read, there were something like 657,000 people in the US that had top secret clearance.

    We are not living in a democracy. I cannot state this strongly enough- the United States has fallen into Stasi Fascism now. The government is about to fall on it’s people, and we will become like Chinese citizens are already- constantly monitored, and silenced for dissent.

    THIS IS NOT PARANOIA- they are actually taking our names for supporting a news organization. This is the Pentagon Papers multiplied by 10,000 times, and they are on a witchhunt for the people around the world who want to see the truth.

    We should all be very afraid right now. If US citizens are imprisoned for supporting wikileaks, no one is safe. It is the rise of a new Stasism, this time, in America.

    And no one will believe me until we are all in jail, or dead, if anyone ever does. There is no justice as long as people like wikileaks are considered terrorists.

    Speak up before it’s too late for all of us- don’t be the man of the poem who didn’t speak up- they are coming for all of us!

  13. kaini says:

    jennybean – it’s the *direct messages* – i guess the twitter analogue of email or PMs on a forum – that they’re after. twitter is capable of sending private messages as well.

  14. Anonymous says:

    “Those whom the Gods wish to destroy…they first make stupid.”

  15. Don says:

    I find Assange, wikileaks, and their cheerleaders to have gifted the world with the most amazing faux theater misdirection. It’s performance art people! Assange gets his book deal, he turns on his pals, and pockets the money. His performance is for the money. Just gave himself a salary, gets him a book deal, and plenty of publicity. Andy Warhol was right. Assange is just whoring out those 15 minutes as profitably as he can. Hell, he’s a just a bloody good capitalist.

    Remember kids, it’s just theater. Performance art.

    • Cowicide says:

      and Assange obviously scares the living shit out of you.

      Nothing to see here! Hahaha….

      So, what a great, easy way to make money, huh?… Get the largest empire the earth has ever seen to hate you and want to destroy you, your friends and possibly even your family.

      So how do you make money…? By hitting yourself in the head with a hammer in a freak show? Easy money, huh?

  16. kaini says:

    this is strongarmery, thuggery, couching itself in legal terms. the more on this story becomes available, the more i am disgusted. a cautious well done to twitter for unsealing the subpoena, and a wholehearted well done to boingboing for staying on top of the story.

    all the same though, i mean jesus fucking wept. i feel like i’m living in one of cory’s novels.

  17. user23 says:

    I strongly suggest you take a page from my book –

    baleet yourself & your tax dollars from the US.

    As far as we all know, we have just this 1 life to live. For me, life is too short to waste living in a totalitarian regime empowered by a fawning, hyper-conservative religious right.

    If I may digress for a moment…I read my first Robert Heinlein book when I was 16. He taught me much, that genius did. One of the things I learned from him at that tender, impressionable age is how to recognize the End Times of a society.

    tl;dr – the U.S. is going the way of the dodo. Get out while the getting is good.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh please. I read Heinlein too as a kid. The only thing I learned from him was that it’s OK for people on the moon to have sex with teenagers.

  18. tizroc says:

    I think that there is a strong likelihood that supporters information is being gathered for a variety of reasons. One that comes to mind is sympathizing supporters being in a position of replicating the embarrassment.

    Our government has a lot of civilian contractors who have access to High-side servers. While I am unsure of what would be done with this information, it will likely be used in peer review of people with TS and above access.

    While I personally don’t think just because someone has political leanings, or because they have sympathy for an issue that they would necessarily break their oaths and/or contracts to read/leak sensitive information. I couldn’t support the gathering of this information for this purpose, or for strong arming dissent. The witch hunt this could cause in the sector of work as well as abuse of power issues are and have proven time and again to be fruitless other than for propaganda. No good has come from these kinds of witch hunts, if this is one of the uses the information would be made use of…. or even if it were for creating new FBI jackets on everyone, again. It’s all just bad.

    You woke up late for rights, and don’t want your life to suck!
    You ask your Government please, but they still say NO!
    You gotta fight… for your right, to DISSENT!!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I am at least glad that we are, at least, using a court system now vs. the calls for murdering Assange and the taking down financially of wikileaks by corporations. The secrecy of it all bothers me, not that our government thinks it has to have transparency or accountability to the people. Mark has it dead right what members of the US government, Republican or Democrat, actually think of us. There is no Us in U.S.

    Although it appears that Twitter did the best it could legally, it does make me wonder about using that service for American dissent, Iranian maybe, but American probably not.

  20. AT203 says:

    The court order confirms that this is a 28 USC 2703(d) request. (Not a subpoena.) These can be issued outside of the Grand Jury context, by law enforcement.

    The requesting party can “delay notification” to the targeted party, under certain (broad) circumstances. That is, they can keep the request secret from the target. 28 Usc 2705. Law Enforcement may do this without judicial review (2705(a)(1)(b) “upon execution of a written certification of a supervisory official”.)

    The court order says that notification was delayed because “prior notice … would seriously jeopardize the investigation.” (Since this order was served on twitter, destruction of any evidence was presumably beyond the capability of the targets. Perhaps the court is saying that the existence of the inquiry would hurt the investigation.)

    It is important to understand what material has been demanded. SCOTUS in Smith v. Maryland (the famous pen register case) ruled that content (telephone calls) are subject to the 4th Amendment, but that non-content (telephone numbers, billing records) are not. Years later, congress passed the Stored Communications Act (18 USC 2701 et al.) This statute is an opaque, unconstitutional, clusterfuck written by syphilitic morons.

    Skipping to the punchline, there are still some distinctions between content (in the modern era, the content of emails or instant messages) and non-content (email addresses, ip addresses). With that in mind, this court order is limited to non-content info. They are requesting identity and account information. They are also requesting certain transactional information. They have not (in this document) requested the content of twitter Direct Messages (which are presumably analogous to emails or instant-messages).

    • oheso says:

      opaque, unconstitutional, clusterfuck written by syphilitic morons.

      I love that turn of the phrase! It’s going to be the name of my next band.

  21. manicbassman says:

    Come on Wikileaks, stop pussyfooting around… dump the dirt you’ve got on the banks right now…

    the pressure on Assange et al only ramped right up when it emerged they planned to release serious dirt on a major US finance house… and we all know just who is really running the show over in America right now… the banks…

    • user23 says:

      no, not just the banks. it’s beyond the banks. the banks are just a tool of ->

      it’s the multinational corps. any & all of them with the capital to buy & sell any government or ruling body on the planet.

  22. spocko says:

    Remember how twitter was used by ‘the little people” who were tweeting revolutionary information? What does twitter do when those foreign governments come to them?

    Government: Please turn over the connecting info from these tweeters

    Twitter: We can’t do that!

    Government: Really? You gave the US government the info on Julian Assange and other Wikileakers.

    Twitter: That’s different, our government said they are terrorists.

    Government: So are these people.

    Twitter: We will not turn over this info to a government that tortures people and holds them indefinitely.

    Government: But the US tortures people and holds them indefinitely.

    Twitter: Yeah, but

    Government: Okay, how about you simply follow your very own twitter rules.
    Twitter Unlawful Use: You may not use our service for any unlawful purposes or for promotion of illegal activities. International users agree to comply with all local laws regarding online conduct and acceptable content.
    What these people did was unlawful in our local area.

    Twitter: Okay. But we need a subpoena, court order, or other valid legal process to disclose information about our users per our guidelines for law enforcement.

    Government: That’s easy, we have judges standing by

    Twitter: Twitter accepts legal process from law enforcement agencies delivered by mail or fax. Include a valid email. We correspond by email at lawenforcement@

    If anyone here needs yet another good reason to join the EFF and support them, this is it. One of the areas that they look at are TOS, AUPs and EULAs. Those are documents are what other corporations and the government use when they need to shut someone down or gather information about someone who uses their services. ABC/Disney used the TOS of 1&1 hosting to have my blog shut down using a bogus copyright violation. If it hadn’t been for the EFF and some friends on the Internet like boing boing and Ctyme hosting I would still be offline.

    • Cowicide says:

      The sad thing is that the disparaging parts where you compare the USA to other nations that torture and detains people without charges is… true.

      America is so far down in the mud right now it’s disgusting and, meanwhile, the indoctrinated parts of the public eat it up out of fear, cowardice and ignorance.

      You apologists who keep attacking Wikileaks are misinformed, pitiful weaklings. You disgust me.

      • Cowicide says:

        By the way, I wasn’t referring to you spocko in the last sentence in case that wasn’t clear!

        • spocko says:

          Thank you Cowicide. I think that this aspect of the story is very very important. People need to understand that the techniques that the government is using on Assange and Wikileaks, via the tools that they us, can be used against them in a snap.

          I know that I’m spewing all sorts of identifying information right now that could be easily used to track me. And we also know how easily the government can define “criminal activities” What is less clear to many is how many corporations create TOS that put the rights of their customers last.

          When the Gov went about shutting down Wikileaks access to the various tools they simply looked into the various TOS and AUPs of the companies and told them to follow their own rules.

          I think that the right in America should be paying attention to this too, but they won’t because of who is being targeted.

          If I wanted to, I could probably get Twitter to suspend Sara Palin’s twitter account. All I would need to do is show them an example of her violating their terms of service. I won’t do this because Palin would turn it into a story about who she is the victim and this commercial product is violating her “first amendment rights!” (even though the 1st amendment has nothing to do with the TOS of a company like twitter since they aren’t the government.

          But it will take a right wing person to get kicked off of Twitter or have their info made public that will get the news media to finally notice just how lopsided these TOS, AUPs and EULA are.

  23. andygates says:

    I’m beginning to see the suckage in Twitter being hosted in a nation with crazy law-enforcement people.

    Not to mention the vulnerability of it being Twitter, not just one tweet service. Imagine tweets like emails: twitter as protocol, so if you didn’t want your US tweetserver kowtowing to the Feds, you could just sign up to a Swedish one, say.

    Hey nerds: warm up the RFC engine, make this happen. Twitter is awesome, but one point of failure is sucky, dangerous and dumb. And no matter the legality, giving private stuff away is a failure from the user point of view.

  24. kjh says:

    The information demanded includes all postal mailing addresses, billing data, connection records, session times, IP addresses used to connect with Twitter, all email addresses, and “means and source of payment,” such as bank account information and credit cards. Notably, the order does not demand the content of the accounts: public tweets or private “direct messages.”

    How is this not a fishing exercise?

  25. mhenriday says:

    Freedom of speech and information – only limited, that is, by the desires of those running the US government. And a jurisdiction that pretends to extend all ’round the world ! The irony is that these are the same people who are constantly complaining about what they call «human-rights violations» in places like China. Quod licet Jovi non licet bovi ?…


  26. benher says:

    Nooo!!! These actions can only mean that the USA has finally assimilated the glonous cultual of the PRC!!!

  27. travtastic says:

    Use your proxies and aliases, people! Come on!

  28. Capissen says:

    Hey feds: I have financially supported WikiLeaks via PayPal (before they shut it down). Come and fucking get me.

    (Christ, what an asshole.)

    • Anonymous says:

      I too supported wikileaks with a $25 euro donation. Then I thought about it and realized that I’ve been supporting my govnerment to fight them with thousands of dollars every year – in tax dollars. That’s what *really* gets under my skin.

  29. Cowicide says:

    I guess this sort of behavior is what we should all expect from a country that illegally criminalizes dissent.

    You have the right to free speech as long as you’re not dumb enough to actually try it.

    The Clash “Know your rights”

    • m224j says:

      I don’t see criminalization of dissent in the US or at your link. They government is arguably abusing its power, but that’s a long way from actually criminalizing dissent.

      If you want to see criminalization of dissent, look to Europe, where just about any kind of dissent is potentially subject to criminal penalties. In Germany, people get thrown into jail for making fun of the national anthem, and politicians have been threatened with legal proceedings for criticizing the church.

      (login isn’t working, so I’m responding anonymously)

      • Cowicide says:

        I don’t see criminalization of dissent in the US or at your link. They government is arguably abusing its power, but that’s a long way from actually criminalizing dissent.

        Trite semantics. The USA is harassing people, ransacking their homes, putting them up on charges, etc. for daring to participate in non-violent activism. You could do yourself a favor to google up the RNC activists who were harassed as well.

        Sorry, I’ll continue to refer to that behavior as illegally criminalizing dissent. Maybe if you were one of those people targeted in the link I gave, you’d have a much different opinion on this matter.

        Don’t worry, the way things are going… your day might come too if you live in the USA.

        The rest of us will have to just watch our mouths, eh?

      • elNico says:

        In Germany, people get thrown into jail for making fun of the national anthem…

        Really? I guess I’m glad to be still alive…

        Did this happen when a protest went rough and people end up being detained for all sorts of non-reasons…with the appropriate fallout afterwards? Is this the last straw to grasp for you to avoid looking at how far down the drain your country is?

  30. MustWarnOthers says:

    Hey feds: eat a few handfuls of my shit.

    I love how our Government has just been perpetually embarrassing itself (even more than usual) since Wikileaks really entered the spotlight recently.

    Every move they make has skeptics turning into believers, and believers into angrier believers.

    • Cowicide says:

      Hey feds: Fascism doesn’t look good on you. It time for YOUR fucking leaders (the PEOPLE) to strip it off you.

      I feel a meme coming on…

  31. Bulone says:

    Since wikileaks has been exposing dirty secrets of gov, gov has been acting like their jurisdiction extends the whole world;that’s funny. Certainly, they’ll garner more love from outsiders in the process.

  32. deckard68 says:

    All her tweets about Justin Bieber or what she had for breakfast are going to be scrutinized, for what? And what is this about credit card info, when Twitter is free?

  33. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    It’s never been “We, the people.”

    It’s “You, the little assholes who need to mind Us, your betters.”

  34. Hearts and Boxes says:

    ♪…and land of the free♪

  35. DrNick says:

    Is nobody else relishing the irony of a wikileaks person refusing to hand over information?

    • Cowicide says:

      Hey look, it’s DrNick behaving like a cowed citizen… this is YOU, right?

      So when did you lose your self-respect DrNick? Well, I guess you can keep trying to restore your dignity by attacking people who still have it… but it’s not working for you, sorry. It’s fruitless.

    • Anonymous says:

      @drnick no doubt choking on your own cleverness, except that these individuals can expect to be prosecuted by the apparently democratic powers that be. There are obviously no such consequence for faceless bureaucrats. Conflating the two is a false dichotomy.

    • travtastic says:

      No. You’re the absolute very first person on the internet to make that connection when no one asked.

    • Art says:

      Poignant observation, Dr.Nick.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, I don’t see the irony. It’s not like anyone asked the US government to hand over diplomatic cables, did they? Or perhaps it’s the US government is seeking to publish tweets that were somehow confidential? No, what I see is the heavy hand of the Administration again trying to bully someone who committed no crime.

      That not irony. That just reprehensible.

    • jetfx says:

      A desire for privacy is not inconsistent with a desire for an open government. The government is beholden to its people, not the other way round. Besides, this is a case of embarrassed authority attempting to crush its critics, not a simple criminal investigation. Since when does criticizing a foreign or one’s own government mean losing one’s right to privacy?

    • Sean Bonner says:

      Well, nobody who knows the difference between personal and governmental privacy/transparency and understands what wikileaks is trying to do.

    • Anonymous says:

      What I say in my name is private. What the government does in my name is not, or should not be, private.

  36. Mallory Destiny says:

    How much more is going to be needed, before people stand up and oppose their governments, both US and other so called democracies? How much more harrashments, how much more bullying, how much more abuse of power by govs and companies and institutions are we going to accept? Where will the line be drawn where we say “Till here and no step further.” Are we the frog in the tub while the heat is turned up until we’re cooked?

    Wish I was a hacker, or was skilled to code so that I could help Wikileaks, because I would definitely contribute my skills. I wish I was skilled to run a server to run a mirror, but I am not…
    Unfortunately I just can write a bit (I don’t dare to call myself a journalist anymore!) and spread news on Wikileaks, cables, harrashments and all, over the web in usual ways, such as Twitter, blogs and Facebook and I am not going to stop that because the US government, or any government tells me so. I am not going to hide myself, nor my opinion. If there’s more I could do, I would like to learn.

    What is your limit? What do you do?

  37. jdawgnoonan says:

    I used to think that I knew what it meant to be American, and I thought that it had something to do with individualism, freedoms of thought and actions, and having inalienable rights inherited from just being. The America I was taught about in school no longer exists, if it ever did, apparently. In school the eras of McCarthyism and witch hunts were taught to us as warnings. We live in an era that deserves similar labeling.

    • thefixer says:

      Amen. It’s disgusting, isn’t it?

      When growing up, I was taught that U.S. doesn’t torture, due process was part of a series of rights held as humans, the US is not an imperialist power and always played fair. We always stood up for the little guy, and one of the main reasons for the constitution was to insure the rights of the minority and the politically weak while carrying out the will of the majority.

      As I got older and started to read more of history and started to carefully watch what was going on, it became abundantly clear that it likely wasn’t true ever, and it’s only gotten worse.

      It would be nice to think that we have an informed electorate that will demand action and right the wrongs. And the “informed” part of that is where we have traditionally had the problem.

      The media in this country is and mostly has been owned by powerful persons or corporate interests whose first obligation is to make money. This requires and insures that they not “rock the boat”. Hence, valid alternative viewpoints are seldom heard, or effectively heard. Dissent is seldom presented in a meaningful news context, only occasionally appearing on TV at 3 AM and lost in the noise. Then there are the “news” sources that are nothing more than thinly-veiled attempts to spread propaganda.

      Your average person has much to do, little time to do it, and even less time for real news that requires even basic research. Those who do get their news from the Internet go to sites that are run by big corporations, mostly, and the important stories are not told there either. Reasonable people, when presented the full story (framed properly) would certainly object to what’s been going on. However, that same average person will largely ignore this as long as they’re being fed BS that sounds reasonable, appeals to their sense of patriotism, and does not interfere with their day-to-day activities. Apparently, the threshold has not been reached and crossed just yet.

      When that happens, look out. If we aren’t totally screwed then, it will be a long, difficult road back to decency.

  38. AT203 says:

    My intuition is that the government probably already has this information, using 18 USC 2703(d) orders (Stored Communications Act, “relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation”.) This request may be because either of evidence formalities, or because one government hand doesn’t know what the other is doing.

    On a related note, it is scary what the government can compel with the grand jury context, under the justification that the 4th Amdt. doesn’t apply in such contexts. A good starting point is United States v. Dionisio, 410 US 1 (1973). (You can skip to pg. 8.)

  39. Saul says:

    While it is a minor point, the order says that it can be responded to via plain old unencrypted, unsigned, public internet email. That leaves me speechless at its cluelessness.

  40. iCowboy says:

    If the US gets heavyhanded over Birgitta’s involvement with WikiLeaks it might be time for the Icelanders to show some of their fabulous fuckyoutitude towards America. There’s still a lovely big disused American airbase at Keflavik – I wonder if the Russians or the Chinese would like to rent it at a low, low rate?

  41. jonr says:

    Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    So, reading the above vs. what is going on with Assange, has the 1st Amendment been suspended? Has it somehow become consititutional for Congress to make ANY law abridging freedom of speech or of the press?

    Use of the word, “no,” in the amendment is clear, as is the intent.

    Or, is it no longer incumbent upon the Executive branch to uphold the contitution, in spite of oaths sworn or affirmations made?

    I’ve read comments by people claiming to be ex-military who say that what Assange did was wrong, but our own military, officers and enlisted personnel alike, are ALSO required to swear or affirm, “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”

    Do these things no longer have meaning? Is the U.S. Constitution now become a joke? Something for the U.S. government itself to trample on?

  42. Anonymous says:

    So in the name of transparency why don’t they just publish all this data themselves and save tax payers , twitter and the courts the trouble?

    • Cowicide says:

      You know, you seem kind of suspicious to me, Anon. How about we get the Feds to knock down the door to your home, knock the shit out of you and your family, ransack your belongings and throw you in prison?

      You know… all in the name of transparency, right?

  43. Sapa says:

    I realised that this business with wikileaks is a set up quite early on. This is to be expected. The dirty tricks brigade are having a field day.

  44. ericmartinex1 says:

    The battle of the douchebags? Hamfisted DoJ vs. media whore Baby Jesus incarnate Assange?

    If Manning et al. are stupid enough to send the info via Twitter (which I doubt he did) then he deserves federal prison.

    Oh well, Manning shouldn’t have breached his contract with the state having a Secret clearance and all, this would have never been an issue. Exposing war crimes or shady business dealings is one thing, exposing botox usage of the Italian Prime Minister or the fact that DoS is helping further American industry while other countries rely on “personal relations” and greasy palms is another.

    And yes, I am aware of the cable purporting to the contractors that pimped out the boys: the report may or may not have started an internal legal investigation into the contractor since the cable itself is not a judge, jury, and executioner – but a report written by another agent or at best a careerist bureacrat of the “evil empire.”

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      “If Manning et al. are stupid … then he deserves federal prison.”

      The philosophy of cruelty.
      Blame the victim.

  45. zuludaddy says:

    Wait – She’s Icelandic, and not a US citizen, correct? Can she be compelled? Would the 5th amendment come into play at all? How about diplomatic immunity?

    And DrNick [Hi, Everybody!], I think the conceptual difference between the two cases is in one instance, the lowly have exposed the mighty. In the other, the mighty bullies the weakling. Only one of these situations is unusual.

    All in all, I’m glad I hold more than one passport. This is more embarrassing in light of the hope we’d all had that the US’s worst was behind us.

    • Stooge says:

      zuludaddy, she could be Martian and it wouldn’t make any difference: it’s Twitter that received the subpoena.

    • AT203 says:

      Unfortunately, you’ve got it backwards. The fact that she is not a US citizen likely means that she does not have standing to challenge the subpoena’s of her information.

      • zuludaddy says:

        Thank you and stooge for clarifying. I am not a lawyer, but i do try to understand the rules and procedures – and have plenty to learn…

        So, because Jonsdottîr contracted for services with a US corporation, regardless of her diplomatic status and expectation of privacy, her identifying records, etc., can be subpoenaed by the US government and thus must be turned over?

        If so, this seems rather like harassment of a member of parliament of a foreign ally. I’m with kaini at #24 on this point.

  46. querent says:

    Hey Feds: Material supporter right here. And I will NOT be intimidated into acting otherwise.

    Seeding Collateral Murder and the Afghan War Logs via bit-torrent right now.

    And calling the EFF is also the first thing I’d do if hit with a subpoena like this.

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