Appeals Court affirms state secrecy in Twitter/WikiLeaks case

In Virginia today, a federal appeals court has ruled that the government can maintain secrecy around its efforts to obtain the private information of internet users, without a warrant. The appeal originated from a legal battle over the Twitter user records of three activists the government is investigating for connections to WikiLeaks: security researcher Jacob Appelbaum (@ioerror), Dutch hacker Rop Gonggrijp (@rop_g), and Icelandic parliament member Birgitta Jonsdottir (@birgittaj). The ruling effectively says the three do not have the right "to know from which companies, other than Twitter, the government sought to obtain their records," as Kim Zetter reports in Wired News:

The ruling, published Friday, upholds a magistrate’s earlier decision that “there exists no right to public notice of all the types of documents filed in a sealed case” and likens the 2703(d) orders in question to grand jury proceedings, which are not subject to public access.

 From the ACLU's press release:

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation represent Icelandic parliament member Birgitta Jonsdottir. The appeal was filed jointly with Twitter users Jacob Appelbaum and Rop Gonggrijp, and did not challenge the district court judge’s November 2011 decision requiring Twitter to turn over their records.

Ars Technica's account is here.

(Thanks, Aileen Graef)


  1. Jacob Appelbaum has an interesting relationship with his government, on one hand they are trying to fuck him over for his work with wikileaks, exposing their crimes. But on the other They commend and offer to fund (which he refused) his work on TOR, because it helps freedom of speech and anonymity for citizens of those other bad countries who monitor their citizens personal communications.

    Jacobs story of legal persecution from his own government makes the Aaron Swartz case look like nothing in comparison. Once again they are making examples of anyone with a sense of civic decency and moral fortitude.

    Meanwhile untouchable wall-street bankers are watching people all over the world suffer as a result of their criminal actions are laughing into their champaign glasses, confidant they are above the law and well in the clear as this stage.

    1. I see it simply as a battle governments are waging against their citizens over information control. I fear that some day the entire domain of personal information will be subject to the historical traits of luxury and privilege.

  2. Ridiculous. If you have seen the movie Idiocracy about the future. I am starting to think thats the way people are in many countries. Eating, sleeping and fucking. Like animals with no brain activity. 

    The way US handled matter nowadays is no better then the al-qaida. Breaks rules. Imposes rules  with no legal grounds on non US citizens and non US companies. Never before have they been so upfront with the imperialism power. Their media is just a joke. Corrupt, controlled and stupid. The hole thing is just laughable!

  3. Wow, those “Freedom isn’t free” bumper stickers are finally becoming relevant.  The only people that can afford freedom anymore are the richest Wall Street corporatists that can pay off the government.

  4. Reading this makes me sick! They are destroying creativity, innovation, technology and intelligence by restricting, attacking the Rights of subjects and their freedom of speech and right to live peacefully. A hacker once told me “the computer underground is gone deeper and deeper”. I wonder if Plato, Einstein, Archimedes and the rest would have succeed in our world today. Their ground breaking theories, research and innovation thinking set the foundation on which great things have been built. Try some of these today and you’d be targeted and harassed in some situations tortured until you “commit suicide”. It’s even going to get worse as the rich becomes richer and the poor becomes poorer and all good things play in the hands of the former.


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