Saturday, April 23, 2011

Twitter WikiLeaks Information Handover Hearing Cancelled

By Jerry Smith Apr 23 2011

The hearing scheduled for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), on behalf of Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir, US computer researcher Jacob Appelbaum, and Dutch volunteer for WikiLeaks Rop Gonggrijp, to continue fighting the government's demand for their Twitter records had been cancelled.

U.S. District Court Judge Liam O'Grady, who was scheduled to hold a hearing on Friday to hear Jonsdottir, Appelbaum, and Gonggrijp's appeal, cancelled the hearing and decided instead to issue his ruling after he reads the written briefs from both sides.

Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan had ordered Twitter to give U.S. investigators the data it has on subscribers “associated with WikiLeaks,” including WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, Jonsdottir, Appelbaum, and Gonggrijp.

Jonsdottir, Appelbaum, and Gonggrijp appealed that order, but Judge Buchanan upheld it. This hearing, in front of Judge O'Grady, was to be their appeal to the upheld order.

Manning is the U.S. soldier accused of leaking the embarrassing diplomatic cables, the classified documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the 'Collateral Murder' video to WikiLeaks.

Manning is currently facing over 30 charges, the most serious being 'aiding the enemy'. If he is found guilty of 'aiding the enemy', Manning could spend the rest of his life behind bars or get the death penalty.

Manning, who is currently being held at Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia, in solitary confinement, spending 23 hours a day in a windowless 6-by-12-foot cell, shackled and forced to sleep either naked or in a suicide-proof smock due to supposed fears that he may commit suicide, will be transferred soon to a Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Jonsdottir, Appelbaum, and Gonggrijp have been fighting the government demand for their Twitter records, but Assange and Manning have not contested the order. WikiLeaks and Assange feel the U.S. lacks jurisdiction "over expressive activities beyond its borders," and said they would not be taking part in hearings.

Prosecutors say that the appeals are delaying their investigation.

To read more about the U.S. governments attempts to gain the Twitter account information of Assange, Manning, Jonsdottir, Appelbaum, and Gonggrijp, here are a few articles:

ACLU And EFF Appeal Twitter Information Handover Ruling

Twitter Ordered To Give The US Government The Information It Has On Users Associated With WikiLeaks

United States Government Using Twitter To Build Case Against WikiLeaks

Twitter WikiLeaks Information Hand Over Case Waits For Decision

Judge To Hear Arguments Into Twitter WikiLeaks Information Hand Over

Assange, who is still under house arrest at Ellingham Hall in Norfolk, Britain, will continue to fight being extradited to Sweden at a two day hearing at the High Court in London on July 12 and 13.

Assange has been fighting extradition to Sweden where he has not been charged with anything but is wanted for questioning by the Swedish police about accusations of rape and sexual molestation made against him by Sofia Wilen and Anna Ardin. Assange denies the allegations and says he had consensual sex with the two women.

Assange and his lawyers fear that if he is extradited to Sweden he may then be extradited to the United States, where he could face torture, confinement at Guantanamo Bay, both, or even the death penalty.

Assange has angered the United States with the publishing of the leaked embarrassing diplomatic cables, the classified documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the 'Collateral Murder' video.


  1. AnonymousJune 10, 2011

    That darn American government, going after all those people.

  2. Especially poor Manning.

  3. He can't even defend himself.

  4. AnonymousJune 10, 2011

    At least Jonsdottir, Appelbaum, and Gonggrijp are trying to fight the US.