Skip to main content

Twitter subpoenaed to turn over Wikileaks information

WikiLeaks hackThe recent Wikileaks dilemma played out widely on social media sites, including Twitter, and now the company is being ordered to turn over account information by a US court. A subpoena filed on December 14 (which was sent to The Associated Press) shows that the US Department of Justice will receive not only the account data of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, but of suspected affiliate former US Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning. Other supporters and volunteers (including a member of Iceland’s parliament) records were also demanded.

Twitter will have to turn over connection records and session times, IP addresses used to access its site, e-mail and physical addresses, private messages, phone numbers, and billing information, for four account holders.

Related Videos

Wikileaks of course had a response to the subpoena, telling Rueters it “strongly condemns this harassment of individuals by the US government.” According to Wikileaks, three of the four accounts in question belong to users who simply supported the site. Wikileaks isn’t the only one protesting: the Icelandic government plans to combat the actions with the US ambassador in Reykjavik, saying it would do everything to protect the privacy of its parliament member.

Shortly after the fallout from Cablegate, a hacktivist group by the name of Anonymous began attacking sites that were blocking WIkileaks access, including Mastercard and Visa. Members of this group were largely using Twitter to organize these online attacks.

Editors' Recommendations

Anonymous to attack US Chamber of Commerce website today over ‘PROTECT IP’ bill

Hacktivist group Anonymous plans to launch attack the US Chamber of Commerce website today at 8pm EST, according to a flier posted to and, which urges Internet users to join in the fight. The distributed denial of service (DDoS) campaign is an act of protest against a piece of supposed anti-piracy legislation proposed by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) known as the "Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property" bill, or "PROTECT IP."

Anonymous, known for its campaigns against both corporations and governments around the world who the group believes stifle the free flow of information, argues that, if passed, PROTECT IP "would allow the US Government to force [Internet service providers] and search engines to censor websites they do not like under the guise of 'copyright protection.'"

Read more
WSJ’s SafeHouse WikiLeaks knockoff isn’t safe, say researchers

Mere hours after the Wall Street Journal unveiled its own version of WikiLeaks, a service called SafeHouse that allows whistleblowers to submit sensitive news to the newspaper's reporters, researchers say that the "secure" service is anything but, reports Forbes.

SafeHouse invites readers to share information relevant to "fraud, abuse, pollution, insider trading, and other harms," and says it offers them the ability to "securely share information with the Wall Street Journal." Members of the security community say, however, that the privacy policy of SafeHouse leaves whistleblowers exposed.

Read more
US developing panic button for activists abroad

Recent events have led to plenty of discussion regarding the Internet and social activists’ safety. The civil unrest sweeping through the Middle East and surrounding countries spurred by social media has resulted in horrific violence. Significant dissidents have disappeared, and their digital dependence, put into the wrong hands, only contributes to their downfall.

Of course, there have been other scares. There’s ample reason to believe that the Chinese government tampered with e-mail addresses of political dissidents and activists from its country, looking to gather confidential information. WikiLeaks' release of diplomatic cables confirmed the US’ suspicion of the activity, and Google has also come forward saying China was blocking Gmail users.

Read more