Civil Rights Groups Fight US Gov’s Demand for WikiLeaks’ Twitter Records

Two US-based civil rights groups are standing behind a former WikiLeaks associate in her legal mission to fight the US government’s demand for her Twitter records. While the government had subpoenaed Twitter to hand over the records in secret, Twitter fought to unseal the subpoena and inform those whose information the government was after. Now, some of the targets are fighting back, with the help of high-profile civil rights groups.

Wired reports that The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a motion to challenge and unseal the proceedings of the case against Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic MP and a former WikiLeaks associate, on January 26. This motion was granted on Tuesday.

The EFF says that the government’s demand for such information violates the First and Fourth Amendment.

As we reported in mid-January, Twitter used its legal team to fight to unseal a subpoena from the US government that would have seen the company hand over tweets, ISP addresses, phone numbers and much more of a select group of suspected WikiLeaks associates. Twitter was able to unseal this subpoena, giving proper warning to those under investigation. Jonsdottir is one of a group of targeted Twitter users who are fighting the motion.

A hearing is set for Tuesday, February 15th in Alexandria, Virginia, to determine the validity of these civil rights groups’ claims.