US Court Rules Twitter Data Of Wikileaks Associates No Longer Private

A US court ruled on Thursday that the Twitter accounts of three people associated with Wikileaks must be handed over to the federal government.

In a case that has been in the courts since January, three individuals reportedly connected to Wikileaks have been fighting to keep their tweets private from the US Justice Department.

However, as Wired reports, a US District Court Judge has just released a 60 page opinion upholding an earlier ruling in the prosecution’s favor. She explained that the defendants would have to hand over their Twitter information – including when and to whom they sent their direct messages and IP addresses associated with their Twitter use – to the Justice Department. However, the ruling did not require the contents of their messages to be released.

The same judge rejected arguments made by civil rights groups that the court documents be unsealed.

The three individuals whose privacy and Twitter accounts are on the line are activist Jacob Appelbaum; Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of parliament from Iceland; and Dutch businessman Rop Gonggrijp. All are reportedly connected to Wikileaks: the latter two connected with preparing and releasing a classified video for Wikileaks and the former is the US representative for the organization.

Interestingly, the US Justice Department was also after the official Wikileaks Twitter account, however Wikileaks head Julian Assange and his team haven’t disputed the case against them.

You can view the full District Court ruling on Wired.

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