US judge to investigate Wikileaks Twitter privacy case

An American federal judge in the state of Virginia will this week decide whether the US Department of Justice can legally force the website Twitter to hand over private information on Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir, and others connected to Wikileaks.

According to CNET, the case will be heard today in Alexandria, Virginia and will centre on whether the Department of Justice has the right to demand the information from Twitter; and also on whether legal documents connected to the case should be made public.

Lawyers working for Birgitta Jonsdottir, Rob Gonggrijp and Jacob Appelbaum are fighting for the government demand on Twitter to be overruled. They argue it is not possible for the government ministry to prove that the information it seeks will be useful in its case against Wikileaks and that the information should therefore remain private, because their clients also use Twitter to discuss other political and personal matters completely unconnected to Wikileaks.

In Jonsdottir’s case, the lawyers point out that she is a member of a foreign national parliament and uses Twitter mostly to discuss Icelandic affairs. If the Department of Justice wins its request for the information, it would set a clear precedent that could allow foreign countries to demand private information on US politicians, they claim.

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