Judge rules WikiLeaks prosecutors can demand information from Twitter

A federal magistrate has decided Twitter must surrender account information in all probes related to WikiLeaks

By Matthew Barakat
March 12, 2011 2:10AM (UTC)
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The founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange waves as he leaves after speaking to the media after his extradition hearing at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in London, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden in a sex crimes inquiry, a British judge ruled Thursday, rejecting claims by the WikiLeaks founder that he would not face a fair trial there. Assange's lawyer said he would appeal. Judge Howard Riddle said the allegations of rape and sexual molestation by two women against Assange meet the definition of extraditable offenses and said the Swedish warrant had been properly issued and was valid. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) (AP)

A federal magistrate has ruled that prosecutors can demand the Twitter account information of certain users in their criminal probe into the disclosure of classified documents on WikiLeaks.

Three of the account holders targeted by the government had asked the judge to reverse an earlier order she issued requiring Twitter to turn over the information to prosecutors.


A federal law allows prosecutors to obtain certain electronic data without a search warrant. In this case, the Twitter users say the government is abusing the law in a way that harms constitutional protections for free speech and association.

Lawyers for the Twitter account holders -- all of whom have some connection to WikiLeaks -- have said they will appeal.

Matthew Barakat

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