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.