US orders Twitter to hand over private information

A member of parliament in Iceland is starting a legal fight to stop the US getting hold of her private information and messages.

Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic MP, was a former WikiLeaks volunteer. This alone has led to the US justice department issuing a subpoena directly to Twitter to get hold of her information. Jonsdottir said on Twitter that the “USA government wants to know about all my tweets and more since november 1st 2009. Do they realize I am a member of parliament in Iceland?”

She said that the US was “just sending a message and of course they are asking for a lot more than just my tweets.” Demanding a meeting with the US ambassador to Iceland, she adds “the justice department has gone completely over the top.” US authorities had requested personal information from her as well as private messages from Twitter, and she is now considering her legal position.

It’s not just about my information. It’s a warning for anyone who had anything to do with WikiLeaks. It is completely unacceptable for the US justice department to flex its muscles like this”, Jonsdottir stated.

The US has already investigated people who have merely donated to WikiLeaks via Mastercard, Visa and PayPal, however the online watchdog the Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC) has already requested that the US authorities hand over information regarding their investigations into people who have donated. Marc Rotenberg, president of EPIC, said it appeared as if the US justice department was looking at building a case against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, though Rotenberg added that it seems “unlikely” that a lawful prosecution could be brought against WikiLeaks.

Those who read my post Facebook Law Enforcement should be aware that the US authorities are already monitoring social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and users should be aware that the much-heralded rise in social networking can have detrimental effects as well as beneficial ones. Your personal information is very valuable in the 21st Century, where information is becoming a new currency, and not even foreign members of parliament are safe.

Remember, this is coming from the country who ordered the spying on fellow UN members, and who requested personal biometric data from various African leaders, according to leaked diplomatic cables. They do not respect private, personal information. Yet they are well aware of its importance.

Facebook Law Enforcement


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