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The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog, Special Weekend Edition! | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog, Special Weekend Edition!

As I've done for more than five weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET. For more follow me on Twitter. Read about my latest book on wild, immensely influential election campaign here.

UPDATE Check out Monday's edition of this blog here.

**SUNDAY**

10:55  Paris Match interview with Assange, translated.  "Wearing a bracelet is much more bothersome than being in prison.  It's like... like a chastity belt. Something that undermines your physical integrity.... the reality is that I was in solitary confinement, and today I'm under house arrest. Whereas people in the American adminstration who have organized murders by the thousands, war crimes, torture, are free. We are certainly a courageous organization, but not a powerful one.... Sarah Palin said that I should be pursued like Osama bin Laden. I say to her: 'Good, that'll take you at least ten years!'"

9:15  ACLU on chilling effect of DOJ move on Twitter: "These government requests for detailed information about individuals' Internet communications raise serious First Amendment concerns and will have a chilling effect on people's willingness to engage in lawful communications over the Internet. There are serious doubts as to whether the government's interest in obtaining all of this private and constitutionally protected information is sufficiently compelling to outweigh the constitutional interests at stake"

7:55  Several Hillary Clinton statements on Wikileaks today, reported by Wash Post, on visit to UAE, including: "I think I will be answering concerns about WikiLeaks for the rest of my life, not just the rest of my tenure as secretary of State." And Clinton said she had quipped to one of her aides that she needed a tour jacket, similar to ones used by rock bands, that would have a "big picture of the world and would say 'The Apology Tour'" on it. The fallout from the WikiLeaks affair "is still in the atmosphere," she said.

3:25  Nancy Youssef, veteran correspondent at McClatchy: In WIkiLeaks fight, US Journos Take the Fifth. "Just three years after a major court confrontation that saw many of America's most important journalism organizations file briefs on WikiLeaks' behalf, much of the US journalistic community has shunned Assange—even as reporters write scores, if not hundreds, of stories based on WikiLeaks' trove of leaked State Department cables.... With a few notable exceptions, it's been left to foreign journalism organizations to offer the loudest calls for the US to recognize WikiLeaks' and Assange's right to publish under the US Constitution's First Amendment."

2:30   Jacob Appelbaum, one of those mentioned in DOj / Twitter move, just tweeted: "After a good deal of thought, I've decided to fly home from Iceland tomorrow to Seattle as planned. The ACLU will meet me at the airport." He recently had laptop confiscated at an airport. 

11:30  Does Twitter have rights to resist DOJ?  Former Asst. US attorney tackles it at Fire Dog Lake.

10:30  Protests backing WIkiLeaks and/or Manning have continued, if on small scale, around the globe. Here is report on a modest one in Santa Cruz, Ca.

9:35  The Guardian with what it calls the "definitive timeline" on WikiLeaks under attack.

9:10  Well-known US media writer Dan Kennedy tweets: "As a First Amendment statement, I am now following @WikiLeaks. Come and get me, Mr. Holder."

9:00 Iceland summons US ambassador to express concerns about Twitter subpoena and MP there.  Plus, the MP, Birgitta Jonsdottir, says she wants clear answers on whether it is safe for her to travel abroad. “I don’t know if I can go to the US without risking that my phone or computer will be confiscated.”

8:50  Stephen Walt at Foreign Policy: Wikileaks, April Glaspie, and Saddam Hussein .

8:40  A Channel 4 TV report from UK, with Assange attorney Mark Stephens on the Twitter assault. Elsewhere he said, "What they are trying to do is hoover data up to see if anything can identify the source." 

8:30  Larry Lessig and Mark Rasch on what US really after in the Twitter subpoenas.

8:20  "It is so sad. This is not how America wants to present itself to the world."—Birgitta Jonsdottir

8:00  Judge Evans has agreed to use of Twitter during Assange's next court hearing on Tuesday.

BELOW  The full story of the shocking new DOJ move against WikiLeaks supporters, seeking records from Twitter, as it developed, most recent news at top.

SATURDAY 

11:30 pm As many seem to "unfollow" the official @WikiLeaks feed, it advises: "Too late to unfollow; trick used is to demand the lists, dates and IPs of all who received our twitter messages." They also note: "Help us fund Twitter Subpoena legal fight! http://wikileaks.ch/support.html."

11:20  Iceland blasts US government over Twitter subpoena.

11:10  @WLLegal tweets:  "If IP addresses of all 600,000+ @wikileaks followers are accessible to gov't through the subpoena, @twitter should publicly address."   The official @WikiLeaks feeds had said:  "WARNING all 637,000 #Wikileaks followers are target of US gov subpoena against Twitter, under section 2. B http://is.gd/koZIA ." 

5:00  Obviously, I have taken a lot of time "off" to tweet about assassination attempt on U.S. congresswoman and death of five or six others.

1:55  The Icelandic MP tweets, @birgittaj: "talked with USA lawyers late last night - will get some legal advice Monday."   Also global coverage of the DOJ case -- maybe bad move by Obama admin since Twitter used all over the world.

1:50  A report that Mark Stephens, one of Assange's lawyers, told UK television that Skype may have gotten a subpoena.  Will check.

12:20   John Burns with NYT piece on the DOJ / Twitter move. No news, but couple points: "The facsimile of the subpoena showed that it had been authorized by the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria, Va., outside Washington, an office that has often been used by the federal government in highly sensitive criminal inquiries."  And this on fact only two of targets are US citizens: "This immediately raised the possibility of a diplomatic row between the United States and allied nations whose citizens were among those covered by the subpoena. They could argue that American laws were being used to stifle free communications between individuals who were not American citizens, and who were not in the United States at the time of the messages that were the target of the subpoena."

12:10  Need a break? With apt music pick for today, The Clash, "Clampdown." (h/t @littletompaine)  I guess we'll see if  "I Fought the Law" works—remember the second part, "and the law won." Too bad third song was not titled "Tweet in Vain. " Also, I would proudly like to point out that my daughter now lives in Brixton.

 
11:30  BBC correspondent: "If confidential details of overseas Twitter users are disclosed to the US authorities, how keen will an international audience be to trust this or other American social networks in future?"

10:50  The Guardian updates, with Assange statement, and puts at top of its home page.

10:35  Jim Sciutto of ABC News in London reports via Twitter: "Reacting to US subpoena of his and others Twitter accts, #Assange compares US to Iranian govt." And: "adds that if Iran did same 'human rts gps around the world would speak out'."

10:25  Marcy Wheeler at FDL on what US might really be after in Twitter records.

10:20  Note to DOJ: You can't stop me, you can't even contain me.

10:05  Worst headline of day from UPI: "Nasty rebound for ex-WikiLeak Woman."  That's the Iceland MP, by the way.

9:40  Iceland's Interior Minister weighs in on DOJ probe of country's MP, calling it "odd and grave." And here's another piece from Iceland news outlet, which also notes it is major story there. 

9:35 Glenn Greenwald tweets: "These obsessive, repressive leak investigations are occurring under a President who campaigned on transparency & whistle-blower protections." 

9:05  The Guardian focuses on calls for Google and Facebook to unseal subpoenas if they exist. Report cites "strong evidence that a US grand jury has begun a wideranging trawl for details of what networks and accounts WikiLeaks used to communicate with Bradley Manning.... The emergence of the subpoena appears to confirm for the first time the existence of a secret grand jury empanelled to investigate whether individuals associated with WikiLeaks, and Assange in particular, can be prosecuted for alleged conspiracy with Manning to steal the classified documents."

8:50  Jeff Jarvis tweets: "For the record: good on Twitter." Glenn Greenwald replies: "100%." 

 8:30  AP covers the story, here via NYT.  

8:20  No response from Google and Facebook yet on whether they got subpoenas. As Glenn Greenwald notes this morning, "the key question now is this: did other Internet and social network companies (Google, Facebook, etc.) receive similar Orders and then quietly comply? It's difficult to imagine why the DOJ would want information only from Twitter; if anything, given the limited information it has about users, Twitter would seem one of the least fruitful avenues to pursue.  But if other companies did receive and quietly comply with these orders, it will be a long time before we know, if we ever do, given the prohibition in these orders on disclosing even its existence to anyone."

7:40   More reaction via Twitter. Bianca Jagger:  "The #USGov demands the "right" to privacy, but when they want information, they obtain it by force: subpoena #WikiLeaks & its supporters."  Neal Mann of Sky News in the UK: "The #USGov demands the "right" to privacy, but when they want information, they obtain it by force: subpoena #WikiLeaks & its supporters."   

7:35  A CNN wrap-up piece. Wire services covering now as well.

7:25  The Icelandic MP, Birgitta Jonsdottir, at center of things tweets this morning: "Talked with the Icelandic minister of Justice - he is now looking into the case of demands of DoJ wanting my twitter details."

7:20 a.m.  One of those whose records are sought, Rop Gonggrijp, blogs about it and reprints full alert from "Twitter Legal."  Glenn Greenwald tweets: "The key question now is whether other companies besides Twitter received similar orders and quietly complied."  Evgeny Morozov adds:  "another Q is: did any members of Global Network Initiative silently comply with DoJ's request when Twitter (not in GNI) didn't?"

12:35  WikiLeaks official Twitter feed: "Note that we can assume Google & Facebook also have secret US government subpeonas. They make no comment. Did they fold?"

12:25  Glenn Greenwald with brief update: "Three other points: first, the three named producers of the'"Collateral Murder' video (left)—depicting and commenting on the U.S. Apache helicopter attack on journalists and civilians in Baghdad—were Assange, Jónsdóttir, and Gongrijp. Since Gongrijp has had no connection to WikiLeaks for several months and Jónsdóttir's association has diminished substantially over time, it seems clear that they were selected due to their involvement in the release of that film. Second, the unsealing order does not name either Assange or Manning, which means either that Twitter did not request permission to notify them of the Subpoena or that they did request it by the court denied it. Finally, WikiLeaks and Assange intend to contest the Subpoena served."

FRIDAY

11:45  Glenn Greenwald first with details of DOJ subpoena on the below—and the subpoena served on Twitter itself, along with some other names. Key: "The information demanded by the DOJ is sweeping in scope. It includes all mailing addresses and billing information known for the user, all connection records and session times, all IP addresses used to access Twitter, all known email accounts, as well as the "means and source of payment," including banking records and credit cards.

BoingBoing summarizes subpoena and other stuff here.

11:30  Privacy Inc. reviews tonight's events in the DOJ / Twitter / WIkiLeaks arena. Meanwhile, Twitter issues statement: "It's our policy 2 notify users about law enforcement...requests for their information, unless...prevented by law."

11:00  Marcy Wheeler: "A note about the Wikileaks subpoena. They're investigating Assange as a Spy. Which means they could have—but didn't—use PATRIOT [Act] secrecy."

10:35  Official WikiLeaks twitter feed reveals: "There are many WikiLeaks supporters listed in the US Twitter subpoena."

10:25  Of the US DOJ going after Twitter info of Icelandic MP, Evgeny Morozov tweets: "If the Iranian govt asked for DMs of Iranian activists, State Dept would be all over this violation of "Internet freedom." Well, now we know that DM is really short for "dumb."

8:05  The Iceland MP talks to The Guardian: "Jonsdottir told the Guardian she was demanding a meeting with the US ambassador to Iceland. 'The justice department has gone completely over the top,' she said."

And now Jacob Appelbaum, recent visitor to Iceland, tweets: "Do not send me Direct Messages - My twitter account contents have apparently been invited to the (presumably-Grand Jury) in Alexandria." And: "To be directly clear - I hear that my account information has been subpoenaed."

7:55  Updates on the case of Iceland MP drawing interest from DOJ for past WikiLeaks association (see bunch of items below): Here are Birgitta Jonsdottir's latest tweets. "I have nothing to hide and have done nothing wrong - i have no intention to hand my information over willingly to DoJ." "thank you ALL for your support, means a lot to me & the next steps in our fight for freedom of information, hoping to get legal advice soon." "if twitter hands over my information - then no ones information is save with twitter." Here's a new Wired story on this.

5:40  All sorts of key issues raised by the DOJ / Iceland MP / WikiLeaks case (see below), but one not to be overlook is: Will Twitter comply with DOJ probe? Already many tweeters calling for resistance. One Twitter wag @jm111t urges: "the Iceland justice department should demand all of Senator Joe Lieberman emails to retaliate!"

4:50  Note on the important DOJ vs. Iceland MP story below: Birgitta Jonsdottir was one of those WikiLeaks backers who— it's been widely reported—allegedly had a falling out with Assange. She was particularly active in the Collateral Murder video action. She even took him as her guest to a US Embassy party in Iceland. But she later was upset over Assange's handling of the Afghan war logs which emerged with some key names not redacted. She has since been interviewed by the BBC and U.S. news outlets as a WIkiLeaks dissident. On ABC last month she said she had argued for Assange to step aside as WikiLeaks leader while the sex crime case was ongoing.

But last April here she is in video coverage of her talk at Berkeley with Assange also. And from October, at PdF Europe.

4:35  Already an update on the below. Now she tweets: "The request for information from twitter is also for my personal information not just tweets. Calling the justice minister of Iceland now." And: "The request for my tweet information is from the US department of justice" And now: "department of justice are requesting twitter to provide the info - i got 10 days to stop it via legal process before twitter hands it over."

4:25  Not sure what to make of this but here goes: Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of the Icelandic parliament (she represents citizens movements), tweeted one hour ago: "just got this: Twitter has received legal process requesting information regarding your Twitter account in (relation to wikileaks)" Then "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?" Then: "i think i am being given a message, almost like someone breathing in a phone..." And: "waiting for some legal advice before i will make this a foreign affairs issue."

 

 

 

 
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