A District Court in Virginia, USA, subpoenaed the popular social networking and microblogging website, Twitter, for the details of a number of individuals connected with Wikileaks, it has emerged this week.
The court issued an Order on 14 December for the details of several persons responsible for elements of the Wikileaks website. The Order, which gave San Francisco based Twitter three days to respond, also stipulated that the request must be kept secret. That stipulation was removed this week.
The subpoena requested all details held by Twitter on Mr Julian Assange, Pfc Manning (who is believed to have handed over documents to Wikileaks), Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir, Rop Gonggrijp and Jacob Appelbaum – all of whom are believed to have had some involvement with Wikileaks.
The US Attorney’s Office claimed that the details – which includes all ‘Tweets’ made by these individuals, as well as IP records of machines used to access the site, and name, address, email and other identifying information – were “relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation”.
The US Government is currently considering whether or not to bring charges relating to the release of over 250,000 classified cables in the recent ‘cablegate’ leaks on the Wikileaks website.
Both Mr Assange, who is responsible for the Wikileaks website, and Mr Manning, who is believed to have handed over many of the US documents to Wikileaks, are currently under criminal investigation.