(Cross-posted from The Free Speech Zone)
Oh you bet your ass they’re coming for them! But who and how?
WASHINGTON (AP) – Investigative documents in the WikiLeaks probe spilled out into the public domain Saturday for the first time, pointing to the Obama administration’s determination to assemble a criminal case no matter how long it takes and how far afield authorities have to go.
Backed by a magistrate judge’s court order from Dec. 14, the newly disclosed documents sent to Twitter Inc. by the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria, Va., demand details about the accounts of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Pfc. Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who’s in custody and suspected of supplying WikiLeaks with classified information.
The others whose Twitter accounts are targeted in the prosecutors’ demand are Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic parliamentarian and one-time WikiLeaks collaborator; Dutch hacker Rop Gonggrijp; and U.S. programmer Jacob Appelbaum. Gonggrijp and Appelbaum have worked with WikiLeaks in the past.
Oh really? A member of Iceland’s parliament? And how do you think that’s gonna work out for ya?
Well ok, how did they do this procedurally?
For the Twitter request, the government obtained a secret subpoena from a federal court. Twitter challenged the secrecy, not the subpoena itself, and won the right to inform the people whose records the government was seeking. WikiLeaks says it suspects that other large sites like Google and Facebook have received similar requests and simply went along with the government.
This kind of order is far more common than one may think, and in the case of terrorism and espionage investigations the government can issue them without a court order. The government says more than 50,000 of these requests, known as national security letters, are sent each year, but they come with gag orders that prevent those contacted from revealing what the agency has been seeking or even the existence of the gag orders.
Wow. Go on.
The government cites national security as the reason the contents of the letters – even their existence – are kept secret. The F.B.I. is trying to prevent plots as they are being hatched, according to Valerie Caproni, the general counsel of the agency, and thus needs stealth.
In the case of a small Internet service provider like Calyx, which was located in downtown Manhattan and had hundreds of customers, even mentioning that the F.B.I. had been sniffing around could harm an investigation, she said, especially if “the target is antsy anyway.”
I’m antsy, i’m the antsiest motherfucker you’ll ever meet. Does that mean my rights can be violated because I fear my government? Yes, according to this report.
However, where I think this story will become interesting is the U.S. honestly believing they have the power to subpoena a foreign elected official for anything, let alone a weak fucking case as the one they have:
Birgitta Jónsdóttir, an MP for the Movement in Iceland, revealed last week that the US justice department had asked Twitter to hand over her information. The US authorities are trying to build a criminal case against the website after its huge leaks of classified US information.
“[It is] very serious that a foreign state, the United States, demands such personal information of an Icelandic person, an elected official,” the interior minister, Ogmundur Jonasson, told Icelandic broadcaster RUV. “This is even more serious when put [in] perspective and concerns freedom of speech and people’s freedom in general,” he added.
Iceland’s foreign ministry has demanded a meeting with Luis Arreaga, the US ambassador to Reykjavík. No one at the US embassy in Reykjavík was available for comment.
Yes, very serious. Almost as if the U.S. feels they should be given whatever they want. However, this just shows how fucking pissed the government is at these leaks drip dripping into existence. Like water torture with classified embassy documents. I love watching them squirm personally:
The US attorney general, Eric Holder, has said he believes Assange could be prosecuted under US espionage laws. Holder said the leaks had endangered US national security. “The American people themselves have been put at risk by these actions that I believe are arrogant, misguided and ultimately not helpful in any way,” he said.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Omg, stop, it hurts, the laughter. But here, lets look at the Espionage Act of 1917 (yeah, 1917), more specifically the parts of it that the people being pursued supposedly fall under:
Espionage Act of 1917, 18 USC § 792 et seq.
Whoever harbors or conceals any person who he knows, or has reasonable grounds to believe or suspect, has committed, or is about to commit, an offense under sections 793 or 794 of this title, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
Here’s 793 and 794 for good measure, but the problem with ALL that you read is, well, it’s only as strong as you can enforce such a law. Sure you can argue at the U.N. that you should be allowed to go after these people, but uh, dude, you got caught spying on their leadership. In fact, it wasn’t just “peeping in” on them, it was some in-depth sick shit you wanted:
In one directive that would test the initiative, never mind moral and legal scruples, of any diplomat, Washington ordered staff in the DRC, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to obtain biometric information of leading figures in business, politics, intelligence, military, religion and in key ethnic groups.
Fingerprints and photographs are collected as part of embassies’ consular and visa operations, but it is harder to see how diplomats could justify obtaining DNA samples and iris scans.
Fucking creepers. So yeah, I guess good luck convincing the world Iceland is harboring a “terrorist”. I know i’m gonna fucking DVR that shit if Obama makes a speech about it.
This is just beautiful in my opinion. Chances are they got ALL the records which means I and a few here might of been looked at but we’re not the ones they’re looking for. Ok, maybe I am. However, trying to charge a foreign elected official with a U.S. law from WWI is by far the ballsiest thing I have seen them do publicly like this.