TagIceland

U.S. Government Subpoenaing Foreign Leader’s Twitter History as Part of WikiLeaks Investigation

Glenn Greenwald reports that the U.S. has subpoenaed Icelandic member of parliment and WikiLeaks supporter Birgitta Jónsdóttir’s Twitter history:

What hasn’t been reported is that the Subpoena served on Twitter — which is actually an Order from a federal court that the DOJ requested — seeks the same information for numerous other individuals currently or formerly associated with WikiLeaks, including Jacob Appelbaum, Rop Gonggrijp, and Julian Assange. It also seeks the same information for Bradley Manning and for WikiLeaks’ Twitter account.

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. It seeks all of that information for the period beginning November 1, 2009, through the present. A copy of the Order served on Twitter, obtained exclusively by Salon, is here.

The Order was signed by a federal Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Virginia, Theresa Buchanan, and served on Twitter by the DOJ division for that district. It states that there is “reasonable ground to believe that the records or other information sought are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation,” the language required by the relevant statute. It was issued on December 14 and ordered sealed — i.e., kept secret from the targets of the Order. It gave Twitter three days to respond and barred the company from notifying anyone, including the users, of the existence of the Order. On January 5, the same judge directed that the Order be unsealed at Twitter’s request in order to inform the users and give them 10 days to object; had Twitter not so requested, it would have been compelled to turn over this information without the knowledge of its users.

It’s possible other companies like Facebook, Google and Skype were subpoenaed and complied with the requests silently.

Matthew Ingram writes for Gigaom:

The fact that Twitter is being targeted by the government is another sign of how important the network has become as a real-time publishing platform, and also of how centralized the service is — something that could spark interest in distributed and open-source alternatives such as Status.net, just as the downtime suffered by the network early last year did. It is another sign of how much we rely on networks that are controlled by a single corporate entity, as Global Voices founder Ethan Zuckerman pointed out when WikiLeaks was ejected from Amazon’s servers and had its DNS service shut down.

See also this post about Douglas Rushkoff’s call to abandon the corporate Internet and the supplemental links I supplied there. I’m tagging further links on the subject of a decentralized Internet with decentralized net.

Iceland aims to become an offshore haven for journalists and leakers

Iceland

Insanely interesting:

On Tuesday, the Icelandic parliament is expected to introduce a measure aimed at making the country an international center for investigative journalism publishing, by passing the strongest combination of source protection, freedom of speech, and libel-tourism prevention laws in the world.

Supporters of the proposal say the move would make Iceland an “offshore publishing center” for free speech, analogous to the offshore financial havens that allow corporations to hide capital from authorities. Could global news organizations with a home office in Reykjavík soon be as common as Delaware corporations or Cayman Islands assets?

Nieman Journalism Lab: Iceland aims to become an offshore haven for journalists and leakers

(via The Breaking Time)

Majority of Icelanders believe in elves

Makes me love Iceland even more… will have to visit there someday.

Polls consistently show that the majority of the population either believes in elves – generally described as humanlike creatures who are fiercely protective of their rocky homes – or is not willing to rule out their existence. But while believing in elves is rooted in Iceland’s culture, it remains a touchy subject.[…]

A belief not just in elves but also in the predictive power of dreams, in the potency of dead spirits and in other supernatural phenomena, is closely linked to Iceland’s Celtic traditions and punishing, powerful landscape – especially the harsh weather and the rocks that appear everywhere.

Full Story: The New York Times: Building in Iceland? Better Clear It With the Elves First

(via LVX23)

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