Nov 14

US court verdict ‘huge blow’ to privacy, says fomer WikiLeaks aide (Guardian, Nov. 11, 2011):

Icelandic MP and former WikiLeaks volunteer Birgitta Jonsdottir has slammed the decision by US courts to open her Twitter account to the US authorities and is taking her case to the Council of Europe.

On Thursday a US judge ruled Twitter must release the details of her account and those of two other Twitter users linked to WikiLeaks. Jonsdottir learned in January that her Twitter account was under scrutiny from the Justice Department because of her involvement last year with WikiLeaks’ release of a video showing a US military helicopter shooting two Reuters reporters in Iraq. She believes the US authorities want to use her information to try and build a case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

“This is a huge blow for everybody that uses social media,” said Jonsdottir. “We have to have the same civil rights online as we have offline. Imagine if the US authorities wanted to do a house search at my home, go through my private papers. There would be a hell of a fight. It’s absolutely unacceptable.”

She said she would press for the Council of Europe to act on the case, which she believes sets a worrying precedent for private citizens and politicians across the world.

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Jan 10

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Icelandic MP Fights US Government Demand For Her Twitter Account Details (Guardian):

Birgitta Jonsdottir, an MP for the Movement in Iceland, said last night 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 she was starting a legal fight to stop the US getting hold of her messages, after being told by Twitter that a subpoena had been issued. She wrote: “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.”

Obama, Holder – get your filthy hands off Twitter! (Telegraph):

One of the worst things that is bound to happen in the next few years is the inevitable Big Government clampdown on the world’s last stronghold of free speech: the internet.


Reykjavik calls for explanation of Justice Department’s move to access account of politician caught up in WikiLeaks inquiry


Birgitta Jonsdottir – Iceland MP and former WikiLeaks collaborator. The US Justice Department is seeking access to her Twitter account as it tries to build a criminal case against WikiLeaks Photograph: Halldor Kolbeins/AFP/Getty Images

The American ambassador to Iceland has been summoned to explain why US officials are trying to access the Twitter account of an Icelandic MP and former WikiLeaks collaborator.

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.

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Jan 09

Birgitta Jonsdottir brands efforts by US justice department to access her private information ‘completely unacceptable’


Birgitta Jonsdottir, the Icelandic MP and former WikiLeaks volunteer, who is now fighting a US justice department attempt to get hold of her private messages on Twitter Photograph: Halldor Kolbeins/AFP/Getty Images

A member of parliament in Iceland who is also a former WikiLeaks volunteer says the US justice department has ordered Twitter to hand over her private messages.

Birgitta Jonsdottir, an MP for the Movement in Iceland, said last night 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 she was starting a legal fight to stop the US getting hold of her messages, after being told by Twitter that a subpoena had been issued. She wrote: “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.”

She said the justice department was “just sending a message and of course they are asking for a lot more than just my tweets.”

Jonsdottir said she was demanding a meeting with the US ambassador to Iceland. “The justice department has gone completely over the top.” She added that the US authorities had requested personal information from Twitter as well as her private messages and that she was now assessing 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. I am lucky, I’m a representative in parliament. But what of other people? It’s my duty to do whatever I can to stop this abuse.”

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