Twitter Must Turn Over Records In Wikileaks Case - InformationWeek
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3/14/2011
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Twitter Must Turn Over Records In Wikileaks Case

ACLU and Electronic Freedom Foundation plan to appeal a judge's ruling, siding with the U.S. government, requiring the microblogging site to release information on three users who had contact with Wikileaks.

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Peter Carr, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride, declined to comment to Bloomberg. Likewise, Twitter had no comment, according to the Washington Post.

"Time to apply pressure on social media to move their servers out of the USA if this ruling holds, your info is not save [sic]," tweeted Jonsdottir after the judge's order. "Ruling gives the government the ability to secretly amass private info related to individuals' Internet communications."

While some may disagree with Wikileaks' actions in publicly posting sensitive information about government communications and business relationships, the recent court rulings could have far-reaching effects, said Cindy Cohn, EFF legal director, in a statement.

"With so much of our digital private information being held by third parties -- whether in the cloud or on social networking sites like Twitter -- the government can track your every move and statement without you ever having a chance to protect yourself," she said. "We're disappointed that the court did not recognize that people using digital tools deserve basic privacy and that the government should be required to meet a high standard before it demands private information about you from the online services you use, be they Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, or Skype."

Days after the judge's ruling, hacker group Anonymous released a flurry of emails that it said showed deceptive mortgage practices at Bank of America. Late last year, Assange had threatened to set loose emails in early 2011 about wrongdoing at a large bank. While Wikileaks has yet to provide these emails, some industry watchers wonder if Anonymous posted the emails in Wikileaks' stead.

The leak allegedly came from an unnamed former employee of Balboa Insurance, which was acquired by Bank of America in 2008, then sold to QBE Group. In the emails, the source claims the bank deleted numbers used to identify loan insurance accounts, a move designed to help it foreclose on home loans.

"We are confident that his extravagant assertions are untrue," a Bank of America spokesman told Reuters on Sunday.

Although many servers that hosted the leaks were apparently down, a number of other sites mirrored the documents, according to Anonymous' Twitter postings under the OperationLeakS ID.

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