US court upholds Wikileaks Twitter subpoena

The Supreme Court of Virginia in the USA has confirmed that the social networking site Twitter must hand over information to the American government on people connected to Wikileaks, including Icelandic politician Birgitta Jonsdottir.

Jonsdottir told she is not surprised by the ruling which she has been fighting on freedom-of-speech grounds, but added: “I have nothing to hide and don’t care if they get access to the information”.

The lost appeal now means that Twitter must hand over all details and ‘tweets’ made by Jonsdottir, as well as Bradley Manning, Julian Assange and Wikileaks associates in the Netherlands and the USA.

The American government wants the information as part of its effort to start criminal proceedings against the whistle-blowing website and its Australian founder, Julian Assange.

The judge’s decision states that it is not Birgitta Jonsdottir’s role to fight the US government’s request for herself, but rather the job of Twitter to fight such cases on behalf of its users. “This is a real regression for social media users on the internet,” Jonsdottir told Visir.

The member of Althingi went on to describe the proceedings as a test case for governments’ right to subpoena private information from the internet and called on social networking sites like Twitter, Google and Facebook to respond quickly and say what they intend to do in such cases in the future.