The U.S. Department of Justice is currently trying to build a case against Julian Assange for his role in leaking 250,000 State Department cables. Today, one prominent Wikileaks volunteer claimed the DOJ is subpoenaing her Wikileaks-related Tweets.
Icelandic legislator Brigitta Jonsdottir said today that she has been notified by Twitter that the Department of Justice is seeking access to her Twitter account. She tweeted: "just got this: Twitter has received legal process requesting information regarding your Twitter account in (relation to wikileaks)." Jonsdottir says the DOJ is looking for all Wikileaks-related tweets and other "personal information" dating back to November 2009. She now has 10 days to try to block the subpoena before Twitter turns over the information. (According to Twitter's terms of service, the company notifies users if it receives a subpoena for their information.)
Jonsdottir, a member of the Icelandic Parliament, was closely involved in Wikileaks' release last year of a video which showed a U.S. military helicopter gunning down two Reuters reporters in Iraq. She appeared in the New Yorker's profile of Julian Assange as a close confidant of the Wikileaks leader—even cutting his hair—but recently distanced herself from the group among tensions with Assange.
U.S. officials have a history of targeting Wikileaks volunteers. Last July, hacker Jacob Appelbaum was interrogated for three hours upon entering the country at Newark International Airport. But it's weird that the Department of Justice would subpoena Jonsdottir Twitter account, given that almost everything is publicly available. Do they really think she was sending super-secret Direct Messages to Julian Assange? Perhaps it's a sign as to how desperate they are to charge Assange with a crime.
[Image via Olafur]