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Icelandic MP To Challenge US Court Ruling On Twitter Privacy

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the ain't-over-'till-it's-over dept.

Privacy 132

JabrTheHut writes "The Guardian has a story of how Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir, a former WikiLeaks volunteer, is challenging the U.S.'s acquisition of Twitter account information, IP addresses, mailing addresses and even bank information. The U.S. says it wanted these details to help with its investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Jonsdottir said, 'This is a huge blow for everybody that uses social media. We have to have the same civil rights online as we have offline. Imagine if the U.S. 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.'"

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132 comments

Good luck with that (5, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38034772)

Twitter is based in the US and has servers here. Ultimately they will have to comply with US law whether or not that's good for anybody.

Re:Good luck with that (2)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38034814)

Exactly. If she kept a US bank account, or owned a home in the US - they would be subject to US search and seizure laws.

Re:Good luck with that (5, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035254)

Right, and she's arguing that her online account should be subject to US search and seizure laws. The Government completely bypassed their own rules, claiming because it's online they can ignore your right to privacy, and the need to get a warrant to obtain the information.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38035530)

Exactly, the rule of law doesn't seem to mean anything anymore if you mention Terrorism.

Re:Good luck with that (3, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035904)

Complete Nonsense. This material is covered under long standing US Law, the ECPA aka TITLE 18, PART I, CHAPTER 121 PARAGRAPH 2703 part d, passed in 1986.

(d) Requirements for Court Order.â" A court order for disclosure under subsection (b) or (c) may be issued by any court that is a court of competent jurisdiction and shall issue only if the governmental entity offers specific and articulable facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the contents of a wire or electronic communication, or the records or other information sought, are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation. In the case of a State governmental authority, such a court order shall not issue if prohibited by the law of such State. A court issuing an order pursuant to this section, on a motion made promptly by the service provider, may quash or modify such order, if the information or records requested are unusually voluminous in nature or compliance with such order otherwise would cause an undue burden on such provider.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Communications_Privacy_Act [wikipedia.org]

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38036154)

In fact, we should be celebrating that a. There are search warrants involved b. That twitter had an option to not fold c. That the MP wasnt summarily disappeared. You fucking yankees did something right.

Re:Good luck with that (4, Interesting)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38036418)

The Justice Department obtained the records under a federal statute that allows for the release of non-content Internet records without obtaining a search warrant, which requires prosecutors to demonstrate probable cause.

No search warrant was obtained. They couldn't even prove probable cause when they attempted to get a warrant, so they found a loophole. Anything else?

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38036998)

Yeah - you forgot to clarify that EVERY country's laws have loopholes and stuff. If she didn't want to get stuck with her hand in the cookie jar, perhaps she shouldn't have gone to bed with Wikileaks, Assange, etc.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38037024)

This has nothing to do with other countries. It has to do with the US setting an example for the rest of the free world in regards to liberty and justice.

Amerika! (3, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38034818)

Number ONE enemy of Truth, Justice and the American Way!

At least they are first in SOMETHING again. That 17th highest standard of living, and 56th least corrupt, just have to sting.

If "Freedom isn't free", you guys are still being cheated.

Re:Amerika! (-1, Flamebait)

Godskitchen (1017786) | more than 2 years ago | (#38034922)

Yet millions still flock here every year in the hopes of a better life. Hrmm... I haven't heard of hordes of people looking to improve their lot going to the backwards Eastern European country from which you're probably posting.

Re:Amerika! (2)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#38034932)

I'm an American, and I love my country.

But if I were offered an opportunity to emigrate to Iceland tomorrow, I'd probably take it. (Who brought Eastern Europe into this?)

Re:Amerika! (1)

Corbets (169101) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035030)

I'm an American, and I love my country.

But if I were offered an opportunity to emigrate to Iceland tomorrow, I'd probably take it. (Who brought Eastern Europe into this?)

I'm American and emigrated years afoot a better place. Hopp Schweiz!

Re:Amerika! (0)

rthille (8526) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035076)

Can we move Iceland off the coast of California first? Say around Santa Barbara, or SLO? I like the sound of the culture/politics of Iceland, but not the weather.

Re:Amerika! (1)

akeeneye (1788292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035112)

Yeah, emigration would be really, really tempting (though not to Iceland, for me - personal taste) but EU countries (or any first-world countries that I know of) are not welcoming Americans these days. Even getting permanent residence in Canada is an uphill battle on a really, really steep hill.

Re:Amerika! (4, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035436)

I'm from America, and am posting this as I'm being driven to the airport to catch a flight to Reykjavík to sign work and residence permit applications with my new employer. ;) To anyone who's never been there: Iceland is just plain awesome. And to anyone who has the attitude of, "I wish I could move to X place..." -- don't be complacent. You *can* make a change in your life. It's not fantasy; people do it all the time. Right now: pull up a web browser, find an overseas job site, and start applying. :)

Re:Amerika! (1)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38036794)

How's CCP treatin ya these days?

Re:Amerika! (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035568)

an america who's government smuggles firearms to mexican drug cartels, who constantly lies to the public, who is in bed with investment banksters to fleece the nation for profits, who sends an armed goon squad to raid Gibson guitars over some wood that was legally imported?

i am ashamed to call myself a US Citizen anymore, this nation sucks totally, the government is a racket that would make the mafia jealous. oh and those conspiracies that you hear on alternative news sites? they are all about 99% true, but you keep listening to mainstream media because you know they always tell the truth = http://pastebin.com/M5MuEj5y [pastebin.com]

Re:Amerika! (3, Informative)

binkzz (779594) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035142)

Yet millions still flock here every year in the hopes of a better life. Hrmm... I haven't heard of hordes of people looking to improve their lot going to the backwards Eastern European country from which you're probably posting.

I think you overestimate it by a tad. There's no flocking, just over a million immigrants a year. If you look at immigrants per year per head of population, the US comes in 31st. [nationmaster.com] Just above most Western European countries, but way below Australia or Canada. Europe as a whole has a lot more immigrants per year than America does [wikimedia.org] , and that includes Eastern Europe.

America hasn't been the promised land for a long time, and not that many people pick it out as the ideal place to live. It's just because American media doesn't cover any international news or events that Americans themselves don't realize this.

Re:Amerika! (2)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035190)

It's much, much easier for Turks, Africans, Iraqis, Libyans and Afghans to travel to Europe. And stay.

Re:Amerika! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38035446)

It's much, much easier for Turks, Africans, Iraqis, Libyans and Afghans to travel to Europe. And stay.

Enjoy being destroyed by these vermin! Germany needs a Fourth Reich to fix Europe.

Re:Amerika! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38035498)

And if you look at it in terms of actual number of immigrants, not only does America come in first, but it has more than double that of second-place Spain.

Please explain the relevance of looking at it "per year per head of population."

Re:Amerika! (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035850)

Because comparing absolute numbers is stupid? (Hint: what is the population and land mass of Spain vs the U.S.?)

Re:Amerika! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38036020)

So your explanation is that it is stupid to do otherwise. Nice ad hom, but did you have an actual point?

Comparing per capita numbers makes no sense when you're talking about the absolute desirability of a country as a new home for immigrants as chosen by those immigrants. You have to use the actual numbers.

Per capita numbers might make sense when you're talking about the make-up of a country or a country's ability to handle immigration. In this conversation they just don't apply.

I know it's hip in some circles to piss on the United States, but as someone who actually lives here and has legitimate complaints, it just looks petty when people try to make things up.

Re:Amerika! (3, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035828)

This is a prime case of lying with incorrectly quoted statistics.

The United States has BY FAR the largest net migration rate in the world. Over 5 millions per year. The 31 nations that have higher per capita rates are tiny countries in comparison to the US, and have a small European component. Europe may have more immigrants, but NOT CLOSE on a per capita basis.

Not only that, but in the same article you linked to it was stated that a 2009 survey found the US is BY FAR considered the most desirable destination in the world, with 165 million adults world wide giving it as it's first choice. Europe only got about 1/8 the number the US did.

Re:Amerika! (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035956)

Don't start confusing people with facts it only upsets them.

Re:Amerika! (3, Informative)

Solandri (704621) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035898)

I think you overestimate it by a tad. There's no flocking, just over a million immigrants a year. If you look at immigrants per year per head of population, the US comes in 31st. Just above most Western European countries, but way below Australia or Canada. Europe as a whole has a lot more immigrants per year than America does, and that includes Eastern Europe.

America hasn't been the promised land for a long time, and not that many people pick it out as the ideal place to live. It's just because American media doesn't cover any international news or events that Americans themselves don't realize this.

You're conflating two things - desirability as an immigration destination, and ease of immigration - and attributing both their effects to desirability as an immigration destination.

I'm only familiar with Canada so I'll use it as an example. It's a helluva lot easier to immigrate to Canada than to the U.S. When Hong Kong reverted to Chinese control, a lot of its residents tried to immigrate to the U.S., were declined, and immigrated to Canada instead which gladly accepted them. An immigration visa to Canada can be had in 1-3 years [cic.gc.ca] , and you can apply for Canadian citizenship after residing there just 3 years. Wait times for a green card in the U.S. are 4-5 years for favored countries, even longer for other countries [wikipedia.org] . And you have to have lived in the U.S. for 5 years before you can apply for citizenship. The U.S. just makes it a lot harder to immigrate than other countries. Heck, it's a helluva lot easier just to get a tourist visa to Canada than to the U.S.

Re:Amerika! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38035172)

Ah you mean places like Detroit then?

Re:Amerika! (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035230)

Millions buy Justine Bieber music too.What's your point?

Re:Amerika! (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035270)

"People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis. You can't trust people, Jeremy!"

Re:Amerika! (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035286)

Just keep drinking the corn syrup. It'll all be OK.

Re:Amerika! (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035324)

thats because of 50 years of advertisement hollywood is still propagating.

Re:Amerika! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38036382)

If "Freedom isn't free", you guys are still being cheated.

But they'll always have freedom fries and patriot toast.

Re:Good luck with that (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38034834)

"imagine if the U.S. authorities wanted to do a house search at my home, go through my private papers. "

Your not exactly posting the private papers on social media sites, are you?

Re:Good luck with that (0)

rayvd (155635) | more than 2 years ago | (#38034862)

Buuut, the US Government coerced him into putting his personal data on those US servers.

She said it best herself (3, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#38034880)

"I want everybody to be fully aware of the rights we apparently forfeit every time we sign one of these user agreements that no one reads," said Jonsdottir. [guardian.co.uk]

That' right everyone, remember when you store your information on a computer in the US, be fully aware that information is now subject to US laws.

Someone better warn her that her Facebook, Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo are also at risk. Even her eBay and Google searches, maybe even some info sent through her iPhone or Android device if it passed through Apple or Google servers.

Re:She said it best herself (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38034898)

And likewise if I post something to a site in Germany the information would be available to the German authorities. Or in China to the Chinese authorities. Ultimately, any time you do business with a company or organization online the data is retained or not based upon the laws in their jurisdiction.

The US is hardly the only nation to feel that way and make use of it.

Why not... (3, Insightful)

jopsen (885607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38036726)

And likewise if I post something to a site in Germany the information would be available to the German authorities.....

.... The US is hardly the only nation to feel that way and make use of it.

Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc... are all doing business in Europe, whether they're selling services or ads... Granted sometimes the servers are located in the US, (sometimes it's the EU, or both, who knows?), nevertheless I doubt user agreements have any significant legal standing in most of Europe, the common man cannot be expected to understand 5 pages for legal nonsense, especially not when written in a foreign language.
So why shouldn't Twitter, Facebook , Google etc. be fined for violating European privacy laws?
I realize it would put these companies between a rock and a hard place, as the US would force them to deliver the information... But if we in Europe put these companies in this position, they'll probably buy, sorry lobby, some US politician to come up with better privacy laws, that respects users in foreign countries...

Obviously, this would be a somewhat extreme action to take :)
But when you do business in EU your subject to our laws... I don't hope the EU starts fining companies for complying with court orders, search warrents, or requests under an obscure "stored communications act" in the US right away, but starting a discussion about what's okay and how to handle violations would be a good thing...

By the way, isn't it kind of arrogant (and stupid) to go to court for information about an MP in a foreign country? What can they possibly learn from her twitter account anyway :)

Re:She said it best herself (2)

mpe (36238) | more than 2 years ago | (#38036440)

That' right everyone, remember when you store your information on a computer in the US, be fully aware that information is now subject to US laws.

It's probably more accurate to say that "Storing information on a computer in a foreign country can have many legal implications." Not that it is always obvious where a computer actually is. Especially with "cloud computing", where physical location can vary with time.

Someone better warn her that her Facebook, Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo are also at risk.

With at least Facebook things get "interesting" quickly.
There is is-is.facebook.com, which is in Icelandic.
Facebook claims that Irish data protection law applies within the EU. Iceland's data protection law is more or less identical with that of EU member states.
There's also the map on the Facebook login pages. Which could be interpreted as their having servers in the USA, Canada, France, Russia, Egypt, Japan, Colombia, Ghana, India, Brazil, Chile, South Africa and Australia.

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38035036)

The problem is that Twitter is a walled garden. If it was a federated network like email, she'd be able to use a server in Iceland or another free country of her choice.

--
Greg K Nicholson
http://gkn.me.uk

Re:Good luck with that (3, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035826)

Indeed, but they also have to comply with the law of every country that they do business in. And, soon Twitter's international HQ will be based in the E.U., [guardian.co.uk] so they will be subject to more regulation (they do say they're already E.U. Data Protection compliant).

Re:Good luck with that (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035950)

Though imagine the outrage of US lawmakers if foreign governments were forcing trans national companies that set up shop in their boundaries started going after US citizens.

One of the recurring problems, or at minimal worries, about so much of the 'net being based in the US is it results in US laws and judicial system being applied to non-US citizens who often have no way to defend or represent themselves. It is a situation the US would generally not find acceptable if it were reversed, and there is not enough balance currently for the US to go 'hrm, if I do X, then country B will do X to my people again later, so I better be civil'.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38036258)

Perhaps if those other countries had bothered to invent the internet that wouldn't be the case. I'm not saying it's good for the US to have so much control, but it's hardly something that just happened. Our government invested a ton of money inventing the thing and to this day a significant amount of development is done by American firms that offer up services world wide. It didn't exactly take me a long time to dig up the information that Twitter was based in San Francisco.

As bad as the US is in some areas, we don't throw people in jail for exercising their freedom of speech the way that they do in much of the rest of the world.

US citizen spying even if you aint a citizen. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38034802)

Now you know the police state we are don't use US based Businesses if you know whats good for you.
Not worth it.

Tweets are not private papers (3, Insightful)

Godskitchen (1017786) | more than 2 years ago | (#38034808)

I am barely see you up there on your horse. Your tweets are not the same thing as your "private papers."

Re:Tweets are not private papers (4, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38034820)

And our "addresses, mailing addresses and even bank information" are not the same thing as our tweets.

Re:Tweets are not private papers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38034930)

And why would any thinking person provide that information to twitter?

Re:Tweets are not private papers (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035006)

Some thinking persons still are running operating systems installed by their parents which have strict and deterministic rules about truthfulness and deference to authority.

Re:Tweets are not private papers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38035116)

He said, bitterly.

Re:Tweets are not private papers (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035344)

The more interesting question is why would Twitter even have such information? Do you need to enter a credit card number to post more than 20 tweets a month or something?

Re:Tweets are not private papers (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38036148)

They don't have this information. It's a slippery-slope argument, albeit one turned around the wrong way.

Re:Tweets are not private papers (4, Informative)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035118)

They aren't getting the tweets - those are a matter of public record. They are getting the IP addresses and meta data around the tweets. If you published a book, I don't need to subpoena the contents of the book. This is more like inspecting your original papers forensically to see where you were when you wrote the book. This isn't information you would be able to get from a published copy. You'd have to get the original pieces of paper it was typed on (assume it's 1970 for this metaphor!) -- something not in public (like tweet IPaddress meta data) -- to do forensic analysis to find that out.

Well, Hamburg is kicking Farcebook's ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38034858)

Well, Hamburg is kicking Farcebook's ass. Soon there may be a EU node of Farcebook on top of it.

Wait until US citizen's personal details will be involved in EU courts... LOL

This is why social media MUST be federated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38034860)

Communication is too important to leave to the laws of one jurisdiction, and it also must be too interconnected to have one service per nation.

Iceland? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38034886)

Seriously. Who gives a rat's ass about Iceland?

Re:Iceland? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38035334)

More people than about you.

Re:Iceland? (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38036136)

Seriously, who wants to receive a rat's ass about Iceland? And who writes about countries on the asses of rats and then gives them out to people? Let me tell you, someone like *that* is who the US government should be investigating!

Re:Iceland? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38036184)

Maybe people that can actually point it out on a map? Go back to your NFL, champ, the adults are talking.

Re:Iceland? (1)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38036876)

Ég geri, myndi ég búa ar ef ég gæti.

"the same civil rights online as we have offline' (4, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38034892)

"We have to have the same civil rights online as we have offline."

I think she'll get no argument there from the Dept of Homeland Security.

Unfortunately, the DHS (literally translated to Russian, the acronym would be "KGB") seems to think there are none in either place.

Re:"the same civil rights online as we have offlin (-1, Troll)

Godskitchen (1017786) | more than 2 years ago | (#38034940)

Unfortunately, the DHS (literally translated to Russian, the acronym would be "KGB") seems to think there are none in either place.

Give me a break.

Re:"the same civil rights online as we have offlin (2)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035028)

You've got ten minutes and then I want you back at your desk.

Re:"the same civil rights online as we have offlin (-1, Troll)

Godskitchen (1017786) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035060)

Attempts at wit don't make your previous comments any more meaningful.

Re:"the same civil rights online as we have offlin (2)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035184)

Since you apparently missed this, that "attempt at wit" was exactly as meaningful as the post it responded to. That was the point of the response, but apparently it was too subtle, so I'll try to be clear.

Injecting emotion without information does not further dialog.

And when your own contribution to a dialog is devoid of information, calling somebody else out for non-meaningful statements is hypocriitcal, don't you think?

Re:"the same civil rights online as we have offlin (0)

Godskitchen (1017786) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035264)

Didn't mean to get you all riled up. Just a leisurely Saturday morning troll-session. Hint: don't take yourself so seriously. :) Have a good one.

Re:"the same civil rights online as we have offlin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38035392)

Why so serious? You're an asshole Godskitchen. Hee Hee.

Re:"the same civil rights online as we have offlin (1)

Godskitchen (1017786) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035614)

Your incompetent rage has made my Saturday. :)

Re:"the same civil rights online as we have offlin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38035208)

He was funny and his comment was spot on in the first place. Double whammy on you.

Re:"the same civil rights online as we have offlin (4, Informative)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035694)

"Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti", or "Committee for State Security". That's not all that far off from "Department of Homeland Security".

Re:"the same civil rights online as we have offlin (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38036486)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stasi
Stasi - The Ministry for State Security

Re:"the same civil rights online as we have offlin (3, Informative)

GNious (953874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035166)

I think she'll get no argument there from the Dept of Homeland Security. DHS (literally translated to Russian, the acronym would be "KGB")

(KGB) (Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti or Committee for State Security)

Re:"the same civil rights online as we have offlin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38035434)

Google traslate says 'department of homeland security' is ' '
'Committee for State Security' is ' '
so no its not literal in either way

Different countries, different policies (2)

d*m*int (1548421) | more than 2 years ago | (#38034924)

It's strange to expect that the same rules apply to all things. If I were looking for absolute anonymity, I wouldn't use a U.S.-based service. In the same way, if I wanted my money to be there the next day, I wouldn't use an Icelandic bank

Due process has been afforded (1)

theophilosophilus (606876) | more than 2 years ago | (#38034938)

"We have to have the same civil rights online as we have offline. Imagine if the U.S. authorities wanted to do a house search at my home, go through my private papers."

The right to free speech is not infinite. Especially when your speech infringes on the rights of others (try right to life of soldiers and CIA),

This woman would be subject to having her home searched and private papers viewed if she were physically in the US. Physical papers could be searched if they were in a US bank vault. The same rule applies when she stores her private papers here electronically. If you don't like a jurisdiction's policy calls on the lines drawn regarding speech and privacy - don't speak in that jurisdiction (servers located there).

Due process has been afforded and civil rights upheld. From TFA - the justice department followed the law and the use of the law was allowed to be challenged.

Re:Due process has been afforded (1, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035244)

I think people are misconstruing some of the issues here - in this case, has due process really been afforded, because the Twitter ruling was based around a lower requirement of demonstration of need for obtaining the search warrant - basically, the Judge ruled that the requester didn't need to demonstrate any "probable cause" because of the type of information being requested, and thus the warrant would be issued on a lower burden of requirement.

So in this case, even if this lady had papers and possessions within the US, warrants to search those would be held to a higher burden because they do not fall under the same conditions as this ruling - she would infact have more protection for those items than her Twitter information here.

So has due process really been afforded? By lowering the burden of requirement, I'm hesitant to say that it has.

Re:Due process has been afforded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38035290)

The difference is that it's not obvious to a European in Europe that documents are being stored in the US. So I think what you are saying is that the European Union should ban Twitter from serving European customers from servers located outside the European Union. I guess that makes sense, and it's good the for the EU too since it moves jobs here. Not so good for America, though.

Re:Due process has been afforded (2)

anagama (611277) | more than 2 years ago | (#38036604)

The right to free speech is not infinite. Especially when your speech infringes on the rights of others (try right to life of soldiers and CIA),

1) The revalations stemming from decoding the wikileaks cache are directly responsible for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq: http://www.salon.com/2011/10/23/wikileaks_cables_and_the_iraq_war/singleton/ [salon.com]

2) 4483 US Military Deaths in Iraq in the last 9 years (498/yr): http://icasualties.org/ [icasualties.org]

3) Documented civilian deaths (probably very conservative): 100k+ (over 11k/year) http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ [iraqbodycount.org]

Plainly, it SILENCE that would cause death and destruction. In such circumstances, it is immoral, inhumane, and evil to keep the information secret. If anything should be a capital crime, it should be the failure to reveal information where such failure results in 1000s of deaths.

When I google "killed because of leaked cables", I end up with this: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/02/cable-reveals-airstrike-killed-21-children-yemen/ [rawstory.com]

But that's a story about our proud government killing 21 children in Yemen and how the information was contained in the cables. So instead of some theoretical bullshit about how the leak endangering soldiers, the truth is it will save 500 soldiers per year and we won't be responsible for 11,000 (min) civilian deaths per year in Iraq. Every person involved in leaking the cables deserves a Nobel Peace prize.

Stupid 1%ers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38034978)

Comparing the searching of a private house to publicly published and available information is just what every under-educated 1%er is all about.

There would be a hell of a fight. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38035018)

"There would be a hell of a fight."

Not in my country warrantless searches happen all the time but then again we don't even have free speech. Sad thing is i'm from a first world country. Think of the children every one and give the government all your rights.

a hell of a fight? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035136)

Imagine if the U.S. 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.'"

If you lived here, where the actual data resides in the twitter case, no there wouldn't be a 'hell of a fight'. They would come with a warrant from a judge, tear down your door, search your house and you get to sit there politely and watch. If you protest, you get hauled away.

Re:a hell of a fight? (1)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38036936)

if you read and understand what is being done here, you wouldn't make that statement. The government is NOT having a warrant issued, they subpoenaed the information. Brigitta and Twitter are arguing that the government DOES require a search warrant to obtain the information. This ruling is saying that your online information does not need a warrant to obtain. Whereas, if they were papers stored in her house, were it in Connecticut, there would have to be warrant issued. So the question is, does your online information receive 4th amendment protections or not? This ruling says no.

Re:a hell of a fight? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38036978)

No, i understood it. Its why i said if they came to your house they *would* have a warrant, and you couldn't say boo about it..

I would imagine that if the 'data' was stored at your house instead of some 3rd party, then a warrant would be needed for that too. Being off site on what is essentially a 'public service provider' is the key to me. I also bet that if you had a paid storage service off site the same warrant need would apply.

Re:a hell of a fight? (1)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38037100)

a warrant WOULD apply, that's the argument. They want the records without being able to get the warrant.

the whole internet is social media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38035168)

Email, like we were doing in the 1970's? Social media. IRC, like we were doing in the 1990's? Social media.

This is not a "huge blow for everyone using social media", it's a "huge blow for PEOPLE WHO DON'T CARE ABOUT THEIR PRIVACY". The rest of us? No problems. I email my friends, we've exchanged PGP keys, and no one in the middle can read what we send no matter how many servers store it. I IM with my friends, and we use OffTheRecord, and our communication is private.

It's sheer idiocy to expect that you can PUBLICLY post information on the site of a company whose business model is to sell it to anyone who wants it, and think you have any amount of privacy at all. Really, people need to learn the very, very basics of the technology they are using, because most people simply seem ... insane. Sure, go ahead, use facebook all you want, just don't expect it to be private. It never was. If you want privacy, USE PRIVATE COMMUNICATION.

Re:the whole internet is social media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38035370)

Encryption means jack shit when it comes to the government wanting to get to your stuff, at least in the U.S. The court subpoenas your keys, you refuse to give them, and then you sit in jail for contempt of court until it gets sorted out.

Re:the whole internet is social media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38035394)

What keys? That binary data was the results of our testing a new and novel technique for rapid random number generation, and we were doing some collaborative statistical tests against the results.

As if. (1)

justin12345 (846440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035248)

"Imagine if the U.S. 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.'"

That would be nice, but I don't think it is very likely. Access to the court system is a matter of how much you are willing to spend, particularly in criminal defense matters.

Why The Investigation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38035272)

Why is the US investigating Julian Assange?

He is not a US citizen.
He is not a US resident.
His activities do not take place in the US.
Hence the US has exactly zero jurisdiction.

Why is the US investigating Julian Assange?

Re:Why The Investigation? (2)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 2 years ago | (#38036120)

They are not investigating Assange they are trying to investigate and understand all of the circumstances involved with the illegal distribution of stolen data. The only person being prosecuted in the US is Manning because he is accused of breaking very specific civil and military laws. Any competent investigator would try to uncover where and how the data was distributed. The government has followed the law in trying to obtain this information or it wouldn't have ended up in a public court. If the court had ruled against the request the government could appeal the decision but if their appeals were denied they could not have access to the data. If they ignored the court decision and seized the data it could never be used in court to prosecute anyone and it's most likely any government employees or agents involved in seizing the data would be investigated and most likely charged with a crime. This does not sound like the way a "police state" would operate.

Re:Why The Investigation? (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 2 years ago | (#38036632)

Because the neocons (Obama included) are pissed. They were worried the cables would reveal war crimes, which they did, and get us booted from Iraq, which they did. They want to go on using up our money to kill people for their own profit, and Assange, wikileaks, and everyone in that chain are throwing a monkey wrench in their plans.

So Make Your Own Damn Twitter (3, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38035544)

If you want your social media to conform to your country's idea of "Reasonable," you should make your own damn social media, and host it in your country. Though I'm sure there's probably a treaty or something, and data taps for secret service on all the border routers outside your nation, so it's probably pointless anyway. Feel free to do it anyway, if it makes you feel better.

Don't you just love the irony? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38035586)

Someone who was involved with WikiLeaks, an organization that specializes in exposing private information and secret data, whining about having their personal information exposed to the government. It brings to mind that old saying, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Or just one word, Karma!

Re:Don't you just love the irony? (2)

anagama (611277) | more than 2 years ago | (#38036652)

Don't be an idiot. There is real and material difference between your credit card data and friends, and committing war crimes. Some things have no public value (your CC number for example) and some are huge.

Principals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38036082)

I don't get it. Lots of negative commands here, mostly referring to Jonsdottir citizenship. This is not about an Icelandic citizen not wiling to abide to the law of the US, being the country twitter is operating from. It is also not about her not realizing there are laws in place that will eventually causechere case being thrown out. Laws put in place during the panic following 911, or laws put in place decades ago when locking your door and keeping your diary safe was enough to protect your privacy. This is about someone taking a principalled stand, saying that the state should get a proper warrant if it wants access to information a (wold) citizen doesn't expect to be publicly available. Nomatter what patriotic and ancient laws have been put in place that provide loopholes around this basic expectation.

She is doing what you and I should do, American or not.

Quoting Icelanders (4, Interesting)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38036104)

Jonsdottir said, 'This is a huge blow for everybody that uses social media.

Notes to the Guardian (and to Slashdot for just copy-pasting it):

1) The name is "Jónsdóttir", not "Jonsdottir". I assume you know how to use accented characters; this isn't the 1980s. Jonsdottir is not only incorrect, but it would have a different pronunciation.

2) "Jónsdóttir" isn't a last name. It's a föðurnafn, or "patronymic". Think of it as an adjective, not a name -- in terms of actual usage, "Birgitta Jónsdóttir" should be thought of as "Birgitta, whose father is Jón." Saying "Jónsdóttir said" is like saying "Whose father is Jón said". You don't refer to people by their patronymics alone; they're only there for when you need clarity. Even phone books in Iceland are sorted by first name.

Anyway, I was going to make some joke about how, given the typical ignorance of most people about Iceland, and of Americans about the outside world in general, I wouldn't be surprised if the US tried to subpoena her kennitala (Icelandic "Social Security Number" equivalent)... but then I realized that I'd have to take the time to explain what's funny about that and it'd ruin it. ;)

Re:Quoting Icelanders (0)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 2 years ago | (#38036248)

Americans know quite a bit about the outside world. This wouldn't be a big issue if you ignored the people who use anecdotal evidence and conspiracy fantasies to bolster their pre-existing prejudices and bias when forming an opinion on the US.

Re:Quoting Icelanders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38036804)

sure [alphadesigner.com]

Re:Quoting Icelanders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38036892)

they dont. i would be hugely shocked if 90% of the country could find iceland on a map. seriously we are all dumb bro. get over it.

Re:Quoting Icelanders (1)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38037058)

Nafnið er óviðeigandi. Flest enskumælandi löndum mun fjarlægja kommur. Eins og fyrir Kennitala hennar, að er annað mál að öllu leyti.

so what are they going to do about it? (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38036428)

So if they rule that the data must be kept private, how exactly are they planning on enforcing that ruling? I suppose the Council of Europe could use rude language, but... wait, they are doing that already.

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