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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ACLU challenges Twitter subpoena in WikiLeaks probe

The unfolding battle between the United States government and WikiLeaks over the publication of hundreds of thousands of once-secret U.S. documents moved into a new phase Tuesday with the unsealing of court motions asking a federal magistrate in Virginia to quash a subpoena for the Twitter records of three people with ties to WikiLeaks.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Theresa C. Buchanan ordered the motions unsealed at the request of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed them on behalf of a member of Iceland's parliament whose Twitter records were among those sought, apparently as part of a criminal investigation into how secret U.S. documents allegedly downloaded by Army Pfc. Bradley Manning found their way to WikiLeaks. Two private law firms joined in the filing on behalf of the other two Twitter users.

In addition, the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation asked Buchanan to make public any subpoenas issued to other Internet services as well as the U.S. government's original request for the records. Buchanan did not act on those motions, however. She set a hearing on the matter for Feb. 15.

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