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Twitter Ordered to Spill on Tweeters Tied to WikiLeaks

Court says tweeters can have no expectation of privacy
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Nov 11, 2011 2:25 AM CST

(Newser) – In a key case concerning online privacy rights, a federal court has ordered Twitter to turn over information on three tweeters believed linked to WikiLeaks documents. The Justice Department had sought information on the trio, including IP addresses, which could be used to track down their computers without a warrant. The three—US computer expert Jacob Appelbaum, a member of Iceland's parliament, and a Dutch citizen—argued in court that their IP addresses should be protected private information, that the demand for information was too broad, and that the action violated their right to free speech, reports the New York Times.

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The judges ruled that tweeters cannot expect privacy because they voluntarily turn over their IP addresses when they sign up to use Twitter. “Today is one of those ‘losing faith in the justice system’ kind of days,” Appelbaum wrote on Twitter. Lawyers for the tweeters are still reviewing the decision and considering what steps to take. (Read more Jacob Appelbaum stories.)

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