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Prosecutors Defend Probe of WikiLeaks-Related Twitter Accounts

Prosecutors are urging a federal judge in Virginia to rule against three associates of WikiLeaks who are fighting to keep records of their Twitter use out of the hands of the government.

For four months the Justice Department has been seeking non-content information about WikiLeaks’ official Twitter account, and the accounts of three people connected to the group: Seattle coder and activist Jacob Appelbaum; Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of Iceland’s parliament; and Dutch businessman Rop Gonggrijp. Jonsdottir and Gonggrijp helped WikiLeaks prepare the release of a classified U.S. Army video published last year as “Collateral Murder,” and Appelbaum is the group’s U.S. representative.

A magistrate judge in Alexandria, Virginia, approved the records demand last month as part of a grand jury investigation that appears to be probing WikiLeaks for its high-profile leaks of classified U.S. material. WikiLeaks itself hasn’t challenged the demand for records pertaining to the organization’s feed, but the three individuals have been fighting the case with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.


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