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Mortyman
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Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:33 pm

Icelandic MP fights US demand for her Twitter account details



A member of parliament in Iceland who is also a former WikiLeaks volunteer says the US justice department has ordered Twitter to hand over her private messages.

Birgitta Jonsdottir, an MP for the Movement in Iceland, said last night on Twitter that the "USA government wants to know about all my tweets and more since november 1st 2009. Do they realize I am a member of parliament in Iceland?"


Read the story here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011...-hand-icelandic-wikileaks-messages



Big brother America strikes again...


Wonder if the US would hand over such information from their officials accounts to any foreign power.... Hm...


I seriously doubt that the US has the law on their side in this. What do you guys think ?
 
Klaus
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:54 pm

Strictly speaking, if you're committing your sensitive information to an american service, you will usually have accepted the usage terms of that service on registration. And these usage terms usually declare that the provider can be compelled by US government agencies to produce any data.

So by the letter the icelandic MP simply has screwed up when she didn't read the terms of the usage agreement properly.

On the other hand this still is a rather problematic action on the part of the US government regardless of the bare legal situation and it may have diplomatic repercussions.

If Iceland were already a member of the European Union (which it isn't yet), this could quickly escalate in the European Parliament and proceed from there.

The US agencies should tread carefully here. They do have valid reasons to try plugging their own leaks at home, but crossing diplomatic and democratic lines in foreign countries is exceeding their jurisdiction at some point.
 
hka098
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:29 pm

I would like to wish the U.S. Justice Department good luck. This also shows that any personal or sensitive information should never be placed online, if that is even the case. Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter will roll for the U.S. Govt. at a snap of the fingers.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:14 pm

Laws are in place that allows the government to subpoena all types of personal records, from your banking details, to telephone records, to internet messages as part of investigations.

As long as the DOJ properly follows procedures within established law, its their right (and duty) to pursue investigations.
Matter of fact gathering information is the basis for any logical investigation, and the Wire or Electronic Communications Act states that a subpoenas can be issued if: "reasonable ground to believe that the records or other information sought are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation,"

It frankly does not matter who Mrs Jonsdottir is where she resides. If there were any criminal acts committed, the law needs to investigate them and bring to light the parties and evidence of such.
Also the notion that things such as the internet and social network postings are somehow sacrosanct and above review are ludacris.
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Aesma
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:28 pm

I'm not a twitter user, but for what I see you use it like a miniature blog, for all to see (I know you can block it). Especially if you're into politics. So, somehow, I very much doubt there is anything of interest in her tweets, and I doubt she cares about that, she's denouncing it on principle.

I still remember some time ago when the US administration was proud of twitter for allowing "free speech" in Iran...
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cgnnrw
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:52 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
As long as the DOJ properly follows procedures within established law, its their right (and duty) to pursue investigations.

I'm sure as long as the Icelandic govt follows procedures established by Icelandic and int'l law, its their right (and duty) to protect their citizens from being hassled and threatend by foreign gov'ts in their own country.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
It frankly does not matter who Mrs Jonsdottir is where she resides. If there were any criminal acts committed,

And I'm sure any member of Congress would simply hand over documents written, electronic or otherwise to any foreign gov't without batting an eyelash.
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Klaus
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:05 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
It frankly does not matter who Mrs Jonsdottir is where she resides.

Both incorrect.

US domestic legality of this seizure may be valid.

But diplomatically things get quite a bit more dicey once a government agency of one nation seizes documents belonging to a foreign citizen residing abroad, and particularly so when a) privacy protection laws of the other country are violated and b) an elected member of parliament is being violated this way.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
Also the notion that things such as the internet and social network postings are somehow sacrosanct and above review are ludacris.

That the USA is still in the stone age with regards to privacy and data protection is really unfortunate. Time to catch up.

And what has that rapper to do with this?
 
LAXintl
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:28 pm

Quoting cgnnrw (Reply 5):
And I'm sure any member of Congress would simply hand over documents written, electronic or otherwise to any foreign gov't without batting an eyelash.

The MP is not being asked to do anything.

She voluntarily engaged in an act, and the records for such as being subpoena from the service provider. Keep in mind to join Twitter one needs to sign off on their terms of service, which states "We may disclose your information if we believe that it is reasonably necessary to comply with a law, regulation or legal request;"

If she was so concerned about her privacy, suggest she desist from using things like Twitter.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 6):
Both incorrect.

US domestic legality of this seizure may be valid.

Negative sir.

It was found that the Wire or Electronic Communications Act is applicable to parties and communications outside the US as long as one party, the service, or communications route is via the US. There were a few court case post 9/11 how the US monitored wholly foreign electronic communications plus things like banking transactions, however since they passed via US communication networks it was legal to be monitored.

As a business having activity in the US (also happens to be based here) Twitter obviously is subject to and must comply with lawful demands.
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Klaus
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:34 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 7):
Quoting Klaus (Reply 6):
Both incorrect.

US domestic legality of this seizure may be valid.

Negative sir.

It was found that the Wire or Electronic Communications Act is applicable to parties and communications outside the US as long as one party, the service, or communications route is via the US. There were a few court case post 9/11 how the US monitored wholly foreign electronic communications plus things like banking transactions, however since they passed via US communication networks it was legal to be monitored.

As a business having activity in the US (also happens to be based here) Twitter obviously is subject to and must comply with lawful demands.

Hello? That is exactly what I've said: The US domestic legality may be valid.

And it has absolutely nothing to do with the diplomatic repercussions, where multiple violations of standing treaties and democratic conduct may still occur at the same time.

You are sorely mistaken if you think that US domestic laws were absolutely overriding and internationally binding for every person on the planet – that is most certainly not the case!
 
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Mortyman
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:43 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 4):
I'm not a twitter user, but for what I see you use it like a miniature blog, for all to see (I know you can block it). Especially if you're into politics. So, somehow, I very much doubt there is anything of interest in her tweets, and I doubt she cares about that, she's denouncing it on principle.

It is also possible to send non public messages and those are the ones that the US wants.

Quoting cgnnrw (Reply 5):
And I'm sure any member of Congress would simply hand over documents written, electronic or otherwise to any foreign gov't without batting an eyelash.

No, and that is my point. Different rules for the USA... than the rest of the world...

[Edited 2011-01-08 13:49:15]
 
LAXintl
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:52 pm

I'm responding to your

Quoting Klaus (Reply 6):
Both incorrect.

US law is certainly applicable to Twitter and its users both domestic and foreign. Same thing with Facebook, Google, and so on. Google even has a web page showing the number of times they shared information with authorities in various countries.


Bottom line is if you are so concerned about your privacy stick to pigeons, and hope they don't loose their course.
Spilling information whether its in the mail, telephone, fax, email, or now on the world wide web are all subject to the lawful review by authorities.
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CPH-R
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:54 pm

She was using a US-based website, hosted in the US of A. If she was concerned with what might happen to her tweets, private or public, she should have read the terms of service / user agreement. And if she found she couldn't agree with them, she should have refrained from using it.
 
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Mortyman
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:55 pm

I might add that the US tried to keep the request for information away from the Icelandic MP and asked Twitter to not inform her of the request. Twitter refused and she was informed.

She is required by law to be informed if someone request information from her account.

[Edited 2011-01-08 13:57:56]
 
Klaus
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:08 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 10):
Bottom line is if you are so concerned about your privacy stick to pigeons, and hope they don't loose their course.

Read my first post above regarding that.

But things are just not as simple as you're presenting them. There is an international and diplomatic dimension beyond just US domestic concerns when a US agency seizes confidential communication of a foreign elected representative, even if that communication resides on servers on american soil.

Even if you try to just close your eyes and ignore it, this aspect does not simply go away.
 
Stealthz
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:25 pm

Klaus,

I don't agree with you point.

If one chooses to use a service based in another country that entail agreeing to certain terms and conditions(and the laws of that country) one should not then be able to hide behind the somewhat dubious shield of "diplomatic, foreign government" immunity.

If ms Jonsdottir had been conducting government business thru the correct political/diplomatic channels then I would fight for her right to that immunity... but she wasn't!
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Klaus
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:43 pm

Quoting stealthz (Reply 14):
If one chooses to use a service based in another country that entail agreeing to certain terms and conditions(and the laws of that country) one should not then be able to hide behind the somewhat dubious shield of "diplomatic, foreign government" immunity.

It is not a matter of "hiding", it is a matter of one government surreptitiously violating the privacy of a foreign MP. Had Twitter not elected to inform her about this, she may never have known about it.

And completely independently from US domestic legality this has international repercussions and may even violate international law at the same time.

US law does not automatically override any other concerns or consequences, nor do the often somewhat dubious terms and conditions of online services possess an absolute, overriding power of universal absolution.
 
brons2
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:15 am

The relevant parts:
1. Twitter Rights - in other words the content that the Icelandic MP has published is actually the property of the Twitter company
2. Controlling Law and Jurisdiction - The state of California, or failing that, US federal law.

If she didn't want the US government to have her posts, then she should not have joined the service. Twitter was nice enough to notify her, but otherwise she doesn't really have any remedies under which that she may seek redress. Other than, complaining about it in the media, which is sure to fall on deaf ears in the US.

http://twitter.com/tos

Quote:
Twitter Rights

All right, title, and interest in and to the Services (excluding Content provided by users) are and will remain the exclusive property of Twitter and its licensors. The Services are protected by copyright, trademark, and other laws of both the United States and foreign countries. Nothing in the Terms gives you a right to use the Twitter name or any of the Twitter trademarks, logos, domain names, and other distinctive brand features. Any feedback, comments, or suggestions you may provide regarding Twitter, or the Services is entirely voluntary and we will be free to use such feedback, comments or suggestions as we see fit and without any obligation to you.

Controlling Law and Jurisdiction

These Terms and any action related thereto will be governed by the laws of the State of California without regard to or application of its conflict of law provisions or your state or country of residence. All claims, legal proceedings or litigation arising in connection with the Services will be brought solely in San Francisco County, California, and you consent to the jurisdiction of and venue in such courts and waive any objection as to inconvenient forum. If you are accepting these Terms on behalf of a United States federal government entity that is legally unable to accept the controlling law, jurisdiction or venue clauses above, then those clauses do not apply to you but instead these Terms and any action related thereto will be will be governed by the laws of the United States of America (without reference to conflict of laws) and, in the absence of federal law and to the extent permitted under federal law, the laws of the State of California (excluding choice of law).


[Edited 2011-01-08 16:17:33]
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:44 am

I thought young teenage girls were really the only ones in danger of what they put on the internet...

DON'T POST ANYTHING ON THE INTERNET YOU DON'T WANT OTHERS TO SEE!!! While I don't know the details, I don't think the US should go forth in this (this is a really sticky situation,) but at the same time, her bad judgment isn't the fault of Twitter or our laws!
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Doona
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:37 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 17):
DON'T POST ANYTHING ON THE INTERNET YOU DON'T WANT OTHERS TO SEE!!! While I don't know the details, I don't think the US should go forth in this (this is a really sticky situation,) but at the same time, her bad judgment isn't the fault of Twitter or our laws!

Whoa, slow down. We don't know if there's even anything juicy in there. Most likely, she's more pissed about the violation of her privacy than anything else. It might all just be personal stuff.

Anyway, while I agree with Klaus in part, I have to say that it's a bit naive to think that you can maintain a level of absolute confidentiality on a social networking site (never mind that it's a foreign site).

And I'll echo MD90, don't post things you don't want others to see. Ever. You need to communicate something confidentially? Make sure both parties use pre-paid phones that are tossed after each call. That's what I do every time I need to call my Swiss bank.   

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hka098
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:00 am

Quoting Doona (Reply 18):
You need to communicate something confidentially?

Or chat (XMPP) over an SSH tunnel through a private server. Not too hard, or expensive to do.
 
Quokka
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:15 am

Does Birgitta Jónsdóttir still approve of publication of the "private" cables that WikiLeaks acquired? If she feels it is somehow morally superior to dig the dirt on US diplomats, she can hardly complain that she becomes a victim of it herself. Indeed, she should have anticipated it from the beginning. Surely, she is not that naïve.

If she was aware that US diplomats were encouraged to obtain fingerprints and credit card details of foreign diplomats, she was astute enough to know that her utterances on social networks would be subject to scrutiny.

First rule of publishing on the Internet: never publish something that may come back to bite you.
 
Pyrex
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:00 am

So wait, let me see if I get this straight - someone who supports and promotes an organization who basically defends that no-one, anywhere, under any circumstance should have any right to privacy is complaining because someone got access to her 140 character pearls of wisdom?

Quoting stealthz (Reply 14):
If ms Jonsdottir had been conducting government business thru the correct political/diplomatic channels then I would fight for her right to that immunity... but she wasn't!

And if she had used the correct / diplomatic channel it would have ended up on Wikileaks anyway, so what is the difference?   
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hka098
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:27 pm

According to Wikileaks' Twitter stream, the DoJ subpoena covers the Twitter records for all 637,000 followers Wikileaks has on Twitter. Looks like a fishing expedition to identify those that are critical of the U.S. Government. Welcome to Gitmo-Nation.
 
Zentraedi
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:31 pm

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 21):

So wait, let me see if I get this straight - someone who supports and promotes an organization who basically defends that no-one, anywhere, under any circumstance should have any right to privacy is complaining because someone got access to her 140 character pearls of wisdom?

That's pretty stupid.

The point of Wikileaks is to be a clearinghouse for whistleblowers. Stop willfully misrepresenting that.

Also, this isn't for access to her tweets. It's about the private messages and any other personal information the government can get. Further, if you're going to make the comparison to Wikileaks, shouldn't the government open that information to public knowledge. Nope, the government wrongfully tried to keep knowledge of this little fishing expedition private.
 
Quokka
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:57 pm

Quoting Zentraedi (Reply 23):
Nope, the government wrongfully tried to keep knowledge of this little fishing expedition private.


How is that different to any other criminal investigation?

Whatever the rights and wrongs of a case may be, law enforcement agencies regularly conduct discrete investigations. To make every step of an investigation public may jeopardize the chances of obtaining evidence, frighten off witnesses and reduce the chances of obtaining a conviction. Lawyers for a person under investigation may always approach the courts to obtain an injunction or, if the prosecution brings a case, may challenge the admissibility of evidence.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong in investigations being conducted in a discreet manner. We don't go around tipping off terrorist suspects or drug dealers, do we?

Admittedly Birgitta Jónsdóttir is neither drug pusher nor terrorist, but if she aided in the commission of an offence should the authorities not seek evidence? The fact that she is a Member of Parliament in Iceland may not automatically mean that she has "diplomatic immunity" when it comes to being suspected committing crimes.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Icelandic MP Fights US Demand For Her Twitter Dtls

Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:13 pm

So, if wikileaks was operating under an appropriate legislation (the new Icelandic law for example) then the US wouldn't complain because they're not violating any local law ? I somehow doubt it.

In fact I don't think any local laws have been broken in the countries where it is hosted, and the US has complained.
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