The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have both indicated that they will appear a ruling issued by a federal magistrate allowing the government to collect the private records of three Twitter users as part of its investigation related to WikiLeaks. Twitter and privacy advocates had sought to prevent the government from engaging in what they believed to be illegal monitoring and gathering of user data.
The magistrate disagreed and further ruled that users and even the public can be prevented from seeing some of the documents that the government submitted to the court to justify obtaining their records. Confused yet?
In other words, the government can keep secret the evidence it has gathered about Internet users to support its request to gather activity on Internet users. If a dog chases its own tail, does it make a sound? Yes, and it sounds like flawed logic and bad judicial decision-making.
According to the ACLU and EFF, the magistrate’s decision allows the government to track and monitor Internet users without having to alert the users, the public or do much to justify the fact it was monitoring Internet use in the first place.
When will we hear the final nail being hammered into the coffin of privacy, you think? Will we even hear it, or will that be kept secret to protect the government and corporation’s right of privacy?
You can read more about these developments at EFF’s excellent website covering many cyberlaw issues. I have included a PDF download of the magistrate’s decision in the Cyber-Box. Additional links of interest on this story can be found by visiting the EFF website.
EFF is a leading advocate for individual rights in the digital arena.
- Court Refuses to Set Aside Order Requiring Disclosure of Twitter Users’ IP Addresses (ericgoldman.org)
- Judge OKs feds’ access to WikiLeakers Twitter info (go.theregister.com)
- Twitter Must Turn Over Records In Wikileaks Case (informationweek.com)