Court Decision Forcing Twitter To Give Up Info On Wikileaks Associates Challenged In Europe

from the jurisdictional-mess dept

You may recall that the US government has been seeking all sorts of info on some folks who were somehow connected to Wikileaks as a part of its grand jury investigation, using the obscure 2703(d) process, rather than a standard subpoena (the 2703(d) process has fewer privacy protections, of course). Last week, a US district court judge, Judge Liam O'Grady, said that Twitter should hand over the info (it's believed that others have already handed over info as well).

It appears that at least one of those whose info is being sought, Icelandic Member of Parliament (MP) Birgitta Jonsdottir is now trying to challenge this in Europe, where privacy protections are much stronger. This could get interesting for a variety of reasons. While the US does not have such privacy laws, many companies in the US agree to abide by the basics of European privacy laws, in order to be allowed to offer service in Europe. It would be interesting to see what happens if the process in Europe says that Twitter can't give up such info without violating European privacy laws. While I don't think they could stop the handing over of the info (US company, US court...), I wonder if there could be further implications for Twitter, in that it may no longer be able to comply with European privacy rules. That might create quite a mess.

Filed Under: birgitta jonsdottir, eu, jacob appelbaum, privacy, us, wikileaks

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  1. icon
    A Guy (profile), 15 Nov 2011 @ 2:42am

    Where Is The Data Stored

    It may be effective. It depends. Many companies are forced to keep all European information on European servers in order to comply with EU data privacy laws. A European court could order European employees to prevent any transfer and/or secure the server.

    If the data is stored on American servers, the Europeans are out of luck.

    Either way, I expect big legal trouble for Twitter unless it just hands over the information quietly and then just lies about it.

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