This judge is a Bush appointee and a George Mason law school grad. Surprised? Nah, me neither:
Should the government be able to collect information related to your Internet use without a warrant? According to a U.S. District Court opinion in the case of three WikiLeaks associates, it should.
Judge Liam O’Grady ruled Thursday that the associates had no reasonable expectation of privacy when they used Twitter services, even if the information in question was known only to Twitter and not publicly disclosed. The government is seeking data from their accounts including their devices’ Internet protocol (IP) addresses, which can reveal information about location, and data on people with whom they communicated.
The WikiLeaks associates – Jacob Appelbaum, Birgitta Jonsdottir and Rop Gonggrijp – “voluntarily chose to use Internet technology to communicate with Twitter and thereby consented to whatever disclosures would be necessary to complete their communications,” Judge O’Grady wrote.
Judge O’Grady also denied the trio’s petition to unseal the parts of the government’s secret requests to Twitter and other service providers.
The ruling represents a setback for the WikiLeaks associates, who have not been charged with wrongdoing. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that the government also has made requests to other Internet companies for information on Mr. Appelbaum, a computer developer for a nonprofit that provides free tools that help people maintain their anonymity online.