While federal investigation continues on WikiLeaks, their tactics for obtaining information from people’s private communications encountered a stumbling block from Twitter. SiliconANGLE Contributing Editor John Casaretto gave some background information, saying that the WikiLeaks investigators are trying to tie certain people to the WikiLeaks organization by going through their private communications, including their Twitter accounts.
According to Casaretto, investigators had subpoenaed information about Twitter accounts belonging to members of Iceland’s parliament, who they believed were instrumental in helping WikiLeaks establish the free speech government. However, they used an obscure process to do so, and Twitter was able to get the court to reveal that an order existed for this.
“A lot of people weren’t really aware that there was this secret process for a government to get these networks to turn over this information,” Casaretto explained. “So we now know that the government is able to squeeze Twitter and other groups for information about private accounts.”
Some of the accused parties sought representation from the ACLU and the EEF (Electronic Freedom Foundation) and appealed on the basis of security around the order. A court of appeals rejected the motion and basically said that the feds can go through your digital data without your knowledge.
“It’s definitely trampling all over your Constitutional rights of search and seizure,” declared Casaretto. Additionally, he pointed out that they’re applying this process to people who are not from the U.S. Casaretto doesn’t believe the government should be allowed to conduct these investigations in complete secrecy and wondered if the government shouldn’t be questioned about whether this is something they should even be doing at all.
As a follow-up to yesterday’s story about the Pentagon increasing its cyber security personnel by over 4000 people, the expansion will operate under the Defense Department’s Cyber Command Unit. The unit is run by Gen. Keith Alexander, who is also head of the National Security Agency. This is raising concerns that the unit may operate in a more secretive manner that would be more in line with NSA practices.
“I think that the watchguards, the EFF, and the different privacy organizations are really going to be looking at keeping an eye on this,” said Casaretto. “I think some real strong directives need to be defined before this . . . expansion really starts to take hold.” See the entire segment with Kristin Feledy and John Casaretto on the Morning NewsDesk Show.