WikiLeaks is getting ready for a legal challenge after being subpoenaed by the United States demanding that it provide private messages, billing addresses, and other details from its Twitter account. WikiLeaks just found out about the subpoena and thinks other social networking websites and email service providers will be told to disclose their private conversations.
“If the Iranian government was to attempt to coercively obtain this information from journalists and activists of foreign nations, human rights groups around the world would speak out” proclaimed Julian Assange, founder of the secret telling whistle blowing website, which recently perturbed the US government, and many others, when it released hundreds of thousands of confidential diplomatic cables. Three other people associated with WikiLeaks have also had a subpoena put on their Twitter account.
A court order was issued to Twitter on December 14th that it was not allowed to inform those being investigated about the subpoena, because it was part of an ongoing investigation. Twitter subsequently took legal action and the subpoena was made public.
A US grand jury hearing is coming up and revelation of the Twitter subpoenas indicates an investigation has begun. The investigation will probably focus on communications between WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning, the US Army intelligence analyst who allegedly provided WikiLeaks with classified information.