Saturday, January 08, 2011

Freedom of speach and association does not mean freedom from Big Brother

Yes, you can talk the talk and walk the walk, but not anonymously. We must all be accountable, if not judgmentally, for what we say and do.

Chilling effects do not extend to Iceland. So says the US Dept. of Justice.


US tells Twitter to hand over WikiLeaks supporter's messages
A member of parliament in Iceland who is also a former WikiLeaks volunteer says the US justice department has ordered Twitter to hand over her private messages.

Birgitta Jonsdottir, an MP for the Movement in Iceland, said last night on Twitter that the "USA government wants to know about all my tweets and more since november 1st 2009. Do they realize I am a member of parliament in Iceland?"

She said she was starting a legal fight to stop the US getting hold of her messages, after being told by Twitter that a subpoena had been issued. She wrote: "department of justice are requesting twitter to provide the info – I got 10 days to stop it via legal process before twitter hands it over."

She said the justice department was "just sending a message and of course they are asking for a lot more than just my tweets."

In Iceland she has championed the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative which is aimed at creating legislation to make Iceland a legal haven for journalists and media outlets.

She is not the first WikiLeaks associate to be targeted by US officials. Last July Jacob Appelbaum, one of Assange's closest colleagues, was interrogated for three hours and had his phones confiscated upon entering the country at Newark airport. Customs officials photocopied receipts and searched his laptop.

The justice department did not returns calls seeking comment last night.

Twitter would not comment on the case. In a statement, the company said: "We're not going to comment on specific requests, but, to help users protect their rights, it's our policy to notify users about law enforcement and governmental requests for their information, unless we are prevented by law from doing so."

Most of Twitter's messages are public, but users can also send private messages on the service.

Guambat is not a fan of nor participant in all this "social network" stuff. He sees "the cloud" as a toxic plume. If you do not dare to share your most intimate thoughts with anyone, why in the world would you display yourself to the public at large in this medium?

You have no right to demand privacy if you divulge all you know voluntarily. You live in the age of a Big Brother that is bigger and more pervasive than the Big Brother was ever envisioned in 1984.

At your peril.

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