Richmond, VA – Fighting to make public government efforts to obtain Internet users’ private information without a warrant, today the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) plan to file an appeal in the legal battle over the records of several Twitter users in connection with the government’s WikiLeaks investigation.
The ACLU and EFF represent Icelandic parliament member Birgitta Jonsdottir. The appeal, filed jointly with other Twitter users Jacob Appelbaum and Rop Gonggrijp, challenges U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady’s November decision refusing to unseal or publicly list all orders that may have been sent to companies other than Twitter and any related motions and court orders.
“These people want to try to protect their privacy and their First Amendment rights, and the government should not be able to prevent that by hiding court records. Our courts are public. Secret court orders and secret court dockets should not be permitted, except in extraordinary circumstances,” said Aden Fine, staff attorney with the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. “This case is just one example of the unfortunate recent trend to make our court processes less open and transparent.”
In light of the district court’s denial of a stay, Jonsdottir and the other Twitter users involved in the case did not appeal the judge’s decision requiring Twitter to turn over their records.
Attorneys for Jonsdottir are Fine of the ACLU, Rebecca Glenberg of the ACLU of Virginia and Cindy Cohn, Lee Tien and Marcia Hofmann of EFF. The motions were joined by attorneys from the law firm Keker & Van Nest LLP and the Law Office of John D. Cline on behalf of Jacob Appelbaum and Rop Gonggrijp, respectively, as well as local counsel in Virginia.
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Media Relations Director
Electronic Frontier Foundation