In its quest to build a case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for his involvement in releasing classified U.S. military and diplomatic information via select media outlets and the WikiLeaks website, the U.S. government has asked Twitter for any information it has on Assange, Pfc. Bradley Manning and the Twitter accounts of three WikiLeaks supporters.
The Wall Street Journal reports the originally sealed court order requesting the documents was unsealed on Jan. 5. In the order, Judge Theresa C. Buchanan indicated that the Department of Justice had presented "specific and articulable facts" demonstrating the requested information was "material to an ongoing criminal investigation." But so far, the DOJ has not been clear exactly which charges it is considering in the case.
Though Facebook and Google have not commented on the Twitter court order, WikiLeaks administrators are assuming that the social networking site and the search giant have received similar sealed requests from the government.
According to the WSJ, the order came to light when Twitter informed those whose accounts were subject to the order that it would be responding thereto in 10 days.