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Thursday, October 13, 2011

US Government Bypassed Constitution To Reach Wikileaks

The American government has apparently sacrificed its constitution in order to obtain a secret court order enabling it to harass a WikiLeaks volunteer.

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Eric Holder, Attorney General, has said that the United States is currently pursuing an active criminal investigation of WikiLeaks. Consequently, the authorities have forced Google and Internet service provider Sonic.net to turn over data from the email accounts of Jacob Appelbaum, one of the WikiLeaks volunteers.

According to the papers found by the Wall Street Journal, Sonic has made an attempt to fight the government’s order, but lost and was made to turn over data. Dane Jasper, Sonic’s CEO, claimed that the authorities demanded only the email addresses of people Mr. Appelbaum contacted with during the past couple years, not the full content of emails. The search engine and Sonic tried to notify Appelbaum about the secret court orders, but were blocked.

28-year-old Jacob Appelbaum hasn’t been charged with any felony, and it looks like the investigators suspected that some of his friends could be involved in Wikileaks. In other words, the authorities hoped his emails could lead them to someone who made the United States look mean in front of the known world.

The data in question was seized under the former Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which was found out to violate the American Constitution’s 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable seizures and searches. The legislation has been around before the web, but it seems now to be the authorities’ weapon of choice.

In fact, the right in question is a very important part of American history, because most of the US founders appeared to be smugglers that didn’t like the way the English could simply stop and search them. In other words, historians believe that the whole revolution was made up by American businessmen refusing paying for the policing which was bringing enormous profits.

Here and now, the fact that the American government chucked this law out in its attempt to deal with WikiLeaks after it had released a trove of classified cables back in 2010 reveals how miffed the authorities are about the leak. Recently, Microsoft, Google, and AT&T have asked US Congress to update the legislation to demand search warrants in more digital investigations.

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