Twitter Posts Swept Up In U.S. WikiLeaks Investigation

An Icelandic politician whose Internet records are being targeted by Washington’s WikiLeaks investigation warns that giving personal information to websites such as Twitter, Facebook and Gmail is about as secure as putting it on “a postcard.”

“They are on a fishing expedition,” Birgitta Jonsdottir told The Globe and Mail editorial board, making some of her first public comments since learning that U.S. prosecutors are after her Twitter account. Her private messages, credit-card and telephone numbers are all being sought from the social-networking site – and, almost certainly, from other U.S.-based Internet corporations, too. The request speaks to how state secrets will be won, lost and protected during the Internet Age, where libraries worth of data can be uploaded onto thumb drives, and where unfathomable amounts of person-to-person correspondence reside on corporate computers inside the United States.

A freedom-of-information advocate, Ms. Jonsdottir, 43, became a crucial WikiLeaks volunteer in 2009, but left last fall amid fallings-out with the leadership of founder Julian Assange. U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration is now under tremendous pressure to charge Mr. Assange amid the deep embarrassment caused by the ongoing disclosure of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables.

It’s not clear whether Mr. Assange, an Australian hacker now facing sexual-assault charges in Sweden, violated any U.S. law. But authorities are intent on pursing him, and to that end, are casting a dragnet around his correspondence and that of his associates – while citing an obscure 1986 law that allows detectives to seize such electronic records. "