Wikileaks: Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange; seeks server data

Wikileaks: Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange; seeks server data

Summary: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has invoked the Patriot Act on Wikileaks' domain registrar, in a bid to access information on founder Julian Assange.

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TOPICS: EU, Banking, Legal, Microsoft
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DNS hoster Dynadot has received a Patriot Act request by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to produce information held about WIkileaks founder Julian Assange, in a fully-fledged "espionage case".

In a tweet by @wikileaks, the whistleblowing organisation confirmed the news.

(Image via Twitter)

The order seeks "all available information" on not only Assange, but Wikileaks also, held by the DNS hoster. The information will be handed to the U.S. grand jury in Alexandria, Virgina.

A Wikileaks press release has been issued:

"The Order demands Dynadot handover the following information for the time period November 1st 2009 to present, within three days of the date of the Order:

1. Subscriber names, user names, screen names, or other identities; 2. mailing addresses, residential addresses, business addresses, e-mail addresses, and other contact information; 3. connection records, or record of session times and durations; 4. length of service (including start date) and typos of service utilized; 5. telephone or instrument number or other subscriber number or identity; including any temporarily assigned network address; and 6. means and source of payment for such service (including any credit card or bank account number) and billing records.

Also:

1. records of user activity for any connections made to or from the Account 2. non-content information associated with the contents of any communication or file stored by or for the account(s), such as the source and destination email addresses and IP addresses. 3. Correspondence and notes of records related to the account."

The full order can be found here [PDF].

Dynadot, based in California, is responsible for hosting the domain name wikileaks.org along with IP addresses belonging to Wikileaks.

Last year, Amazon removed Wikileaks from its hosted service citing reasons that it broke the terms of service, while EveryDNS also removed the site after a series of sustained denial-of-service attacks.

Dynadot was ordered to shut down the wikileaks.org domain in February 2008, after the Julius Baer Trust and Bank brought an injunction against Wikileaks. This forced Wikileaks to roll out alternative domain names -- such as wikileaks.de and wikileaks.cx.

The same judge reversed the injunction citing First Amendment issues a month later.

Use of the Patriot Act to access data within the United States is not uncommon. However, earlier this year, ZDNet exclusively reported that Microsoft, as well as other cloud service providers in Europe and further afield, handed European data in EU-based datacenters, back to U.S. law enforcement -- breaching European data protection laws.

The Patriot Act revised and consolidated counter-terrorism laws post-9/11 to enhance domestic law enforcement investigatory authority, including sweeping surveillance and search powers -- while, some claim the elimination of judicial oversight to ensure these powers are not abused.

Shortly after Microsoft's admission, the European Parliament demanded answers from the United States -- sparking a diplomatic outrage over the disparity in data protection laws.

Europe's Data Protection Directive was brought into law in 1995, and forms the basis of each member state of the European Union's data protection laws.

It has long believed that the United States' Patriot Act outweighs the European data protection laws.

Related content:

Also read ZDNet’s Patriot Act series:

ZDNet's Wikileaks series:

Topics: EU, Banking, Legal, Microsoft

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36 comments
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  • RE: Wikileaks: Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange; seeks server data

    The Patriot Act was a stupid idea then and is even more stupid now.
    JustCallMeBC
    • RE: Wikileaks: Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange; seeks server data

      @JustCallMeBC

      THIS..what business does US have in asking for data from EU companies that don't do business with USA?
      rcm0502@...
      • Don't be so surprised - it works both ways

        @rcm0502@...
        You don't think the EU would give access to data to the US if they didn't already have a similar agreement in place where the US gives access to data on US soil to the EU, did you.

        It's how it works.
        William Farrell
      • RE: Wikileaks: Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange; seeks server data

        @william farrell
        Read the article - Europe is complaining about American companies operating in Europe providing information on European individuals and companiea to the US government
        radleym
    • RE: Wikileaks: Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange; seeks server data

      @JustCallMeBC Homeland Security = Gestapo. Patriot Act = first step toward a "Fourth Reich." Resist the government and you are thrown into prison without a trial. Our government was built with checks and balances to prevent one branch from gaining too much power. This was done to protect the freedoms of the people who put those idiots in power. Those checks and balances were eliminated when they passed the Patriot Act. It is the most un-patriotic law ever passed. The sponsors and GWBush should live in infamy as the people who destroyed freedom in the U.S. We now abuse human rights on a par with China, simply throwing people in prison who try to expose the illegal activities and corruption in our government. The Patriot Act will probably be cited by historians as the primary cause when the second American Revolution occurs someday.
      BillDem
      • RE: Wikileaks: Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange; seeks server data

        Law enforcement loves the law because it allows more free time for donut eating, SUV shopping, and afternoon offs for baseball games instead of having to do more tedious investigative work that doesn't trample on the Bill of Rights.
        JustCallMeBC
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  • Great.

    50 Bucks says anons will react to this swiftly, they did with the paypal thing right? So this might be interesting to watch.
    Ninja1507
    • RE: Wikileaks: Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange; seeks server data

      @Ninja1507 Yes, it would be funny to watch more of them get arrested. "I didn't know it was a federal crime." won't reduce their prison time.
      Phasisdoxa
  • RE: Wikileaks: Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange; seeks server data

    Sweet. Maybe this means that Assange is one step closer to a federal prison.
    Hallowed are the Ori
    • RE: Wikileaks: Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange; seeks server data

      @Hallowed are the Ori
      You really think that US jurisdiction is world wide, don't you ?

      Not quite right !
      hkommedal
      • RE: Wikileaks: Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange; seeks server data

        @hkommedal <br><br>Nope. Not at all.

        But I have heard that lots of countries have these neat things called extradition treaties.
        Hallowed are the Ori
      • The U.S. is the &quot;defense dept&quot; of the world, so, those countries are stuck

        with having to comply with what the U.S. requests.

        It's not what you and a lot of other people might want to hear or agree with, but it's a reality of life in the world. Being dependent upon the U.S. means that, those countries don't really have very many choices.
        adornoe
      • RE: Wikileaks: Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange; seeks server data

        @adornoe@..

        Last I heard was that the US was dependent on money from China.
        P.S. Many European countries, not all, are doing MUCH better than the US, when it comes to economy.

        Some even have a budget SURPLUS.
        One small European country, Norway, has had a budget surplus for decades and the surplus is SAVED for later.

        Reality is that AT PRESENT the US is a lot more dependant on other countries than vice versa.

        It was not always like that, but it IS now !
        hkommedal
      • hkommedal: Think again...

        The U.S. borrows money from China, but China is a lot more dependent upon the U.S. for its economy, because, without the U.S. using China as the producer for the goods that Americans want or need, then China would not be much better off than North Korea. China is only showing economic growth after the U.S. sent a lot of contracts and manufacturing plants there to become "our manufacturing base", and if we had to pull our plants and jobs from China, then China wouldn't be as successful as they've been since we started using them to produce what Americans need or want. China is hoping that the U.S. economy does recover, because, without us recovering, then China's "economic miracle" will come tumbling down.

        And there's not a European country that is not dependent upon the U.S. for their defense, and that includes the major countries and the lesser ones. We are their defense, and they've become almost completely dependent upon the U.S. to stop all threats, even with a weakened economy.

        BTW, there isn't a single economy in Europe that is any better off than the U.S. Europe already has a few economies which, for all intents and purposes, have collapsed or are ready to collapse. And even Norway will feel the domino effect for the rest of Europe once they all start collapsing.

        The U.S. still has a chance to recover, and there are many pockets of good growth in several states, like Texas. What Texas does, can be done in many other areas, and it's just a matter of the federal government, with Obama at the helm, to decide to stop the madness which has made our economy almost as bad as those in Europe.

        No matter how you look at it, as goes the U.S., so goes the world, and that includes China and all of Europe.

        BTW. if the U.S. economy does collapse, where will the Europeans find the money to build their own defense forces? One of the biggest reasons that some European countries have been left unscathed up to now, is that, most of them don't spend any significant money on defense, turning instead to the U.S. to cover that area for them. Nice, huh?
        adornoe
  • RE: Wikileaks: Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange; seeks server data

    And how long non US company will continue to use US webservices?
    somereader
    • Using a &quot;non-U.S. web server&quot; wouldn't change a thing

      if that non-U.S. server is in a country that is allied with the U.S. for defense purposes.
      adornoe
      • RE: Wikileaks: Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange; seeks server data

        @adornoe@... I wouldnt bet on that. US law stops at the US border, as much as your justice dept might thing otherwise.
        Franciscus101
      • RE: Wikileaks: Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange; seeks server data

        @adornoe@...
        So Switzerland and Russia would be good choices then.
        hkommedal
      • Franciscus: The Patriot act also something that the U.S. allies

        have agreed to comply with, so, that's not a part of regular U.S. laws and is a part of an international treaty or agreement.

        hkommedal: Going with a country that is not part of the agreement to share information according information, might be an option, but going with a country such as Russia might be the same as swapping a demon for the devil.
        adornoe