twitter-logoThree people associated with the website WikiLeaks are asking a US judge not to force the social networking site Twitter to turn over data about whom they communicate with online.

In court documents unsealed on Tuesday, the three challenged a court order forcing Twitter to tell the government the names of those they talk to privately and who follow their posts. Lawyers argued that violated their freedom of speech.

The documents capture the heart of the WikiLeaks debate because the United States is investigating whether WikiLeaks should be held responsible for leaking classified information, even though it was not the original leaker.

Defence lawyers say it is a question of political discussion, arguing that Twitter communication about WikiLeaks is protected speech.

‘The First Amendment guarantees their right to speak up and freely associate with even unpopular people and cause,’ lawyers wrote.

The documents were filed by a member of Iceland’s parliament and a former WikiLeaks activist, Birgitta Jonsdottir, as well as two computer programmers, Rop Gonggrijp and Jacob Appelbaum.


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