U.S. administration is trying to pressurize social networking sites to reveal information about WikiLeaks. Under their investigation, the US officials have asked court to order Twitter for disclosing details about WikiLeaks chief –Julian Assange–as he has illegally disclosed government’s secret documents.
The US administration is trying to constitute a criminal case against Assange. Assange stated that the government might also force other social networks and websites as Facebook and Google to divulge information about him. All these sites are owned by American companies.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has issued an order to Twitter Inc. to disclose all information about accounts related to Assange and his friends and colleagues exchanging messages on the website.
Pfc. Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst is also under suspicion of providing important information to Twitter. The list of suspects includes parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir, from Iceland and Rop Gonggrijp, WikiLeaks ex-collaborator; and Dutch hacker and Jacob Appelbaum, a U.S. programmer. The court has asked Twitter to give all information about these suspects.
The order was issued on Dec. 14 by Virginia District Court.
Assange severely criticized court’s order and stated that this was aimed to harass him. He has pledged to fight against violation of his right to privacy. He added that had it been Iranian government asking for somebody’s private information from social networks and websites, human right activists would have raised their voices against it, but everybody was silent over actions of the US administration to suppress him.
Julian Assange is forced to write down his autobiography to pay his legal bills, he stated. WikiLeaks chief has agreed to a deal of $1.5 million to write his story for a US publisher.
Assange further stated that to keep the website going and pay for the legal battle he is fighting, he needed funds. Most of the banks and paypal have either stopped financial transactions for WikiLeaks or banned Julian Assange and he can not even receive any donation. His visa cards and credit cards have already been cancelled.
The controversial website owner told media that he had already spent $307,400on legal fights and needed money for his survival as well as continue the website. He would also get $796,654 from Alfred A Knopf, his U.S. publisher. Another deal with a British publisher Canongate would give Assange $501,000 And he expects to earn at least $1.5 million by selling the book in international markets.
Assange is living in United Kingdom on bail presently and he is wanted in cases in a Swedish court for charges of sexual assault and rape. Assange and his lawyer have continuously denied all charges and stated that this was a way to silence the controversial media person in reaction to his disclosure of US confidential documents.
London: WikiLeaks chief fears that he would be killed if extradited to US on spying charges, according to a published report. He is currently staying in Britain after being released on bail last week.
Julian Assange is on bail in UK resisting Sweden’s effort to extradite him over rape charges, but US administration is also mulling ways to prosecute him on the charges of disclosing thousands of secret documents, which have tarnished US image worldwide.
The Australian has said in an interview that the UK can not extradite him for political crimes against the United States, but it remains at the will of the Britain government whether to take a call on US request or follow its own extradition policy.
Assange further said that the US authorities were ‘trying hard to finalize a plea pact’ with Bradley Manning, the US soldier suspected of providing WikiLeaks with secret documents.
WikiLeaks chief went on to state that if the US finally succeeded in its aim of extradition
from the UK, then there was a high probability of him being killed in the US prison.
The Australian has earlier said that several WikiLeaks staff have been threatened since the day the website started to publish a cache of around 250,000 secret US State Department documents in November.
Assange has been living at a friend’s residence in Britain since his bail last week on conditions that he will report to police on a daily basis and wear an electronic tag.
WikiLeaks chief’s case hearing would be starting again from February 7, 2011, on the extradition plea made by Sweden.
WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange
The WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange gets relief in the United Kingdom as a court granted him bail against rape allegations and charges of sexual assault. He is facing charges of rape and sexual assault in Sweden which he reportedly committed in August.
UK judge Duncan Ouseley accepted to release Assange on strict conditions following the decision of the City of Westminster. The court also released his passport. He checked in from a local police station in the night. The jury granted bail to WikiLeaks chief on Tuesday on a bail of$310,000, however within 2 hours his bail was cancelled against an appeal. It was then announced that Assange would be kept in custody for another 48 hours.
Assange needs to report in the court again on Jan 11 for next hearing over his extradition. He had surrendered to the British police last week. The 39 year old man, who has moved the entire world by disclosing confidential document of the US administration and many other countries is facing charges of sexual assault and rape which he denied.
Most of the diplomats and the US administration justified Assange’s arrest for disclosure of country’s confidential security information. The disclosure has hampered US reputation and its foreign relations.
Nonetheless, the Swedish court called his arrest as a consequent judiciary process following the charges of sexual assault and rape made against him and clarified that it had nothing to do with politics.
Washington: The Air Force has banned the websites of major dailies, news organizations and blogs which publish WikiLeaks documents, according to Air Force officials. The personnel have been asked not to view these sites on work computers until further clearance is issued.
The Air Force has issued warning against the violators and said that the legal actions would be taken if anyone tries to access the banned sites. But at the same time, the officials conceded that the enforcement of the decision might not be fully effective because the personnel who have access to these cables at homes would be able to read the secret documents. The Air Force cyber specialist team, however, has worked very hard on procedures to keep classified documents off unclassified computer terminals. Only those sites having entire set of classified documents, not just excerpts, have been be banned, according to Air Force officials.
Meanwhile, Spokesmen in the Army, navy and Marines have clarified that there is no such intention to ban the portals of news organizations as the US government has already issued a directive in which it explicitly mentioned that the federal employees and contractors should not read the secret WikiLeaks’ documents and other classified materials.
A senior official in the US administration has stated that the decision to allow certain departments and employees to access the secret cables was made in order to let them verify the impact of the documents leaking in the public domain and evaluate the damage done to country’s security.
US officials are worried as new leaks could affected the relations with other nations
The ‘thermonuclear effect’ of Wikileaks disaster has finally been acknowledged. The US administration confessed that the disclosure of confidential documents by the WikiLeaks has raised a question over US foreign policies and its intentions.
State Department spokesman P J Crowley stated that the US considers WikiLeaks action have hampered US interests and put many people’s live under risk by exposing them. Crowley said this while addressing reporters in a press conference and supported Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd who opined the documents were provided to WikiLeaks by somebody within American administration.
Crowley further clarified that the government is taking appropriate actions against those who have violated the Constitution and American laws by leaking confidential information and a suspect has been arrested too. However he stated that nobody could be held responsible from the investigation done so far.
The US secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Clinton talked with officials and diplomats from different countries to mitigate the aftermath of the damage in foreign relations caused by the disclosure of documents. When asked, Crowley said that he was not aware of any of Clinton’s talks with Australian Minister Rudd or other international leaders regarding WikiLeaks issue.
Crowley also added that Clinton’s conversation with international diplomats showed US adherence to continue its cooperation with other nations and work for each others interests.