Alexandria, Va. – Digital civil liberties group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the ACLU and others are challenging the U.S. government’s legal motions to obtain the Twitter account records of individuals associated with the investigation of whistleblower site WikiLeaks.

Motions filed in federal court in Virginia by the groups seek to overturn a court order requiring Twitter to disclose information about its users, and unseal court records of the government’s attempts to collect records from Twitter and other companies who may have received similar demands.

The EFF and ACLU are representing Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic parliamentarian and one of the
Twitter users targeted in the government’s records request.

“Twitter is a publication and communication service, so the information sought by the government relates to what these individuals said and where they were when they said it,” said EFF legal director Cindy Cohn.

“This raises serious First and Fourth Amendment concerns. It is especially troubling since the request seeks information about all statements made by these people, regardless of whether their speech relates to WikiLeaks.”

The next hearing in the case has been set for Feb. 15.

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