(AFP)A US judge Friday ordered Twitter to hand over the data of three users in contact with the activist site WikiLeaks, rejecting arguments the move would violate their rights to privacy and free speech.
President Barack Obama’s administration won a court order last year seeking messages and other information from the Twitter accounts as it considers action against WikiLeaks, which has released a flood of diplomatic documents.
Judge Theresa Buchanan, based in the Washington suburb of Alexandra, rejected a plea from the three Twitter users who said the order would harm constitutional rights to free speech and privacy.
“Petitioners, who have already made their Twitter posts and associations publicly available, fail to explain how the Twitter order has a chilling effect” on free speech, she wrote.
The accounts belong to Icelandic lawmaker Birgitta Jonsdottir, US computer researcher Jacob Appelbaum and Rop Gonggrijp, a Dutch volunteer for WikiLeaks.
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