Sunday, January 09, 2011

Iceland Summons U.S. Envoy Over WikiLeaks Probe

An AP newswire article by Raphael G. Satter, via The San Jose Mercury News, reports:

The American ambassador to Reykjavik has been summoned to explain why U.S. investigators are trying to access the private details of an Icelandic lawmaker's online activity as they try to build a criminal case against WikiLeaks.

Revelations that the U.S. Justice Department obtained a court order to examine data held by Twitter Inc. on Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic parliamentarian who sits on the country's Foreign Affairs Committee, immediately caused consternation in the tiny North Atlantic nation.

"(It is) very serious that a foreign state, the United States, demands such personal information of an Icelandic person, an elected official," Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson told Icelandic broadcaster RUV.

"This is even more serious when put (in) perspective and concerns freedom of speech and people's freedom in general," he added.

Jonsdottir is a one-time WikiLeaks collaborator also known for her work on Iceland's media initiative, which aims to turn the island nation into a free speech haven. Jonsdottir told The Associated Press she was too overwhelmed to comment Sunday, but in a recent post to Twitter, she said she was talking with American lawyers about how to beat the order—and was drumming up support in Iceland as well.

More here.


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