US subpoena of Iceland Twitter accounts

11 January 2011

Associate Professor Ben Saul comments on the US subpoena of Twitter in order to extract personal information from the account of an Icelandic MP in its investigation of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

Speaking to the ABC Radio Current Affairs program, PM, Associate Professor Saul asserts that US officials can issue a subpoena against non-US citizens if the company holding that information is registered in the US.

"It certainly does seem that the US is exploring all avenues available to it through its domestic law.

"Obviously the US itself has no law enforcement power in Europe or in Australia, so what they're obviously trying to do is to obtain the information by going after records held by companies which operate in the US, which are subject to US law.
"Citizenship doesn't really matter here.

"The relevant question is, is there illegal conduct happening?

"The real question is how will other countries react, you know, will other governments try to do things to shut down this kind of investigation?"
View the transcript - Iceland furious over US subpoena of Twitter accounts - PM

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