Saturday, January 22, 2011

Why? - "US subpoenas Twitter, seeking information on WikiLeaks’ 635,561 followers"

I'm not commenting on the legality of this subpoena - that's for the court to figure out, not me. Here's what the U.S. Department of Justice is after:
The information sought by the subpoena includes the user names, mailing addresses, email addresses, connection records, length of service, types of services utilized and means of payment of each account associated with the five WikiLeaks supporters. The court order states that there is "reasonable ground to believe that the records or other information sought are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation."
As someone who analyses data, what I want to know is, what does the U.S. Justice Department going to do with all that data? I mean, if the Justice Department gets all this data, it's going to be a raw dump of 635,361 Twitter accounts, almost none of whom will have violated any U.S. law. Is the Justice Department really going to make some poor DOJ sop (or, rather, an army of poor DOJ sops) sort through all of this data, investigate 635,361 mostly innocent users, and give a recommended plan of action for each one? If so, I am really glad that I don't work at the DOJ ....

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