The lawyer representing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Mark Stephens, has slammed the US Department of Justice's order that Twitter should disclose data on the website's supporters.
The claim comes after it was discovered that the Department of Justice had secretly filed documents in a US court, ordering Twitter to hand over detailed information on people linked to WikiLeaks, including founder Julian Assange, Iceland MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Rop Gonggrijp and Jacob Appelbaum.
Stephens told Bloomberg that the subpoena was in violation of the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which prevents the government from making unreasonable searches.
“The Department of Justice is turning into an agent of harassment rather than an agent of law. They’re shaking the tree to see if anything drops out, but more important they are shaking down people who are supporters of WikiLeaks,” he said.
The announcement comes as the US government continues to scrabble round for evidence to charge Assange with anything they can link to him following the leak of over 250,000 secret US diplomatic cables via WikiLeaks.